“You need to pay attention today, because there will be a test.” Do you remember these words from your school days? For some this was a dreadful thing while others loved the challenge. In our study of scripture we find occasions where God told His people they were being tested. First, we read of the account of Abraham offering his son Isaac as a sacrifice to God. The Bible clearly tells us, God did this as test of Abraham. (Genesis 22:1) Second, when the children of Israel had been led into the wilderness and they were hungry, God provided manna from heaven and gave specific instruction regarding it. (Exodus 16:4) Third, we find in Exodus 20:20 that God was to test His people with the giving of the Law, specifically the Ten Commandments.
That was then, but what about today? Well, I believe that God still tests His people today! The test began in days gone by but it didn’t end with those in the past. If you are a member of God’s family, you did so based on a test of faith. But not a “dead” faith as described in James chapter 2, but an active and obedient faith.
You’re probably telling yourself just how well you passed that test and how “you’ve got it made.” Hold on, now. You mustn’t forget the “pop quizzes” that often interject themselves into our lives. What quizzes, you ask? What about the little “white” lies that we think don’t hurt anyone? Are you prone to outbursts of anger? Maybe you have let your job, recreation, or something else become an idol to you. Are you involved in any form of immorality? Do you struggle with jealousy, envy, or causing strife, disputes or dissensions? These are all forms of testing, but we can take comfort in God’s promise to give a way of escape when faced with them (1 Corinthians 10:13). The bottom line or greatest test we cannot fail is found in the “Greatest Command,” and that is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul and all your strength. (Mark 12:30) So, how are you doing with your test? My hope and prayer is that you have passed and are continuing to do so!
Copyright © 2003, Nolan P. Rutter