Monday, April 14

A time of testing

The LORD your God is testing you to find out if you really love him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 13:3 GW

Change, that product of our own human desires or God's driven purpose for us, happens in life. It is too often turbulent and often seems like a 'crap shoot' in the scheme of things. Sometimes it is unwished for, sometimes forced, and never without a host of other things that need to change with it.

They say that faith without works is dead and works without faith is nothing. I would add to that, faith without testing will blow like chaff in the wind. And this is where the church is most deficient in its teachings.

In the military, the whole point of bootcamp (at least in my day) was to break the individual down to basics and then rebulid them into an efficent and effective sailor/solider for the rigors of military life. That life where split second decisions can give you the option of living or dying. Everything is changed; from the language used to describe basic objects (bathroom is called the Head, for example), a different way of thinking, and a multitasking ability to handle two or three life or death situations all at once.

In the Christian faith, there are few it seems who are willing to go through this testing, or who fail to dig in full heartily to the changing process. They are too often afraid that they will lose the 'fun' in life, rather than realize that they will learn new ways to have that 'fun'. It is the core that changes, the core that we have sinful and self-serving from birth. When the core becomes salvation proofed, then the outward appearances change. Then we begin to testify without saying a word.

With the windstorms of change that are happening in my life, I am forced more and more to my knees. Not in request mode, where I list the worries and the needs before the White Throne of God, but rather in prayerful consideration of this powerful, holy, and righteous God who has called me His son. What can He do for me doesn't come across my mind as much as how will this testing glorify Him?

I would love to have a peaceful day, rejoined with the dreams of a future gone and a hope lost, but that doesn't seem to be what will happen in this time of trials. So I can be embittered to God, as I have been in the past, or harken to hear His voice proclaiming that He has a plan 'not to harm, but to bless" me.

Change is too often good, but is always hard when undergoing the change. To give oneself willing to another that seems bend to destroy you is a very foolish thing to do. But, when you realize that the One changing you has nothing but the future in mind, you can dig into the process with full hearted expectation.

But it is always someone else who causes change in our life.

Who will you entrust with overseeing such times in your life?

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