I will show you in the Word of God how and why God tests his people. When He tests us, He wants to show us where we are at. God tests us in our faithfulness towards Him. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much” (Luke 16:10). No man can bless you; no church can bless you; it is your faithfulness that brings the blessing. He will not put you in the much if you’re not faithful in the little, in obedience, and in trust. In Abraham’s life, we see God blessed him with provision. Look at the ram in the thicket that appeared after he passed the test (Genesis 22:13). Because of that, God was called Jehovah Jireh, my provider. See, provision always follows obedience. Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness (Genesis 15:6). It could be a hard thing that God is asking you to do, but look at Abraham! He obeyed God. And what did God do? He stopped the hand of Abraham and replaced what he was willing to give up, what may have become an idol, what may have become a little god to him. God did a deep work in Abraham: He added much more faith than he could get stirring it up on his own. He learned to trust God. 

God will test you in rejection or hiddenness. Nobody hears you; nobody sees you or considers what you are saying. Just like He did with Joseph. There are always seeds of greatness that God has for His people, but there is always a test before the dream comes true, before the prophecy comes to pass. Let’s check the story of Joseph (Genesis 37). He had a dream, and He told everybody. His brothers rejected him. His earthly father brought him a coat as confirmation of his dream. The passage in Genesis 39 tells us about being in Potiphar’s house for 10-11 years and in prison for two years after God told him his future and gave him a glimpse of his future… the betrayal (Joseph’s brothers). Jesus was also betrayed by someone close to him, but he loved all the way through it, so he did not change. He did not sin or get revenge. We know our father will deal with all these things. He guarded his heart. Jesus knew about the betrayal even prior to the last kiss of Judas. Persecution, jealousy: Joseph got tested in all of these areas. The bigger the test, the bigger the call… God is looking for Josephs! God is not looking for pew warmers! 

How about the murmuring and complaining test? God may have given you all you need, and then you are still complaining. God is not in a hurry. He is in your life to bring you into the character of Christ! Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 10:1-17. We are all drinking from the same spiritual rock and eating the meat, which is Christ! If we are having the same drink to drink, why are some just complaining about it? God is working in us to fulfill His purpose and plan, and His plan is to work with us and in us to be the light of the world. But we need to have the character of Christ. How does God know about your character? Through the tests you pass or fail. So, He really knows that all the tests, most of the time, are for you to know how your character and your fruit need to be growing. Some people, when they go through a test, are like wild calves jumping and kicking over the stalls. They want to skip all the process and all the tests and just go straight into ministry because of the lust for the charismatic idolatry that has plagued the body of Christ. But the mature one will be led out of the test and will pass, looking like Christ! When God releases us out of the stalls, we will have endurance, we will have power, and we will run the race steadfastly. 

That is why we will be led by fire by night and cloud by day (Exodus 13:21-22). The fire brings the heat; the clouds bring the water for the seeds, to prepare the ground. The fire helps us to see what is going on, brings light to us, and it points the way. The fire burns things out that cause us to fail the tests! The leading through the tests is no longer from the outside, through a man, or through a law, but through the Holy Spirit, through the flame of love, Christ in us, and we are being changed from glory to glory! The kingdom of God expands through the fire! Joseph passed the test with Potiphar’s wife. Probably, he was in the jail thinking, I did not sleep with her, but I ended up here anyhow. Imagine how he felt for 11 years, serving faithfully, doing his best, so thankful for being brought to a place like a palace to live and for being bought by such a distinguished couple (Potiphar and his wife). Joseph suffered for righteousness’s sake. Paul said, “If you suffer with Him, you also will be glorified with Him!” (Romans 8:17). Joseph received so much more glory in the pit, in the jail, and in Potiphar’s house! Then God exalted him to the possibility of where the dream he had would come to full fruition.

  “There hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). 

The gifts in Joseph made room for him (Proverbs 18:16), and God set him on the side of Pharaoh and made him ruler over all of Egypt – he became second in command. This is a shadow of us and Christ. When Joseph’s brothers came to bow before him, he forgave them and said, “What you meant for evil, God meant for good” (Genesis 50:20). He saved the nation of Israel, and he saved them from famine, then all things worked together for good (Romans 8:28). But God did prepare Joseph’s heart. What if he did not use all these things to create in him a heart fully submitted to the Father? Christ fulfilled His purpose and now sits on the right hand of the Father. We will all bow down and confess Jesus Christ is Lord. 

“If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: is Lord!” (2 Timothy 2:12); “And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:17). 

God tempts no man. If a man is tempted, it is because they have lust inside of them. God took the people from Egypt, but Egypt never came out of them. We are supposed to be partakers of His divine nature. Jude 12 – 16 talks about wolves from the pulpit preaching lust, and many are falling into these influencers: social media platforms and trying to be the next big name or star.  Many have a title, but there is no water inside of them. Jude called them clouds without water, false coverings with no water, no oil; nothing is pouring into the Body of Christ! False wind is a storm, a cloud without any water. Trees with no fruit. People going from church to church looking for someone to tell them what they want to hear. “These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage” (Verse 16). A generation walking after the lust of being seen or being famous and being tossed by everything that the world has to offer! 

People in the wilderness were complaining, and complaining is like saying, “God, you don’t know what you’re doing!” If Jesus had to be tested, so will we! Let’s read Matthew 4:1-11. Satan is very strategic. He knows when to come, and he waits for us to reach our weak point. He waited on Eve for the right moment. He waited on Jesus. And he will wait on you to come to you at the right time. In the desert, Jesus was tested on His identity. On fame and fortune and provision (pride of life). On trust. On power. But he responded back to him, saying IT IS WRITTEN…It was like He was saying, “Don’t use the Word against me because I know the voice of My Father.” We now can say, “Satan, do not tempt the sons of God,” because now I am the sons and daughters of God! He knew the Word, and He was the Word. Satan quoted scripture, but that word was not breathed from God. Jesus Christ knew satan could not give him anything because He already had it all. He just needed to fulfill His call, His plan, and His purpose, just like Joseph, just like you and me. 

Some people will find their identity in their own community because they are looking for titles. Jesus never fell into the temptation of being the Rabbi of all Rabbis. But so many don’t pass the test because they would rather embrace their lust of the flesh than embrace the fire to burn it out. None of this was planted by the Lord and has to be uprooted! Jesus was not the only one that did not bow down to satan. He has a Church, a remnant, that will not bow down to the government of satan. To be tempted and to be tested is almost the same, but it has a bit of different meaning. Tempting is using things around you to make you do something. Testing is examination and evaluation! Testing is not because God is upset with you. God was testing Joseph. Satan was tempting Jesus. When we have a test, you need to know the answers, right? You already know if God has written His Word on the tablets of your heart! Satan did not have the Word on his heart. It was still on paper. That is the same way religious people live: by the letter and by their law, not even understanding what they are reading. Then, in the end, they try to use it against us, so they are indirectly tempting God. Just like satan did to Jesus, just like the pharisees and the religious spirit of His time does. Now, this will be us! Satan will use both of these, religious people and the world, to try and make us follow him. 

When we go through the tests and the trials, it is just a way for us to see that we need more: more fire, more oil, and more humbleness! Process builds character! Satan wanted to sift Peter (Luke 22: 31-34). Peter failed his test, but in the end, the character of Christ was built in him! The trial of Peter’s faith produced so much glory in him. When God was done with Peter, people wanted to be near him because even his shadow might heal them (Acts 5:12-32). That is notable influence, not from the flesh of man. If we pass or fail, God is still working things in us. James 1:1-22 tells us to let patience during the test perfect its work, or we cannot receive it because of our lust, and to want nothing else! If anybody lacks wisdom or the fear of the Lord, ask God, and He will give it to you! We cannot waiver during our testing, or we will be tossed by the winds of our own lusts, false doctrines, and false gospel. But…”Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” (Verse 12).

The Word does not say IF he is tried, but WHEN he is tried: When we are tempted by the devil and overcome, we shall receive the crown of life! Jesus is our Promised Land! The tests and trials of the Lord are working patience. It is creating in us the new man in Christ. Do not despise small beginnings; be faithful in the little during your trials! When Jesus is done with us and has His way with us, He brings us life! People want what God has, but they want to receive it the way they want to. The world can give you a lot of things, and the world can take them away. When God gives you something, no man can take it away, but to preserve it, you will need to go through the test to learn how to receive it and to keep it, just like Joseph. When you are a teacher, you don’t help your students during a test. Nobody is around to help them, and the teacher is far away and silent. Then He puts us in front of the tempter to test us. So that means that when we are being tested, God steps aside and watches us to see what we will do. Also, that means that there is nobody around to help, which means we are tested alone individually. So that goes back to “which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you,” mentioned in Philippians 4:9.  When you are tested, be a doer of the Word. It is WRITTEN! Satan, you have nothing in me! The test we go through is just to show us what we still have inside of us, things that need to burn up! We don’t know what we have until that impurity is brought up to our face! “O Lord, I will never deny you,” Peter said…But during his test, God showed him, “Peter, now you see you. Let me clean you.” That brought much humility and submission to a higher power, that is, the Holy Spirit. If Peter was ready, and he thought he was, do not think of yourself more highly than you ought to (Romans 12:3).

The testing of the Lord is so that we should be as first fruits of the sons of His promise, of His power, and of His eternal life! This is the promise! And we have a God that discerns our hearts and minds and behavior! Let us pass these tests so He won’t hold anything back from us! Let us be slow in complaining! Let’s receive the engrafted word which is able to save our souls! Let us be doers and not hearers of the Word of God only! Trust the Lord during the testing and acknowledge Him all the time! And He will bring you the promises that He has given you, that He has entrusted for you to have! All the promises He has given, only God can fulfill! God tests us until we are able to handle it. God tests us, and He does not tempt us with evil, but He will make us face the evil to see if evil still has a place in us! That’s the difference! 

“Father, we want to be ready to face every situation. Father, pour out your grace during our tests. Don’t hold anything from us! Help us to pass every test and trial that comes from You. We are a holy people set apart, ordained to look like the faithful vine! Trim us and fill us! Right now, God, we just ask you to give us all the strength during this time of testing and wilderness! When you question God, when you doubt, when you complain, don’t ask God, “Why,” but tell Him, “Yes!” How does a short journey turn into 40 years? The promises were still there, but during the preparation, they failed! We don’t want to wait until we die to receive what we can receive now! Everything the King has, we can get right here and now, but we need to sit in the fire and not run from it. This is the only way to pass the test! We surrender, Father, to your leading and to your ways. Thank you, Father!” 

Shane W Roessiger

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