In the post, It’s not a Test, It’s a Battle. We read through scriptures that confirmed the fact that it is not God who tests us. The scriptures revealed that we are tested when we give into temptation. We also read through scripture that showed the enemy of our souls who has come to kill, steal, and destroy. It is this enemy who is the author of tribulations, not God.
In this post, we’ll look at another cause for the trials and tribulations in our lives, disobedience.
God has given us ways to enjoy protection from the enemy. He guides us by His Word and through His Holy Spirit. However, if we refuse to do what He says, despite the many, many chances He gives us to turnaround, what He says will happen, will happen. The resulting trials and tribulations are not a result of God trying to test us, nor is it His way of saying, “I knew you couldn’t do it.” No, it’s a result of our unwillingness to change. Let’s look at scriptures that confirm this word.
Hebrews 12:1-11 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race set out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not take lightly the discipline of the Lord, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you. 6 For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastises every son He receives.” 7 Endure suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you do not experience discipline like everyone else, then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9 Furthermore, we have all had earthly fathers who disciplined us, and we respected them. Should we not much more submit to the Father of our spirits and live? 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a short time as they thought best, but God disciplines us for our good, so that we may share in His holiness. 11 No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields a harvest of righteousness and peace to those who have been trained by it.
Many people read these scriptures and think that God just picks them out of a crowd and selects them for discipline, that it is now their turn to be disciplined. Many also believe that the discipline in unprovoked and often undeserved. Discipline is correction, and it is a result of wrongdoing.
Our struggle is against sin, not God. God is not the source of sin. If we allow our actions to be motivated by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and live a pride-filled life, that’s not God testing our mettle. That is us yielding to temptation.
God is faithful and loves us. He knows the consequence of sin is death, and He corrects those who are His. God attempts to get us back on track by disciplining us. Correction can feel like a test, but the moment we stop, turn around, and go back to doing what we know, what we heard that still small voice in our hearts say, our circumstances will begin to change. Again, we are drawn away by our own lusts and enticed.
Now, we may still face the consequences of the disobedience, and the resulting sin we fell into, but again, that’s not God. The effects of sin may take time to unravel, but God is ever faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness that resulted from that sin.
Let’s look at one of the examples in the scriptures that outlines how a blessed person conducts himself.
Psalm 1:1- 3 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
or set foot on the path of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the Law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, yielding its fruit in season, whose leaf does not wither, and who prospers in all he does.
The blessing of the Lord is enjoyed if. If you don’t walk in the council of the wicked, if you don’t stand in the way of sinners, if you don’t sit in the seat of mockers, and if you delight in the law of the Lord and meditate on that law day and night, you are blessed.
If you choose to do what other sinners are doing, and you are not blessed but get the results of that sin, that’s not God testing you.
If you choose to take council from wicked people, follow that council, and then receive the wicked results of that council, that’s not God trying you to make you better.
If you choose to live like people who live sinful lives and receive the results of a sinful life, that’s not God’s attempt to make you a stronger Christian.
If you choose not to meditate on God’s Word, if you choose not to know Him and how He operates, and you continue to be deceived, and not enjoy the promises of God, that’s not evidence that God’s promises are not true or that He is testing your endurance.
These words were written in the previous post, but I think they bear repeating. God is not mad at us. God is not cruel. God doesn’t put temptations in front of us to see how well we’ll react to them. God doesn’t try to break us. He doesn’t remove Himself from us, stand back, and watch us try to figure out how to please Him.
God disciplines us when we yield to temptation and refuse to repent. God’s discipline is not arbitrary or sadistic.
Deuteronomy 8:5 So know in your heart that just as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.
Proverbs 3:11,12 My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD, and do not loathe His rebuke; 12 for the LORD disciplines the one He loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.
Revelation 3:19 Those I love, I rebuke and discipline. Therefore, be earnest and repent.
Let’s end this study by reading scriptures that reveal God’s heart for us.
Ephesians 1:3-14 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
When we think about and reflect on who God is and what He does, let’s let our focus and meditation be on His goodness, and His love for us, rather than assigning Him as the cause of our hurts, failures, and adverse circumstances. And, when we do fall into temptation, let’s be quick to go to Him, talk to Him about it, and to repent.
1 John 1:7-10 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar, and His word is not in us.