Posted by: forfreedomalone | 25/08/2017

Testing or tempting?

Testing often causes people confusion. Is it from God?
Well, that depends.
It depends on what you mean by testing.
The Old Testament is full of scriptures telling us we will be tested and, as God does not change, this testing continues today. The purpose of the testing it refining and many of the scriptures talking about “refining in the fire”. This ‘test’ would, today, be called “assaying”. Assaying is a process of putting metals through various processes to ‘test’ their purity.
It is at the end of the assaying process that at metallurgist can declare gold 9,14,18 or 21 carat. He can tell, after the refining or testing process, just how pure the gold is. This is a process we will experience again and again in our lives, as the ‘dross’ is burned off and we are made more and more like Jesus…assuming we will go through the process. Nothing is automatic about the walk of faith, we have been given all that we require to make it, but we have to actually get up and walk, learning to use the tools as we go.
When my husband was teaching me about hillwalking he equipped me, but I had to walk. I have to learn how to use an ice axe as it was no use to me otherwise, but I couldn’t say he never gave me one. Learning to use it meant hours of falling and sliding down hard pack snow slopes or ice faces, rolling over and digging it is, until I was safe to be let loose on unknown terrain. No one learns these skills by just going into the hills and doing what they read in a book. Idiots find themselves there, poorly equipped and untrained and some may survive by “a wing and a prayer” but they are not, and cannot claim to be, mountaineers; they are just lucky fools. Without a map and compass I would have been no worse off than with one, but with no idea who to use them. Today, we are seeing more and more people going into the hills with GPSs as they believe they are superior to the map and compass, but when there is a storm and no reception, they are as lost as anyone else with no map skills.
Never be tempted to take a short cut to walking in strong and perfect faith.
God is constantly refining, or attempting to refine, us, so that we are able to walk and fall with more confidence. We are equipped to get up, to stop the slide, to overcome the obstacles. The ones who will not learn, believe they don’t need those skills or prefer to do it their way, will always come a cropper when the going gets tough.
Tempting is quite a different matter.
Tempting is enticing to do evil and this God NEVER does. James 1:13 makes this very clear, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man”. It even clarifies. for those who are confused, that this is tempting and that involves the use of evil.
So where are you?
Are you being tested?
Are you asking things of God but not receiving? Are you being persecuted? Are you struggling in your life but don’t know why?
If you are asking but not receiving ask yourself what you are doing with what you have?
If a child is given toys and has no regard for them, why would their father give them more? Are you in financial straits yet you are spending foolishly; eating out, drinking, smoking, new clothes, pridefully tackling thing you cannot do when a professional would save you money? Are you stewarding well what you have already received, or are you wreckless and blithe with the treasures God has already entrusted to you?
If so, there is refinement required in your attitude to what God has given. There is no thankfulness in this, it is disdainful and that cannot remain in a child of God. These attitudes have to be burned off, but how quickly will you allow it to happen?
This would qualify as testing. This is discipling from God.
{Ex 20:20, Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”
2 Cor 4:16-17, This is the reason we never lose heart. The outward man does indeed suffer wear and tear, but every day the inward man receives fresh strength. These little troubles (which are really so transitory) are winning for us a permanent, glorious and solid reward out of all proportion to our pain.
Acts 14:22,”We all have to experience many hardships,” they said, “before we enter the kingdom of God.”}
If you are suffering for the fact that you are a believer at the hands of man? Then you are being persecuted. This is not from God, however, he told us not to be surprised when such suffering comes our way; it happened to Jesus and it will happen to us.
{John 15:18-20, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own… Remember the words I spoke to you; ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.”
2 Tim 3:12,In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
1 Thes 3:3 None of you should turn back because of these persecutions. You yourselves know that such persecutions are part of God’s will for us.}
If you are being tempted evil will always be involved. You may not recognise it as ‘evil’ if you do not know what it is that God says is ‘evil’, but it will be evil nonetheless. Anything which entices you to leave the path of God’s morality is evil.
Are you tempted not to pay your taxes, or alter the figures so you pay less? What about the item the checkout girl missed, are you tempted not to pay for that? Are you tempted to buy that new outfit, when you know the money is needed for another cause? Are you tempted to break a confidence or exaggerate your good points or someone’s bad? Are you under the sway of drink, or drugs, pornography of homosexuality?
This is never of God.
{James 1:13, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man”. It even clarifies. for those who are confused, that this is tempting and that involves the use of evil.}
Turn your back on temptation, but count it all joy when you are tested and tried, because you will emerge, if you co-operate, a stronger more refined believer. You will have the strength to resist the devil when you refined and you will find he bothers with you less and less.
The final word should go to Oswald Chambers, who so perfectly said………. “The [wave] that distresses the ordinary swimmer produces in the surf-rider the super-joy of going clean through it. Apply that to our own circumstances, these very things; tribulation, distress, persecution, produce in us the super-joy; they are not things to fight. We are more than conquerors, super-victors, with a joy we would not have but for the very things which look as if they are going to overwhelm us.The saint knows the joy of the Lord not in spite of tribulation, but because of it.”

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