...here in northern Illinois.
I have opted for tea this morning, instead of my usual (and always delicious!) coffee. Tea just sounded better this morning. I've put an LP on - Richard Straus; Don Quixote. Never heard it before - one of the zillions of albums I have collected at garage sales that I haven't listened to yet.
Last night I dragged out the Christmas movies... mostly to see if I could find them! All of which doesn't figure at all into the latest thing that I have learned...
I caught Chip Ingrams broadcast as I was driving over to Quizno's last night to pick Dani up (I think it was a balmy 20º by then!), and he was talking about being "all in" for God. And he used the example of Abraham. Abraham believed God's promises to him - but then God took him to the mountain top to sacrifice his promise (Isaac) to test Abraham's commitment to Him.
Or did he?
As Chip was telling the story, I thought, "No! I don't think so!"
I really don't think it was like God said, "Well, Abraham says he believes in me. He says he trusts me completely... but I am not so sure."
God already knew if Abraham really trusted Him or not, didn't He? It's not like there is something God doesnt know, like He has to run some experiment to find out.
Maybe the test wasn't for God.
Maybe the test was for Abraham.
The test wasn't to see if Abraham would pass - the test was for Abraham to know that he would pass - AND... for Abraham to truly come to know that God is there. God is faithful. God's promises are sure.
The test wasn't to see if maybe God needed to choose someone else!
And I think thats how we tend to look at God's tests - like God is testing us to see if He needs to pick someone else.
We think of tests as scary things. "Am I going to pass??!!! Am I going to make the grade???!! What if I DON'T??!!!" It's like the thought of "Final Exams" - and we panic. At least I do. My palms are starting to sweat right now just at the thought of it - and it's been YEARS since I was in school!
And then we read of Abraham and Isaac, and I don't know about you, but I think, "Yikes! I could never pass a test like that!"
I am doomed!
If God tests us to see if we are worthy of His promises, I am out! But I dont think its like that at all.
God tests us so that we can know that God is there, that His promises are sure!
The tests arent for God, they are for us.
The tests are God at at work in us, fulfilling His promises in us. They are God working in us, bringing us to the full measure of His desire for us. They are GOD DOING GOOD!
So tests are really a good thing!
What do you think?
© 2009 Paul Dallgas-Frey