When our family were quite young, we were relatively financially challenged. One day I was asking God for provision and that afternoon as I walked out of the town library I saw a wad of money lying on the ground. It was $500, which was a lot in those days. The devil immediately said “Surely I have provided for you, says the Lord.” But I knew better and took it to the Police.
The devil was tempting me but God was testing me. Most of us have convictions that we think are to unshakable to doubt and too strong to break. Then the examiner comes, to ask questions of us and we find out is what our true convictions are. I have found that all the decorations we make in a time of peace have to be tested in a time of war. Testing is something that is done to ascertain the quality of something or to see how it behaves under strain. Spiritual testing is ultimately a test of our faith in God’s Word and His character- it’s about how well we know Him.
We sat our school tests alone with the teacher saying nothing, although we believe they wished us well. Jesus was tested while He was alone in the wilderness. You will be tested when you are alone in the world, alone at home or feeling alone at church or in need. When David overcame Goliath in the valley, he walked to the battle, all by himself (1Sa 17:40-48). He didn’t know the armor of Saul but he did know the Lord of hosts. Sometimes we don’t have an army behind us or even a friend with us and we have to stand by ourselves. Years later at a town called Ziglag, David’s men threatened to kill him because they had lost their families but David turned to the Lord for help. It’s nice when people stand with you but there will come a time when you have to encourage yourself in the Lord. This was the last test before David was made king. God knew he was not ready to be king, if he needed people’s encouragement, before he was able to do the right thing. Unless we learn to stand with God in the test of battle, alone if necessary, there may be a time when we won’t stand at all.
Friend, the Lord tests us in order to promote us. In fact you need to know that God will never test you till He knows you have the knowledge and the capacity to pass the test. Fortunately the knowledge of God we need is not gained from learning more but leaning more. That means that it is not what you know but Who you know, that will get you through the test. He knows you can stand today – you don’t have to cave in, because He knows you know Him well enough to pass the test.