8/25/2021 – Pastor Brian’s Blog –
If I remember correctly, it usually happened on a Saturday morning while I was watching Mighty Mouse or Roy Rogers. Suddenly the TV screen would change, and you would hear a man say… “This is a test. For the next sixty seconds, this station will conduct a test of the Emergency Broadcasting System. This is only a test.” And then you would hear an obnoxious sound for the next sixty seconds.
When I was in grammar school, we used to have a test that would prepare us from an atomic bomb attack. The alarm would go off and then we would all get under our desks so that the atomic bomb would not kill us. Under our desks?!? Are you kidding me!?!?!
To this day tests still haunt me. Last Sunday I mentioned at church that my worst dreams are when I find myself back in school. Usually, I do not recognize the school, very rarely are there people in the dream that I know, but one theme threads its way into each dream: I never know where my classroom is, I don’t have my homework done, and I’m looking for someone to help me pass my test. I know that this probably sounds very insignificant to you but for me… I am never as relieved as I am when I wake up from that dream!!
But whether we like it or not, tests are a part of life. God even sent tests to some of His best friends… Sometime later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” (Genesis 22:1-2)
Now as you think through this story, please understand that God never intended for Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on that altar. God never asked men to sacrifice their children; it was pagan gods that asked their followers to do that. Although Abraham did not know it at the time, God would only expect one person to sacrifice their son and that would be Himself.
This test was for Abraham, not for God. God knew that Abraham would pass the test, but God wanted Abraham to create a testimony. Our greatest testimonies are not created during our personal devotions or in a church service (as important as those are). Our greatest testimonies aren’t created when our life is going exactly the way we want it to go. Our greatest testimonies are created when God puts us to the test.
We have been at Center Barnstead Christian church going on 22 years. When we first came to Barnstead it wasn’t the fact that we came to Barnstead that created my testimony; it was when God tested me that gave me a testimony. God told us to come, yet no one in my family wanted to. God told Judy and I to come, even though I had to take close to a 50% cut in pay. God told us to come, knowing that I had already informed Him that I had no interest in becoming a pastor. Following God’s instruction in obedience is when my testimony was created. It is the tests that God lays before us that show us if we are truly “all in” and when we pass that test, it gives us a testimony, it gives us a great opportunity to show off God.
Have you ever wondered what would have happened to Abraham if he had said to God, “No one else has ever done it this way before… so I think I will pass on this one, God.” What if Abraham told God, “I don’t have an extra son to give away, so I am not going to do it.” What would have happened if Abraham had started the test but quit before he finished it? Abraham would have robbed God of the opportunity to provide a ram in the brush.
It very well may have meant that James 2:23 would never have been placed into the Bible… And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. (James 2:23)
When it comes to the tests of life, we need to remember that not only does God have the answers to the test; He is the answer to the test! Whatever God asks of you, it is already taken care of. Long before creation in eternity past, God anticipated and provided for everything you and I will ever need. We just need to give God the chance to prove Himself faithful in our lives so that we continually have that new and fresh testimony to tell others about Him.
In my dreams I am always worried and stressed about not being ready to take the test. Yet in real life, God has prepared me for every test He brings my way. All I have to do is take it and He will do everything needed so that I can pass it.
This is a test and for the next few days, months, or years, God will conduct a test of our Spiritual Growth System. Don’t miss it because through it, God will create a new testimony for you to share.