Friday, August 14, 2009

Faith Tested

1 Peter 4:12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful ...
... Dear brothers, do not be surprised, as if it was something strange, if your faith is tested as by fire:

Before I left for my business trip the Lord told me clearly that I would be tested. I didn't really think about it much but when I heard his voice I almost instantly prayed for help, strength and that I wouldn't let him down. I asked the Lord which parts of this I should tell you and which not to, basically, what's the point he would have me tell you today?

Here are the important things to cover:

1. Our faith will be tested in this life right up till the very end.

2. Satan knows very well what our weaknesses are and just because you haven't been tested in awhile doesn't mean he's forgotten about you or your weaknesses, he just lies back in wait for another good time to test you.

3. The flesh never gets stronger in its ability to resist sin. The body we live in is absolutely corrupt and always will be to the very end. Proof? Jude 1:23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

4. The Lord is faithful to both warn us before and help us during our trials. We were never told to charge into the world alone and conquer this life through our own power. This past few days was a potent display of how if the Lord does not deliver us, we will not be delivered, but we have to ASK for help. We ARE PART of this great drama here on earth. The Lord expects us to engage our spirits and willpower in the fight, not just let everything happen willy nilly and say in the end "well it was the Lord's will" when you did nothing to engage in the fight.

5. ASK. The Lord has established laws in the universe that cannot be violated by either side of the fight. If you ASK for help before, during and after the battle (whatever it is) then the Lord has LEGAL authority to step in and pull you out of the firey trial when it gets too hot for you to handle. Everything in this universe operates by legal authority. When Satan stands before the throne of God accusing us and asking why the Lord reached into our situation and did whatever it was he did for us that he did NOT do for someone else, our lawyer in heaven can reply back to the accuser that we ASKED for help. It was our WILL to be helped in our time of need. The flesh and the spirit are at war with each other, which is to say we are at war with ourselves and the enemy and the world.

Matt 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

James 4:2You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

The Lord bailed me out of another fiery trial. I did ask for help before and during my trial, and I received help. The common theme here with what has been written on this blog for months now is we have to ask continually, pray always, pray without ceasing, meditate on his words day and night.

Our God is faithful. He does not treat us as our sins/weaknesses/failures deserve. He helps us in our time of need both for the sake of his own name and glory as well as for our sake.

The lesson learned by this brother over the past days is that the battle is never over. If you have been walking strong in the Lord for months and start thinking wow, this is going really well, be careful that you don't fall:

1 Corinthians 10:12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!

This is war. We have a great commanding general :-). He came through for me again, which means he is there for you as well. Be encouraged today, our God still speaks to his people and answers prayer. Keep the faith, grace and peace