…for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (13:3).
As a student, I never cared for tests…unless I knew I could ace it. As a teacher, I never cared for tests…unless I was convinced my students would do well. I never wanted my students to do poorly, much less to fail.
However, tests were indispensable; I knew their value, for both my students and myself. Tests exhibited the grasp of concepts taught. The results indicated levels of expertise gained and where more study was needed. And although I worked hard to equip my students and I desired the best for each one, tests could also reveal the shortcomings of my human, and often flawed, teaching.
Flaws and shortcomings can never be attributed to Him Who Tests His Own; His teaching, preparation and empowering, like Him, are perfect. And as the Perfect Teacher, He desires much more for His Own than we do for ourselves.
Consider Him Who Tests His Own
- He Tests His Own, allowing enticement and seduction through the unknown, to strengthen commitment to truth.
- If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (13:1-3).
- He Tests His Own to reveal the genuineness of faith.
- …you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, (13:3)
- He Tests His Own that they would learn to follow, fear, listen, serve and cling to Him.
- You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him, (13:4).
How do we respond to Him Who Tests His Own?
There are two major truths we must always remember as we consider His Tests:
- His Tests are always for our good in the end.
- In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end, (Deuteronomy 8:16).
- His Tests are never to punish us, but to perfect us in His love.
- There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19 We love, because He first loved us, (1 John 4:18-19).
When we find ourselves in the midst trials and testing, we must remember that His purpose and love in His Tests are always perfect.
- Remember… He Tests Us, allowing enticement and seduction through the unknown, to strengthen our commitment to truth.
- See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. 9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, (Colossians 2:8-9).
- Remember… He Tests Us to reveal the genuineness of our faith.
- In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls, (1 Peter 1:6-9).
- Remember… He Tests Us that we would learn to follow, fear, listen, serve and cling to Him.
- Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God, (Colossians 3:1-3).
- But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, (Philippians 3:7-9).
He Tests His Own that we would grow in our commitment to truth, genuineness of our faith, love and obedience. But we need not fear His Tests, for He is faithful and perfectly provides all we need to pass.
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it, (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen,(Ephesians 3:20-21).