Passing The Tests

God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able” – (1Co_10:13)

An unusual trial befell me several years ago. It started on the Tuesday before Christmas, which came on Sunday that year. I woke up into what I can only call the absence of the Lord. Now I know He said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” But at that moment I could not find Him anywhere; not in the Scripture, nor in prayer; not in song, nor in confession of faith.

He was gone.

I made it through the day thinking that this was a test of some kind, and that it would pass rather quickly. But the next morning when I woke, the feeling of emptiness had intensified and I was deeply troubled at the thought that this may be for real…and for ever.

By the following morning my fears were strengthened, as the problem grew even worse. Each day seemed to multiply my sense of being totally lost. By Saturday morning I groped about as a man who had never known the Lord at all. There was no discernable trace of His Spirit, His grace, or the power of His Word in my life. I was alarmed, to say the least.

To make matters worse, Sunday was coming. I was frantic in my search for some meaningful sermon to preach on Christmas Day, but could find nothing — a preacher’s worst nightmare. I covered my tracks by having the children take the morning service and sing to the congregation a variety of carols and hymns. As for myself, I left the church before the service ended and raced home to hide in my bedroom!

Monday morning dawned and my greatest fears were realized. The ordeal was relentless, and my sense of emptiness was more intense than ever. I dreaded the thought of what my future held, for I clearly would not be able to continue as a pastor in this condition.

The next morning when I woke, the Lord was present in a manifest way there in my room. I literally gasped like a man coming up out of water after almost drowning. With the exhale of that breath of life I blurted out a tangled prayer that sounded something like, “Lord, Where have You…What was this…and, please, don’t ever do that again!”

The Lord opened my heart to understand what He had been doing. In my mind the phrase came, “The Lord is taking me from the minor leagues to the major leagues.” In other words, He showed me that He was about to increase His anointing in my life and with that would come greater influence and responsibility in ministry. The dark ordeal was a portal of testing that led from one level to the next.

I wrote a little poem to commemorate that moment. May I share it with you?

T’ was the Week Before Christmas

’was the week before Christmas and all through my house Lord was not moving; I felt like a louse! prayers were like cement, my faith was like mud; spirit was sinking; my life was a dud!

So with desperate endeavor I hastened to see what in the world was happening to me! called on the Name of the Lord God Most High! with speed like molasses He finally replied…

“This week is a test I’m passing you through; I’m weighing your heart to see what you’ll do. I’ve purposed to use you in ways I think best, I only can do so if you pass this test!”

Prayer

Father we thank you, Holy Ghost we thank you, Lord Jesus we thank you. That you care for us that we may not fall beyond what we cannot bare.

THE ROLL OF FAITH

“Time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah… who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises.”– Heb_11:32-33 (R.V.).

FAITH IS the link between our souls and God. It is the capacity of entering into fellowship with the Eternal Love and Power, so that we are able to do all things with the sense that it is not we who do them, but God in us and with us. Faith is the open door and window towards God. In faith our heart goes out towards God in clinging dependence, and God comes in to strengthen us with His Divine fullness.
In human life, when we trust a man, we draw from him all that he is able to supply; in the Divine life, faith draws upon the resources of God, so that they flow freely into our nature, and the results of our life-work are immensely increased. Faith is possible amid a great deal of ignorance. It is clear that Gideon, Barak, Samson, and Jephthah were ignorant of the truth which the Gospel has revealed, and yet we learn that their work was largely due to their faith. Dispensations come and go; the revelation of God grows from less to more; but the attitude of faith is always the same–in the simple woman that touched the hem of Christ’s garment, as in St. John the beloved disciple, who had years of training in Christ’s School.
Faith achieves very different results. In some, it produces the heroic strength that turns the battle from the gate; in some, the passive suffering that endures the long ordeal of pain. Here, it turns the edge of the sword; there, shuts the mouths of lions. We know how electric force may be applied to all the various machinery of human life. In one place used for the beaming light, in another to drive the motor car, or to flash the message of music and speech from one continent to another. So Faith is able to appropriate God’s might for any purpose that lies within the compass of the life-task, whether active or passive. (See Heb_11:32-34, Heb_11:35-39.)
God bears a witness to all who trust Him. He never fails us in the hour of need. His response is the echo of our appeal. As soon as the uplifted arm of the tramcar touches the overhead wire, there is the spark, and the immediate entrance of electric power. So God answers faith.

PRAYER
O God, we are full of need, but we have learnt that Thou givest power to the faint and to those that have no right. Change our weakness into Thy strength; our ignorance into Thy wisdom; our changefulness into Thine everlasting constancy. AMEN.

David Urging You & I To Trust In The Lord

Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.  (Psa_37:3-5)

Those who live by grace trust in God to work in their lives. We can see David’s heart to live this way, as he urges others to trust in the Lord. “Trust in the LORD . . . feed on His faithfulness . . . Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him.”

God wants His people to be characterized by goodness. Yet, David affirmed that no one does good on their own. “There is none who does good, No, not one” (

Psa_14:3). So, for anyone to do good, the Lord must do a good work in and through their lives. Those who place their trust in the Lord find the will and the strength to do that which is good in the sight of God. “Trust in the LORD, and do good.” To be faithful in doing good, God’s people must be nurtured in God’s faithfulness. “Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.” Those who place their trust in a faithful God become increasingly faithful servants of God. 

Of course, the work of God in lives is centered in the heart of man. David prayed for an undivided heart of reverential trust toward the Lord. “Unite my heart to fear Your name” (

Psa_86:11). Everyone who is willing to let the Lord be the captivating joy of their inner man will have God Himself planting godly desires within their heart. “Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” These implanted desires are then worked outward unto godly living. 

As this godliness is developing, we desire that the Lord’s path for our lives would become increasingly evident. We have a growing interest in walking in the ways of the Lord. David had such a desire in his heart toward the Lord. “Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me” (

Psa_25:4-5). The Lord teaches those who are willing to entrust their lives into His directing. “Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.” Those who do place their lives under the sovereign care of God enjoy the great privilege of having the Lord God almighty governing the very steps that they take day by day.

Prayer

 

Heavenly Father, I want to trust in You that I might see Your goodness developing in my life. I want to have You as the ultimate joy of my heart that You might have free rein to plant Your desires deep within me. I want to entrust my life into Your hands that I might have You controlling my daily path, in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord, Amen.