Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Friend Of Little Children"1 (Lyrics)
John 14:1 – [Jesus said,] "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me." (NKJV)
Does God test us? You bet He does!
How many times have you thought or heard something that seems like it is a nudge from God, and have chosen to let it go until later? Maybe you questioned whether it might have been just a thought contrived by your own wishes.
Although God has given us the gift of free choice, as we move along our path to increasing sanctification, we need to learn how to truly trust our Lord for guidance.
In my case, there have been many occasions when I have slept comfortably after leaving a particular problem with God in my end-of-day prayers, only to awaken in the morning and start to make my own plans to solve that problem. But that's how God tests our faith.
God knows us well: He knows how we think, and He knows that the path of faith is difficult to follow and to avoid straying from.
So, He sends His nudges often, knowing that we just might not recognize them, but will perhaps see them for what they were, after the fact.
He connects with us on our own level. He can use phone calls, emails, text messages, conversations with friends, television shows, or even news reports to nudge us into His will.
In my case, God has communicated with me through music, usually first thing in the morning as I awaken. I believe that I recently experienced a faith-testing message from God.
I had some trepidation regarding the timing of the pickup of some furniture that I had donated, and as it was scheduled for a Sunday, I asked for a pickup time window. Unfortunately, they could not give me even an estimate.
As a result, I felt that I would not be able to attend my church service that day, and I asked for God's understanding, the previous night, in prayer.
On Sunday morning, I awakened to the strains of the song, Come to the church in the wildwood, which was unmistakably a message that I was not only to go to church that day, but also to believe that God had it all in hand — a faith test, without question.
But then, the usual "what ifs" kicked in as I prepared for church, but the memorable "Believe in Me" was uppermost, and I felt that I must accept His challenge, and challenge it was.
I went to the church service, heard and enjoyed the message, which, of course, was focused on faith — oh yes! — and was back home to welcome the pickup people just as they had arrived.
"Believe in Me," says the Lord.
I do think that this was another test of my faith in God. His message was unmistakable, even though it raised tough, "what if" questions.
I learned that we have to drop the "what if" factor.
Luke 7:50 – Then [Jesus] said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace." (NKJV)
As we travel along the daily path towards being true followers, we will find that God, through the Holy Spirit, will use times, places, and specific methods to connect with us, all of which are familiar to us, personally.
Like personalized email or a letter in our mailbox, He knows what we pay attention to. An important lesson that I learned many years ago is that there are no coincidences.
Be attentive, be still, and wait for Him. He is waiting for us to hear.
Prayer: Dear Father Lord, thank You for the messages that You send as guidance throughout our journey towards Your heavenly home. Help us to recognize the signposts and to follow their directions. We see the importance of being tested along this path of learning, so that we might graduate to another level, one that is closer to You. Amen.