Jesus Did It!
By: Norm Rasmussen
Many Christians do not understand that God is HUGE into testing and refining (purging, refining, purifying) His people. Below is a writing from the excellent website of: http://www.bible-knowledge.com. (We have reprinted it just in case their website should somehow get shut down in the future). The direct link to the writing is: http://www.bible-knowledge.com/god-will-test-us/
In my firm opinion ... this is a MUST READ writing for ALL new Christians.
In our article titled, “Trials and Tribulations – the Testing of Your Faith,” we gave you all of the major verses from the Bible showing you that now only will God allow a certain amount of trials and tribulations to come our way in this life, but that He will also use some of these trials as a way of actually testing all of us out from time to time.
And one of the key areas in which God will arrange for a test to come your way in this life will be when you are getting ready to walk into the heart of your true calling for Him. This was a definite pattern of God the Father in both the Old Testament and New Testament of the Bible.
If God is calling you to be a great pastor, a great Bible teacher, or a great evangelist, rest assured that you will have a big test coming your way right at the point that you are actually getting ready to walk right into that actual calling. And when this test does come your way, it is absolutely imperative that you take this test very, very seriously, as it will determine whether or not God will actually promote and release you into your true calling for Him. Flunk this test and you will either lose the call all together, or you will cause a major delay to occur as to when you will be actually released to move into that calling.
Below I will give you 4 very powerful examples from the Bible where God the Father did this with 4 different people, with one of the tests actually being done to His very own Son, Jesus Christ Himself. And if God tested His very own Son with a specific test, then you can rest assured that He will test each one of you out if you have a specific type of calling in His perfect plan for your life.
Study and meditate on these 4 dramatic examples from our Bible very carefully, as each one of these tests were very severe and very trying for the actual people involved. The reason God is going to test you before your big, final breakthrough in Him is because He has to see if you got what it takes to actually make the grade in that specific calling for Him.
He will test your mettle out like they do in the army with all of their recruits. Pass this test and you will be finally promoted into God’s best for your life. Flunk this test, and you will either lose the call all together and then be forced to settle for God’s plan B for your life, or you will be demoted and set further back until you are ready to pass this kind of a test at a later date.
Now here are 4 very powerful and dramatic tests that God the Father had arranged for some of His people to pass back in both the Old Testament and New Testament of the Bible.
The first test I will show you, and this one was very severe, is what I call the obedience test. This specific test was given to Abraham way back in the beginning of the Bible in the Book of Genesis.
Most of you have heard of this test. God asked Abraham to put his son Isaac on an altar and then asked him to take a knife and kill his own son. As we all know, Abraham went as far as to actually tie his son down to the altar and had the knife in his hand ready to strike down on him to take his life, when all of a sudden God sends an angel down in the nick of time to stop him.
How many of us could actually pass such an extreme test today, especially in the type of world we now live in where you would be immediately prosecuted if you even tried to do such a thing. I personally do not think God would ever do this type of test in our current day and age due to the extreme dangers of it.
But the point to get is that God may actually arrange for a test to occur to test your actual allegiance and obedience to Him. We have another article in our site titled “Obedience to the Lord.” In this article, we give you all of the main verses from the Bible showing you the extreme importance that we fully obey every order and directive that we receive from the Lord in this life. If we cannot be fully obedient to the specific commands and leadings of the Holy Spirit, then God will not be able to use us in the actual callings that He has set up for our lives.
In the kind of world we now live in, this test will actually be hard for many to pass. The reason being is due to all of the material and lustful things that are out there competing for our time and attention. These material things will cause our flesh to want to try and act up, and once our flesh has been riled up, it will do everything it can to try and get its own way, even if it means disobeying God Himself.
That is why God will test you in this specific area – to see if you will have the strength and character in your personality to be able to override the desires of your flesh and ego, and be willing to obey God over all of your wants and desires for these material and lustful objects.
God will know where your jugular veins and weak spots will be on these kinds of tests, so He will probably arrange for these types of tests to target some of your weak and vulnerable spots, just like He did with Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his one and own only son at the time that this test was being set up.
God may ask you to give something or someone up. He may ask you to give up the job you are currently working at, or the person you are currently dating, as this person may not be the one that He has personally picked out to be your mate in this life. But whatever God may be asking you to do for Him, realize that this is an obedience test being sent your way and that you must fully obey the Lord with whatever He will be asking you to do for Him. If you do not obey His specific directive, and you choose to follow your own desires on these kinds of issues, then God will not be able to use you in the specific calling that He has set up for your life.
If you can’t or won’t obey God with this specific command, then God will question and doubt your ability to fully obey Him further on down the road with anything else that He may be asking you to do for Him.
Bottom line – God is our Shepherd, and we as His sheep are to fully follow Him in this life and every single directive and command that He will be giving us along the way. The Bible tells us that we are to be led by the Holy Spirit in this life – not by our own wants and our own desires.
This test right here will determine who gets promoted into their true callings in the Lord and who does not. Abraham passed his test and you saw what happened to him as a result. He became the father of many nations and his bloodline was used as the bloodline that brought our Savior Jesus Christ into our world so He could go to the cross and save all of us from our sins.
Here is the verse that will tell you what the ramifications were as a result of Abraham perfectly obeying the voice of God on being willing to sacrifice his son Isaac:
“In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have OBEYED My voice.” (Genesis 22:18)
If you want to enter into your true calling in the Lord, then get it settled right now in your mind and in your heart that you will fully obey the Lord with every specific thing that He will be asking you to do for Him in this life. If you can agree to do things God’s way rather than your own way in this life, then you will be promoted into God’s best for your life, and you can then proceed to leave your mark in this world in the specific calling that He will be setting up for your life.
Another type of test that God could pass your way right before your big breakthrough with Him is what I call the patience test. This is where you have done everything you have been asked to do, but now God is going to ask you to just sit and wait for the big breakthrough to occur.
A perfect example of this type of trying test in the Bible is the story of Moses and the parting of the Red Sea. No sooner does Moses rescue and deliver the Israelites from the Egyptians, that they are then brought before the Red Sea with nowhere else for them to go or turn to. The Promised Land is in the other side, but there is no way they can reach it unless God first parts the Red Sea.
And then what does God do next? Instead of immediately parting the Red Sea for all of them so they can quickly get to the other side, He causes all of them to sit and wait for awhile before He actually parts the Red Sea.
The children of Israel cannot move forward or else they will drown in the Red Sea. They cannot go backwards or else they wall fall back into slavery with the Egyptians, as the Egyptians are now starting to come back after them. They have no other choice but to just sit and wait for God to move to part the Red Sea.
The Bible does not say how long God made them wait before He parted the Red Sea. But we know it was long enough to really try their patience, as many of them started complaining to Moses about it. Some of them even went as far as stating they wanted to go back to Egypt, as they at least had food and shelter under the Egyptian rule.
This type of test could occur to some of you right before your big breakthrough with the Lord. What you will have to do is override your flesh and your own impatience, and simply rely on God’s peace through the Holy Spirit and God’s perfect timing as to when He will want to open up that door for you.
If you ever find yourself facing this kind of trying test, make sure that you do not let your impatience get the better of you and cause you to walk away from that door that you are sitting in front of – as that door could be opening up at anytime. Stay put right where God currently has you at, and force yourself to wait until that door either opens up for you to walk through, or God tells you to do something different.
Again, what would have happened in this story of Moses if they would not have waited for God to part that Red Sea? What would have happened to the Jewish people as a nation and as a people if they would have gone back into slavery with the Egyptians if they would not have waited for this miraculous event to occur with the Lord? The course of Jewish history could have been completely changed and altered forever if Moses would not have had enough patience to wait for God to part that Red Sea on the day that it actually occurred.
Your life is like a chessboard to the Lord. He is the One who will be making all of the major chess moves on your chess board. Not only must you fully rely on God to make these chess moves in your life, but you must also rely on His perfect timing as to when He will be making all of these specific chess moves. One wrong move, or one move made at the wrong time could cause your whole call in God to completely unravel and fall apart.
In my opinion, this next type of test may be the most trying and possibly the most severe. This is where God will be showing you what is on the other side of your true calling in Him. When God does this, He may show you what some of the obstacles, roadblocks, and opposition may end up being. He may show you exactly what you will have to face. This is where you will be shown all of the Goliaths and strongholds that you may have to face and engage with once you cross over into the actual calling.
A perfect example of this type of test has to be with what God did with the children of Israel just after He had got done rescuing them from the Egyptians in the story of Moses. Shortly after delivering them from the Egyptians, He brought them right up to their Promised Land. But instead of sending all of them immediately in, He sends in only 12 spies so they could first spy out the land so they could see exactly what they were going to have to face once they actually entered into this land.
And what happens next? 10 of the spies come back with a bad report. They come back telling the rest of the people that the people who dwell there were “strong,” that many of the cities were “fortified,” that it was a land that devoured its inhabitants, that all of the men they saw were of “great stature,” and that they were like grasshoppers in the face of these types of “giants.”
However, Joshua and Caleb, who were 2 of the 12 spies, came back with a different report. The saw the exact same things the other 10 spies saw, but they had a completely different outlook and perspective about all of it. They had just seen God miraculously deliver them from the Egyptian rule, so they knew God would have no problems in taking out the giants and strongholds they saw in this Promised Land.
However, as a result of these other 10 spies coming back with this bad report, this kindled the anger of God and caused Him to then pronounce a very severe judgment on all of them. He told these 10 spies that they and all of the other men over 20 years of age would not enter into this Promised Land. He said they would all wander in the desert for the next 40 years where they would then all eventually die out there.
However, since Joshua and Caleb had a different spirit about them and fully believed that God could take out all of these giants and strongholds, He tells them that both of them and all of the people under 20 years of age would be the ones who would be allowed to enter into the Promised Land – all because they had enough courage, faith, and belief in the Lord that He could give them the victories once they had crossed over and started to possess parts of the land that He wanted them to have for themselves.
Plain and simple, this was a faith and belief test. God showed them exactly what was waiting for them on the other side. And the test was – can they believe in God and His supernatural power to defeat the enemies and strongholds they would have to directly face – or will they want to turn around and go back into the desert, never giving God a chance to show them what He could miraculously do for them?
As we all know, these 10 spies flunked this test not only for themselves, but for the rest of the men and woman over 20 years of age. In the same way, God could test some of you with this same type of test. He will show you exactly what will be awaiting you on the other side once you cross over into your true calling for Him. He will show you the opposition, the giants, the strongholds, and the points of resistance you will have to directly face.
He will then sit back and watch your reaction to all of it. Will you fully believe that He can conquer and overcome all of these obstacles and roadblocks for you, or will you get scared and lose faith and belief in Him that He can overcome all of the roadblocks and obstacles that you are seeing?
All of the Israelites 20 years and older in the above story lost their one and only chance to enter into the Promised land – all simply because they could not muster up enough faith and belief in the Lord to fully conquer and overcome all of the points of opposition and resistance they initially saw in this land.
If you are ever faced with this kind of a severe test with the Lord, you will have to make a very big decision one way or the other. You will either have to fully believe that God is calling you to go through this door, and that He will then anoint you with His power to be victorious in this calling – or you will let fear and intimidation get the better of you, and you will then walk out on the call that God has set up for your life.
Joshua and Caleb ended up going into the Promised Land after the 40 years was up, and the Bible says that Joshua was able to conquer and gain full possession of every ounce of land that his foot had stepped on – all because he had enough faith and belief in God that He could this for him.
If God is no respecter of persons, and He was able to do this for Joshua and the rest of the Jewish people in this story, then God can still do the exact same thing for every born-again believer who will fully surrender to His call on their lives – and then be willing to have enough faith and belief in Him to enter into that call and take on all of the opposition and roadblocks they will end up facing down the road in that calling.
This next test is exactly what God the Father did with His Son Jesus. Right after Jesus gets baptized with the Holy Spirit in the Jordan River, God does something rather strange with Jesus. Instead of sending Jesus right of way into His three and half year miracle ministry and then eventually to the cross to save all of us, God sends His Son out into the desert to face a temptation test direct with the devil himself.
Why would God send His Son Jesus out in the desert to let the devil tempt Him with three specific temptations, knowing full well that He was going to pass this test anyway? And if He wanted to test Him, why this kind of a specific test?
The reason God tested His Son Jesus with this temptation test was because He had to see if Jesus would have fallen for any of these specific temptations by the devil. If He would have fallen for any one of them, He would have sinned against God the Father. And if He would have committed so much as one sin against His Father, then He would not have been able to go to the cross to save any of us.
One of the conditions of Jesus being able to go to the cross in human flesh form for all of us was that He had to be perfectly sin-free. One sin would have totally disqualified Him, and He then would not have been able to go to the cross to save all of us. Part of the conditions for this ultimate sacrifice for all of us was that it had to be a “perfect” sacrifice, which meant that Jesus had to be perfect in His human flesh form, meaning that He had to be completely sin-free.
That was why God had to specifically test Him on this issue, to see if He would fall and commit at least one sin. As we all know, Jesus passed this test with flying colors and the Bible says that He did not commit so much as one sin when He walked among us for those 33 years. As a result of not committing any sins, Jesus was perfectly qualified to go to the cross to save all of us.
In the same way, God may test some of you with this same kind of a sin test. The reason being is that He may want to test your resolve to stay out of any type of serious sin. Adultery, fornication, bribery, and the hunger and love for money could all lead to your ruination once you cross over into your true calling in the Lord. Look how many modern day ministries have been brought down by adultery, fornication, and the misuse of money and funds.
Just as God allowed Adam and Eve to be tested in the Garden of Eden, and His own Son Jesus to be tested in a desert setting with the devil, God may allow some of you to be tested on this same kind of issue.
Pass this sin test and do not succumb to any demonic temptations, and you will then be trusted by the Lord, and He will then promote you into your true calling for Him. Flunk this kind of a test, and you could completely lose your entire calling in the Lord, just like Adam and Eve managed to do in the Garden of Eden.
If by chance this kind of a test ever comes your way – take it very, very seriously, as there may not be any second chances for you if you flunk this kind of a test. This one is very serious.
If Jesus would have fallen for any one of those three specific temptations from the devil, He would have completely lost His entire calling in God, and He then would not have been able to go to the cross to save any of us. In the same way, you could lose your entire call in God if you succumb to any of these temptations.
There is obviously always full forgiveness and full restoration for you with the Lord if you confess and repent of these sins, but what you could lose is that open door into the heart of your true call for Him due to the consequences that may result from you falling into a heavier type of sin. Many major men of God have never been able to get back their big, huge, successful TV ministries once they lost them due to falling into these types of heavier sins.
If you will notice in the above 4 examples, these were all deal-breaking tests. When the tests were passed, these people then went into the heart of their true calls with the Lord. When they were flunked, like the children of Israel managed to do with God the Father on the Promised Land issue, they completely lost the divine destinies that God had originally set up for all of them to walk into.
This is why these tests should be taken very, very seriously if you ever happen to have one of them come your way right as you are waiting for your big breakthrough to occur with the Lord in the calling that He has personally set up for your life.
These types of tests can also be brought your way by the Lord at any time during your life’s journey with Him. From time to time, the Bible says that the Lord will test the righteous.
Again, when these types of tests do come your way, make sure that you see them for what they are and do your best to pass them with flying colors. If you do, then God will continue to bring you up higher in your divine destiny with Him. Flunk these tests or do poorly with them, and God may have to hold you back for awhile until you can see what He is trying to teach you and show you.
Besides the above 4 types of tests, there could be other types of tests. Some of you could be tested on your ability to forgive what others may have done to hurt you in your past. The Bible is very clear in that we have to forgive everyone who has ever trespassed against us in this life and that if we do not, then God will not forgive us of our own trespasses. And if you cannot get your own personal sins forgiven with the Lord, then you may have a very hard time in walking out your own true call with Him since it will obviously damage your personal relationship with Him.
We hope this article will serve as good heads-up for any of you who will either face this kind of testing in your near future, or if by chance you are already in the middle of this type of testing right now due to the close proximity of entering into your true calling in the Lord.
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