Remember those school days when tests were used to determine our grades for a class, at least in part? Remember how we prepared and studied for them, at least in part? Then we graduated high school, college, university, or seminary and thought with relief, “I’m so glad that is over.” But is it?
I have been reading a book by Erwin Lutzer called “Getting to NO: How to Break a Stubborn Habit.”[i] I’m only a few chapters in, but already my reading is having an impact on me. Lutzer poses the question regarding temptation, “…why doesn’t God keep one step ahead of us, defusing the land mines along our path?” He continues with a few suggestions as to HOW God could do it. God could ban Satan. God could dampen our passions. God could rearrange schedules allowing us to avoid tempting situations. God can do anything so why doesn’t He make temptation easier to overcome?
Yeah!! I thought to myself, why doesn’t God make temptation less, you know … tempting?
Lutzer offers 3 possible reasons for temptation.
- To test our loyalty
- To develop our character
- To display God’s grace and power
The very first one really struck me and prompted me to look up various examples of God’s testing in the Bible – a test of loyalty.
Behold , I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them whether they will walk in my law or not. Ex 16:4
And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. Deuteronomy 8:2
For the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. Deuteronomy 13:3-4
But you, O Lord, know me; you see me, and test my heart toward you.” Jeremiah 12:3
Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind. Psalm 26:2
As I mulled over Lutzer’s premise I took a good look at my life. Do I pass the test? Am I loyal to the LORD Jesus Christ? Not do I LOOK loyal but am I actually loyal? Do my choices and obedience declare my loyalty to the One True God? Or not?
How are you doing? Are you passing the tests? Are you loyal to the King?
[i] Erwin W. Lutzer, Getting to NO: How to Break a Stubborn Habit, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association with permission from David C. Cook, 2007.
Diane Hunt serves part-time on the staff of America’s Keswick providing ministry support from her home in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.