One of the ways we can know when God is moving us from one season to another toward fulfilling our purpose is when we find ourselves facing a test. Not just any test, but ‘the’ test that if we successfully pass will usher us into the fulfillment of God’s promises.
Abraham was tested many times before arriving at the ultimate test of obeying God. First he had to pass the test of faith by believing all that God initially spoke to him of leaving his family and all that he had ever known to go “to the land that I (God) will show you.” (Genesis 12:1) God promised to make of him a great nation, to make his name great and to bless him. God even promised to bless his offspring by giving the promised land to them.
Ultimately God promised Abraham a son: “…your very own son shall be your heir.” (Genesis 15:4)
“And he believed the Lord, and He counted it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6)
Abraham was 75 years old (Genesis 12:4) when God first called him to leave his family and travel to a land that he did not know with Sarah, his wife who was barren. And yet because he believed the Lord he was made righteous in God’s sight.
Finally, at the age of 100, some 25 years after God initially called Abraham to follow Him and after many exploits of faith that tested his obedience, Sarah conceived and bore Isaac. (Genesis 21) Then ‘the’ tests of all tests was brought before Abraham-the sacrifice of his son:
“After these things God tested Abraham…He said, ‘Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” (Genesis 22:1,2)
Abraham had learned that he could trust in God’s provision in every circumstance even to the point of answering his son’s question of “where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” (Genesis 22:6)
Abraham passed the ‘test of all tests’ by being willing to offer up his own son in absolute obedience to God who was entrusting the birth of a nation into his hands. And God lets us know in our hearts and in our lives when we pass just as He announced to Abraham when he passed:
“…now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” (Genesis 22:12)
Abraham could now be trusted as God’s instrument of providing salvation to the nations through His only Son, Jesus Christ one day.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Are you facing a test in your faith walk? Ask God to show you His provision in order to pass the test and enter into the fulfillment of all His promises!
Desires come from the heart. They seem to be shaped from a combination of experiences, purpose, talent and inspiration from the world we live in and shaped by influencers that grab our heart. Described as “to wish or long for; crave, covet; to ask for; request,” desires can lead us in many directions.
King David prayed in the Book of Psalms for God to teach him to live wisely by making him aware of the brevity of life on earth.
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)
Living a life focused on God Desires can save us from wasting a ton of time chasing after the wrong desires. Pursuing a desire that does not align with God’s best for our lives prevents us from experiencing and fulfilling our highest purpose in this life. In the end we want to be able to proclaim as Jesus did to His Father in heaven when His end was near in the Book of John:
“I glorified You on earth, having accomplished the work that You gave Me to do.” (John 17:4)
How can we know that our desires are God desires? We can begin by following His instruction to delight ourselves in Him, to give great joy or pleasure in desiring to know Him and learning about all His ways. When we decide to shape our lives around this encouragement God promises to give us desires that lead us toward accomplishing the deepest desires of our heart and His. This is the joy of purpose living!
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)
How can we know that all will be well in this life and journey with God? How can we allow challenges in this life to grow our faith instead of weaken our faith? Last, how can we know that we are on the winning side in our journey with God through life on this earth?
We must take God at His Word and believe in His promises. We must accept that His way of leading us and working out life issues will often take a different approach than we might take. His thoughts and ways are far above our ways of thinking and problem solving.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8,9)
Once we embrace this truth we can believe God’s promise that all will be well with us. In love, He links this promise with obedience, specifically, obeying His commandments.
“But this command I gave them: Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.” (Jeremiah 7:23)
Trusting and obeying God keeps us in a position of triumph. Jesus overcame everything in this world that could possibly come against us. He is Immanuel, (which means, God with us). (Matthew 1:23)
Walk in all the ways that God commands you and He promises to be with you.
“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal possession…” (2Corinthians 2:14)
Children all over the world grow up with the need to be loved and accepted. Parents want the same for their children and yet they would have to admit that this love need is impossible to meet. Hearts are shaped daily in the moments of living life where the need for love can become complicated and difficult to meet. What parents are capable of doing however is loving their children in a way that leads them to the perfect love that can only come from God.
“For God so loved the world…”
This God Love completes us like no other type of love that we seek. Every need that we will ever have over our lifetime points us toward this God Love which has come to meet our needs. Nothing can take its place, any other type of love simply points us in its direction.
“…that He gave His only Son…”
God Love is the perfect solution to wholeness and acceptance that we seek from others and other things. We must believe in the possibility that someone would desire to love us to this unconditional degree that God Love offers.
“…that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Experiencing God Love brings clarity in a confusing world and sincere purpose of direction toward fulfilling our personal destiny. God Love is non-condemning, it is based on full acceptance without having to get ‘cleaned-up’ first. It brings amazing freedom to become who you were meant to be.
“…God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him.” (1John 4:9)
Love God, love Jesus, love others. Live!
God knew how difficult it would be to live a sin-free life. He also knew how important staying connected to Him in everyday life was vital to growing us up in our faith walk. And He made a way for us to live in uninterrupted fellowship with Him to Whom all our blessings flow.
“he shall confess his sin that he has committed. And he shall make full restitution for his wrong, adding a fifth to it and giving it to him to whom he did the wrong.” (Numbers 5:7)
Notice that when we sin there are consequences, sometimes seen and at other times unseen, but always in need of being accounted for and never forgotten by God until we confess.
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:8,9)
Sin in our lives not only breaks faith with God and the enjoyment of living in the fruit of His fellowship it causes a ‘break’ in experiencing the abundant life that we have been called into through Jesus Christ our Savior.
Confess your sin(s) to God and to those whom you have sinned against, accept God’s forgiveness and begin again to enjoy the blessings of a faithful life!
Many seek a blessed life but few are willing to live in a way to receive and maintain the blessings.
Our heavenly Father is a generous and loving God who held nothing back by revealing His straightforward path to a blessed life ~ His Son, Jesus Christ.
“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him.” (1John 4:9)
God loved us first and asks nothing of us but to love Him back in order to receive the blessings Jesus died to give us access to. Living by His Word gives us the confidence of living by faith, by the Word of God. It proves our love for God and validates our faith in Him.
“…but whoever keeps His word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.” (1John 2:5)
Moses was a man sold out to following God with his whole heart and God blessed him like no other. God trusted him to lead and establish the Nation of Israel, to follow Him in complete obedience. Moses was so obedient to God that when the people had finished the work of constructing the tabernacle, not missing a single detail from the instructions given by God Moses blessed the people.
Obedience not only leads us into Gods blessings but it also positions us to bless other people. It’s not a formula nor a life of rule keeping; it’s a relationship with a heavenly Father who loves us and desires His best for us and those around us.
“And Moses saw all the work, and behold, they had done it; as the Lord had commanded, so had they done it. Then Moses blessed them.” (Exodus 39:43)