Deuteronomy 8:2 The Reason For Tests

Taking a test

Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. Deuteronomy 8:2

Very few people like to go through testing. It is often a time of high anxiety and fear. The higher the importance of the test, the higher the level of fear and worry a person may have.

Testing usually determines what is next in the life of a person. If the person passes the test, he can move on to the next level in whatever field the test was for. If he fails the test, he steps back and either quits or has to re-take the test.

While the common thought of what a test is, is that it is a written test, the majority of tests people take are not written down. They are tests of character. When a person is working for someone, the boss is testing the person by watching how he works and reacts to things. This is done to determine if the person can get a promotion.

Moses tells the Israelites to remember what they went through in the wilderness. That time of wandering was a test from God. It was an unwritten test to determine what was in their hearts and how well they will follow God’s commands.

Even to this day God still tests people. Even though He already knows what is in their hearts, He tests them to see how they will react to situations and how well they will obey God. Although with God, He gives the answers to the test. He tells people how to act and follow Him. All a person needs to do is obey God’s commands and he will pass the test. Once a person passes God’s test, God will move him forward to the next level.

Think about the hard times in your life, the times of being in a wilderness. Those times are there to help build you up. They are a test to determine how well you will follow God.

Each time you are tested by God, you have to make a choice. Will you follow God’s commands in the situation? Or will you follow the ways of this world?

Following the ways of this world, will be failure. Following God will always be passing. God can then move you up and forward.

How are you passing?

I pray today that you will know God’s commands for your life; that you will recognize the tests of God; that you will pass every test of God; and that you will follow God with all of your heart and life. 

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Zechariah 13:9 The One-Third Left

This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’ ” Zechariah 13:9

Zechariah gave a prophecy of the time when Jesus was struck and the people would be scattered. During this time, two-thirds of the people would be killed off. The last group left would be put through the fire and a major test to build them up. In the end they would be His people and He would be their God.

Being the last one usually has a bad connotation. It means the person failed or is not worth the time. Children often pick the classmate last that cannot play the game well. In a race, the one who comes in last is the loser.

With God, that is not always the case. Here God has something special for those who are last or are left. At first glance it does not look like something good–being put through fire or being tested. No one likes to be put through the fire. It is hot and it burns.

The fire that God puts His people through is not a physical burning fire, but a spiritual one. It is the challenges of life. It is the allowed attacks of the enemy. The purpose of that fire is to have the person focus more on Him and trust that He will bring him through the situation. It is to burn out any sin in the life of the person.

Every believer, including you, have things in their lives that do not need to be there. It could be actions, thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, or physical things. Anything that does not honor God or goes against His commands, needs to be removed. God will do whatever it takes to remove any impurities in your life.

Being refined like gold through the fire will bring that about. God left you a part of the remnant, the last third left for this reason. He has a purpose for your life. God wants you to have a life that mirrors that of Jesus, perfect, holy and righteous.

Is God able to say that you are His child?

Can you say that the LORD is your God?

I pray today that you will follow Jesus with all of your life; that you will be made more like Jesus each day; that you will allow God to refine you in His way; and that you will say that the Lord is your God.

Psalm 66:10 Tested And Refined

For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. Psalm 66:10

Very few people look forward to a test. Unless a person knows that he is completely ready for that test, with absolutely no fear of failing it, tests are usually dreaded.

Even once the test is over and a person has passed the test, very few enjoyed it. Most look at the test wondering why they had to take it or why some of the questions were even on the test. Tests are rarely looked at as a good thing, unless given to someone else.

The psalmist had been talking about giving God praise and singing songs of praise to God for what He had done. One of the things he praised God for, was for being tested and refined.

Testing is a process of verifying what a person should know and how they would do things. It is also a refining process.

Refining silver is the process in which a person removes all the bad stuff out of the silver metal. Silver, straight from the ground, has many other things, than just silver, mixed into it. It needs to be cleaned out. The best process of removing that garbage is heating up the metal and putting it through the test of fire. Doing that is hot and painful.

In your life as a believer, God does the same testing and refining process. As God puts you through a test to refine you. He is working at removing the garbage, sin, in your life. God wants you to walk, talk, think, and act just like Jesus.

That testing and refining period can, and most likely will be, painful. It is the time of removing things from your life that you have allowed in, that God does not want there.

Some people look at that time of process as a time when God hates them or is being mean. Do not look at it that way. It is God showing His true love for you. If He did not love you, then He would let you live with garbage in your life, but He does love you and care for you.

God will not allow garbage to remain in you.

Will you give God praise for what He is doing in your life, even if it is painful?

Allow God to test and refine you into the image of Jesus.

I pray today that you will see God’s testing of you as an act of love; that you will allow God to change you; that you will give God praise for all He does; and that you will shine like Jesus.

Job 5:17 Right Thought, Wrong Time

“Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.” Job 5:17

One of Jobs friends, Eliphaz, came to Job with some advice when he saw Job under extreme turmoil and trouble. He stated that every person who God corrects is blessed and that a person should not despise God’s discipline.

Eliphaz was looking at what was happening to Job, the loss of family, house and health, as discipline from God. Apparently Job had done something sinful against God and he was now paying for it. Since this was the case, Job should not be upset with what is happening.

While it is true that God does discipline a person in sin, the real truth of the matter here was that Job had not sinned. Eliphaz had the right words, but the wrong timing of saying them. God was not disciplining him in any way. The events that were happening were just a test to prove Job’s faithfulness to God.

It is easy for a person to stand on the outside looking at a situation another person is going through and begin to judge what is really happening. Very often, believers judge it as God is disciplining a person or correcting him. Although God may discipline a person, He is not always doing that.

There are times in a believers life that God will allow bad things to happen in order to build the person stronger or to prove his faithfulness. God was pretty sure that Job would pass the test and shame Satan. God allowed Satan to test Job in order for that test to be passed.

When you see yourself, or someone else going through a bad situation, be careful on how you judge what is happening. The main thing to do is trust that God knows what is happening and is absolute control.

Encourage yourself, or whoever is going through the situation, to seek God’s strength and will in the situation. Draw closer to God in spite of the bad situation.

As you speak the truth of God’s word, make sure that what you are saying pertains to what is really happening. Be very careful not to take God’s word out of context or to be used at the wrong time, as Eliphaz did with Job. Be an encourager.

I pray today that you will see God’s hand in every situation in your life; that you will know what God is saying and doing; and that you will speak God’s correctly in the right place and time.

1 John 4:1 Testing Every Spirit

“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1

Everywhere you look there are people who claim to be following God. They state that they are Christians and know God. Many will even be in the church every time the doors are open. Yet, while they claim and look good, they teach or believe something that goes directly against God’s Word.

Often their teachings are very subtle. Unless you are paying close attention, the false teaching may not be seen. It is usually mixed with a lot of truth.

People like to think that it is not such a problem, yet being off even a little can bring a person way off later.

In the short distance being off just one inch does not seem like much. However, staying that one inch off for a thousand miles will put you many miles off of your target.

Allowing yourself to be off target a little will also open the door for you to be even more off in something else. It is an open door to the schemes of the devil to deceive you and get you away from Jesus.

John says that you are to test every spirit. This testing is holding what is being said up against God’s Word. Does it line up with God’s Word?

Every person you hear should be tested against God’s Word. This even includes your pastor in your church. Do not allow any wrong teaching to be done.

In addition to testing others, test yourself. What are you teaching? Everyone teaches by what they say and do in life. They are teaching others how they feel Jesus would act and speak.

Are you living by God’s Word? Or are you slightly off and being a false prophet?

Allow God’s Holy Spirit to guide you and keep you on track with Him. Do not lead astray or be allowed be led astray.

I pray that God will open your eyes to any false teachings; that you will seek God’s Holy Spirit to guide you; that you will not be led astray in your beliefs of God; and that you will test every spirit and know the truth.

Mark 8:11-12 Wrong Reasons for Signs

“The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. He sighed deeply and said, Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given it.” Mark 8:11-12

Everyday Jesus was out teaching and performing many miracles. Thousands of people were coming to Him and talking about these miracles. They saw these miracles as signs from God.

Now the Pharisees come and ask for a sign. Their purpose was not to believe in Jesus, but to try to prove that He was a false teacher/prophet. They did not believe that Jesus was from God. If Jesus could not give the sign, than they would have their proof that He was not real.

One who believes in Jesus, must do so on faith. Faith is believing without physically seeing. It is believing when there is nothing in the natural to give you reason to believe.

Many people will ask for a sign like the Pharisees did. They really don’t believe in Jesus, but want some kind of proof that He is false. If the sign doesn’t happen, then Jesus was not real.

This is a different asking for a sign, then what the believer will ask. When a believer asks for a sign, he has already heard from God and just wants a confirmation that He heard correctly. He believes what God has said.

Jesus had stated that there would be many signs and that you must watch for them. If you are led by God’s Holy Spirit, you will see and understand those signs. You will not need any more signs from God.

Why do you ask for a sign from God? Is it out of unbelief, or from belief? God wants to build your faith in Him. He will use signs to do that, but you must be willing to accept them. You must also be willing to accept God’s choice to not show signs at times, and still trust Him.

I pray today that God will open your eyes to what He is doing; that you will see the signs that God is showing; that you will not test God to prove Him wrong; that you will walk with God in faith; and that God will build your faith in Him.

Matthew 4:7 Do Not Test God

“Jesus answered him, “It is also written: Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” Matthew 4:7

On the second temptation that the devil presented to Jesus he tried to get Jesus to jump off of a high temple and trust God to catch Him. The devil even used some scripture stating the God would have His angels take care of Him. Jesus answered with another Scripture from Deuteronomy 6:13, that you are not supposed to put God to the test.

The devil was trying to get Jesus to test God in a negative way. He was trying to get Jesus to do something God did not tell Him to do. Jesus later states that He can only say and do things that He sees His Father in heaven doing. In a sense this severely limits what He can say or do.

God only gave one thing that you can do to test Him. That one thing is in giving of your tithes. With giving of tithes God says do it and try Him to see if He will not open the storehouses of heaven and bless you abundantly. Outside of that you are not supposed to test God.

Testing God in this way puts you as the one in control. If God had to bail you out of every situation you put yourself in, with no change of your heart, you would be able to sin on purpose and God would have to bail you out with no repentance.

You would be the one calling the shots. Remember God is the one in absolute control of everything, not you. As a believer, you must allow God to call every action and word you do and say. God has to be completely in control of you.

The devil was not trying to do this. He was trying to set Jesus up. Even today, the devil will try to get you to do things God has not called you to do.

Keep yourself immersed in the scriptures so that you will know what God desires of you. You will see the temptations the devil will bring your way. You can use the scriptures to combat the temptation. God’s Word is alive and active, use it today. Do not use just a part of the scripture as the devil did, but the whole of scripture.

I pray today that God will open your eyes to temptations set before you; that God will help you recall His Words to you; that you will read, study and know God’s Word in your heart; that you will use His Word daily as your guidance; and that God will give you victory over all temptation.