What are God’s tests like? Tests determine what you learned and how you can apply what you know. Do you like tests? I know I don’t because of the possibility that I could fail. How do you pass a test? As a public-school teacher, I would say to listen to what your teacher teaches and take good notes, know all the material in the required reading, and take the time to study your notes and reading material. One time I gave the final exam out to my students to use as a study guide. You know, most of them never studied or bothered to look at my study guide, so many failed. When they found out how easy it would have been to get an “A,” they were upset with themselves for not putting forth an effort to study. God gave us the Bible to study and learn from. Are you reading and meditating about how you can apply God’s teaching to your life?
Do you remember getting your driver’s license? You studied the driving book front to back because if you didn’t know the rules, you would have an accident. You pass the written test, but then you must take the driving test. I must admit, I failed the driving test twice, even though the driving teacher let me use the little car I practiced in. I finally passed using my friend’s colossal chevy. God is merciful and compassionate toward us; even so, He will test us to see if we can apply what we know. Our Christian driving test is through the trials of life to see how we apply the Word of God. Did you pass the first time, or did you have to go through the troubles again before you passed?
What are God’s tests like?
The Bible is your reading material, and your Bible teacher will tell you what to know and study to pass God’s tests. All we need to do is memorize the material in preparation for the test. The following few Bible passages give us an idea of what God tests for. God gives instructions, which He calls a law, command, statutes, judgments, etc., all are recorded in the Bible. He asks that we obey what He tells us to do; if we don’t obey, it is a sin. Not all instructions are for us today; for example, God said that the Israelites were to gather only enough manna to feed their family for that day. Exodus 16:4 states, “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not.’” But many Israelites did not obey God’s instructions and failed the test. Are you walking according to God’s instructions?
God Tests Our Obedience
Then in Exodus 20:1-17, God gives Moses the Ten Commandments. Note all the promises of success that God gives if you obey these commandments. And God spoke all these words, saying, 2I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
(1) 3“You shall have no other gods before me.
(2) 4You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
(3) 7“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
(4) 8“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
(5) 12“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
(6) 13“You shall not murder.
(7) 14“You shall not commit adultery.
(8) 15“You shall not steal.
(9) 16“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
(10) 17“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”
Exodus 20:20 states, “Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.’” Can you imagine if everyone would obey these ten commandments? Do you think we would have a problem with crime? Jeremiah 9:5-7 describes our present society, “Everyone deceives his neighbor, and no one speaks the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves committing iniquity. 6Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit, they refuse to know me, declares the LORD. 7Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: “Behold, I will refine them and test them, for what else can I do, because of my people?”
God tests our hearts and minds.
I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. ‒1Chronicals 29:17a
Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous— you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God! ‒Psalm 7:9
Prove me, O LORD, and try me; test my heart and my mind. ‒ Psalm 26:2
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? 10“I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds. ‒ Jeremiah 17:9-10
Ask God to search your heart and mind and to show you where you do not love Him or others well. Ask if you are being patient, kind, envious, boastful, arrogant, rude, insisting on your way, irritable, resentful, etc. (1Corinthians 13:4- 5). Ask Him to show you where you do not love Him with all your heart and mind (Matthew 22:37).
God Tests Our Faith using Trials.
God uses trials and hardships to test us. 1Peter 4:12 tells us, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” And the passage most Christians know, James 1:2-4, tells us, “Count it all joy, my brothers [and sisters], when you meet trials of various kinds, 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” And James 1:12 states, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” Will you still love God even when you fail the test and must retake it?
In 2Corinthians 13:5, the Apostle Paul tells us to “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! Do you have Jesus’ attitude of looking out for other people’s interests before your own (Philippians 2:4-5)? Are you a servant like Jesus (Philippians 2:7)? Are you willing to lay down your life for your friends (John 15:13)? If you can’t answer “yes” to these questions, then ask Jesus to come into your life and forgive your sins and help you be more like Him.
The end goal of the tests throughout our life is to be like God. Ephesians 4:20-24 states, “But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” We renew our minds through prayer and applying the Word of God to our lives.
This post was a tough post to write, and I could have written more. If you have more to add, please leave a comment and share what you know. God gave us the Bible to study and learn from. Are you reading and meditating about how you can apply God’s teaching to your life? BIBLE means Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. Rely on the all-powerful and loving God to help you and be with you through the trials of life.
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