I was thinking about times I’ve invited people to dinner and tried a new recipe. I almost never do that, simply because it stresses me out so. What if it doesn’t turn out? What if they don’t like it? I’ve always tried new recipes on my family or close friends first because I know they’ll be honest with me if they don’t like it. Walt usually says something sweet like, “It’s ok, but don’t make it again!” No, when I have company over, the only reason they wouldn’t like what I cook is if they’re just picky eaters. My recipes are tried and true.
Well, God also tests us to prepare us for what He needs us to do. He tests our heart, our character, gets rid of pride and selfishness, teaches us the importance of forgiveness. I was listening to a message the other day on Joseph and how God tested him and wrote these verses down from Psalm 105:17-19 NKV; He sent a man before them—Joseph—who was sold as a slave. They hurt his feet with fetters, He was laid in irons. Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the Lord tested him. Verse 19 in NLT says it like this; Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character.
God gave Joseph a dream alright, but Joseph had what I like to call a naughty,haughty spirit. In order for God to use him, he had to go through tests to see how he’d respond to the pressures of life, to work out some serious flaws. Don’t believe me? Look at the young Joseph who unwisely told his brothers about how they bowed down to him in the dream, and compare that to the tested Joseph when his brothers found out he was alive and he wept and kissed them all (Genesis 45:15).
Perhaps you’ve received a dream or call on your life, a promise God has made to you and you’re wondering why it hasn’t happened yet. The length of time between the promise and it’s manifestation is determined by how well you pass your tests. God just doesn’t hand out diplomas and send you on your merry way. No, there are tests involved so that you learn the skills you need to accomplish those things God’s called you to do. If you have more confidence in your abilities than in God’s, you’re not ready. If you’re trying to open doors yourself by dropping hints, you’re not ready. If you can’t control your mouth, you’re not ready. If you’re still trying to be in control, you’re not ready.
Remember how I told you that I prefer to use tried and true recipes on my guests? Why is that? Because they’ve been judged, tasted and tested by the bestest. God will continue to send people to us that are hard to love until we learn to love them with HIS love. God won’t trust us with riches until we’re first faithful to bring him the tithe or tenth of our income regardless of how tight money is. He will test us first with what we have before he adds more to us. When we trust in Him and only Him, when our faith is planted firmly in His Word, when we’ve passed the test, we’ll receive our reward.
Father, please forgive me for my proud and haughty attitude, for thinking I was all that and a bag of chips when I was merely crumbs in the bottom of the bag. But thank you for using those crumbs to top off the great casserole of my life, baked to perfection and tasty to feed many. I will patiently wait on You and in the mean time, feast on your Word and be satisfied in Your Presence, worshipping your Holy Name. In Jesus’ Name, Amen