Putting God to the Test

by Tim Groves - May 2, 2011

The teen years are full of tests. But sometimes it’s our job to give a test. God wants us to test Him! Why? How?

Recently my daughter took her college ACT test. Before that she took a test for her driving permit. And before that … Well, you get the point. It seems that teens face lots of tests.

But as we soon discover, tests don’t go away after we finish school. After school the tests we have are more practical than written.

The Bible has many stories about men and women being tested. Daniel and his young friends passed when they were faced with decisions to obey God or man. King Saul failed when he did the opposite of what God told him to do. King David passed most of his tests but failed some big ones too.

But have you ever thought about testing God? The Bible does talk about doing this. It actually encourages you and me to do that!

God says to prove what He says

In the book of Malachi, God talks about tithing. A tithe is a tenth of our increase. Today our increase usually comes in the form of money from a job. In this passage God says to faithfully give Him these tithes. But God also says to “‘try Me now in this,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it’” (Malachi 3:10). God wants you and me to prove He means what He says, to put Him to the test!

But proving God goes beyond tithing. It includes doing all that God says to do and not to do.

When God taught the Israelites His way of life, He did not force them to live that way. Rather, God told them to choose how they were going to live. He told them that obeying Him would bring blessings and life, but disobeying Him would bring curses and death (Deuteronomy 28:1-68). But even then, God encouraged them to make the right choice. “Therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). And again, God pleaded with His chosen people to live His way so “that it may go well with you … when you do what is good and right” (Deuteronomy 12:28).

Today, you and I are God’s chosen people. And God wants us to live His way of life so we will have a good life now—and forever!

Blessings will overtake you

In Deuteronomy 28:2 God makes an incredible statement about blessings not just coming our way, but literally overtaking us!

Have you ever been out in the yard and heard rain coming your way? You try to run for shelter, but the rain overtakes you. In the same way God says that good things will seemingly just shower upon you at times. Now this doesn’t mean that we’ll never experience difficult times, but there will be so much more good than bad in our lives when we follow God.

You must put God to the test

Many of us have grown up hearing about God’s ways. But there comes a time when you must take what you’ve learned and put it into practice.

Several years ago I was assigned to go on a business trip to Arizona. My company would pay for me, and I could pay for my wife to come along too. We were excited about having a mini vacation. But at the last minute I found that one of the meetings was going to be on the Sabbath, the day God says to “do no work” (Exodus 20:10).

I prayed that God would work things out so we could still go. Then I told my boss I couldn’t attend that particular meeting, fully confident God would be with me. But someone else was sent in my place.

So, did God fail me by not working this out?

A couple of years went by. I was working for another company. A random drawing was held and my name was picked. It was an all-expense-paid cruise to the Bahamas for my wife and me!

No, I didn’t make that trip to Arizona. But at a time when I didn’t see it, a better blessing overtook me. God didn’t fail me. He just had me wait for something better.

You must choose

At some point in your life you must decide if you are going to choose God’s way of life or not. It can’t be your parents’ religion or your friends’ religion. Your actions must show that it’s your religion.

And when you decide to obey God, don’t compromise or be afraid to stand up for His ways. Remember, when you choose to do what’s right, you put God to the test. So prove for yourself that His ways work. Put God to the test!

Tim Groves is a member of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association. He and his wife, Teresa, along with their four children, live in South Carolina. 

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A Word to the Wise

by Erica Bennett - April 29, 2011