Becoming a disciple: Times of testing

Scripture – Deuteronomy 13:1-4

1“Suppose there are prophets among you or those who dream dreams about the future, and they promise you signs or miracles, 2 and the predicted signs or miracles occur. If they then say, ‘Come, let us worship other gods’—gods you have not known before—3 do not listen to them. The Lord your God is testing you to see if you truly love him with all your heart and soul. 4 Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.

Observation

God hates hypocrisy and false piety. His son was not crucified for a ‘moralistic therapeutic deism’ (a do-good, feel-good, there’s-a-God-out-there-somewhere religion). He cares about the heart. So much so, he will test us in order to give us opportunities to choose him. He did this thousands of years ago and he does it today. He doesn’t test us to make us miserable nor does he secretly want us to fail. The tests from God are designed for us to pass.

Why does God test us?

God tests us so that we will know the state of our own hearts and have to make decisions to trust in him rather than the people or things that would lead us astray. We are continually bombarded with temptations from the evil one, who absolutely wants us to fall. God prepares us for such temptations by testing and purifying our hearts so that we will not fall when temptation comes our way.

Application

How are we supposed to keep our hearts and our attitudes right and ready for any tests that come?

“The Lord your God is testing you to see if you truly love him with all your heart and soul. Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.”

  1. Serve only God.
  2. Fear only God.
  3. Obey God’s commands.
  4. Listen to God’s voice.
  5. Cling to God.

Prayer

Jesus, I invite you to continue to test and purify my heart. I love you with all my heart and soul. You know that. I know that. As you test my motives and attitudes, I pray that those around me would also know it. I want to be a living testimony and an ambassador of Christ. Help me to serve you, fear you, obey you, listen to you and cling to you. Thank you for loving me enough to take me as I am and for loving me so much to help me grow. Let me be the man of God you have created me to be today.

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