“God has a plan for your life, but before you can see it unfold, you have to be willing to allow Him to test your faithfulness” (quote from reblogged post below). Sometimes that testing can take years and include trials and temptations so severe we don’t think we can stand anymore (and many cave in at that point). But He has promised if we stay true to Him and don’t cave in that He will never take us beyond what we can endure and will provide a way of escape (I Cor. 10:13). Let’s read it: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” Do we believe that?
The preceding verses (v. 6-12) clearly show us how we can bankrupt ourselves in the process. There are four sins listed that we must keep ourselves from setting our hearts on:
(1) Idolatry (v. 7)–Idolatry is putting anything or anyone before God–that means any person–spouse, children, parents, sports or movie stars, leaders, lovers, etc.,–as well as money, materialism, prosperity, careers, illicit sex (adultery and sex outside of marriage), power, greed and the list goes on.
(2) Immorality (v. 8)–We don’t take this one very seriously at all anymore in America. The only sex approved by God is in the marriage relationship. Period. Read I Cor. 10:8 if we don’t think God doesn’t take this one seriously.
(3) Testing God (v. 9)–Not being content with what God has provided for us regardless of whether it is a little or a lot but always wanting more.
(4) Grumbling (v. 10)–In the Exodus experience of God’s people in the wilderness, the people grumbled incessantly for the first two years and because of it they were made to wander in the desert for another 38 years until every last grumbler had died–the grumblers never reached the Promised Land. God takes grumbling very seriously.
There is an excellent study on I Cor. 10:1-13 titled “It Ain’t Over ‘Till It’s Over” at Bible.org. A quote from the third paragraph should give every single one of us who call ourselves Christian pause for thought: “The Apostle Paul is going to warn us about the dreadful and severe consequences of sin. He is also going to challenge us to avoid sin and persevere in our Christian lives. Paul will argue that there is a very real possibility that many Christians will not finish their Christian lives well . . . .” Do we want to finish well? Many won’t . . . .
God tests our faithfulness in many ways great and small. However, do we recognize the test when it comes, or do we default to what we want to do instead? It pays to remember that this life is not a dress rehearsal . . . .
It’s the real deal and the only one we get . . .
So how are we living ours?
Photo credit here
Once while visiting President Roosevelt in the White House, Wendell Willkie asked, “Mr. President, why do you keep that frail, sickly man—Harry Hopkins—constantly at your elbow?”
Without hesitation, Roosevelt replied, “Through that door flows an incessant stream of men and women who almost invariably want something from me. Harry Hopkins only desires to serve and to do that well. He must stay near me.”
The same thing can be said of David. When Samuel first saw him, he almost questioned God’s judgment. The Lord’s choice for Israel’s future king was the youngest of Jesse’s sons. He was ruddy in appearance and did not look like kingly material. But Samuel wasn’t able to see David from God’s perspective.
Many times, for us to gain God’s perspective we have to be willing to let go of our limited and often personality-skewed viewpoint. David was a man whose heart was devoted to God…
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