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The Source - Part 6, The Test
Miles McPherson - December 9, 2012

Message Recap

A test is a process through which something is revealed, and God tests each of us every single day.  A test by God may reveal your faith in God or your lack of faith in God.

A test by God may reveal your faith in God or your lack of faith in God.

Today we are reading from Genesis 22, when God tests Abraham:

Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!”

And he said, “Here I am.”

Then He said, “Take now 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.”

So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.  Genesis 22:1-3

Abraham does not question God nor does he delay.  He rises early the next day and goes out, just as the Lord instructed.  You can measure your faith every day: how long does it take you to do what God asks you to do?  If you act immediately, this reveals that you trust God, but if you drag your feet or question Him for a while, maybe your faith is lacking.

When God tests you, watch for these three things:

1. Your test will be consistent with Jesus’ test.  Genesis 22:1-5

You will never be tested in any way that Jesus was not also tested.

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15

Jesus was born a human with human needs and human emotions.  He experienced temptation, pain, and betrayal.  So when you find yourself thinking that God doesn’t understand, remember that He has been there.  He does understand!  He even understands how Abraham felt when he was instructed to give up his only son, for God chose to give up His Son for us.

2. Your test will reveal the powerful hand of God. Genesis 22:11-14

When you reach the end of your own knowledge and resources and cannot accomplish something on your own, God comes in and does something supernatural.  He promises to bless you when you honor Him.

Read what He did for Abraham:

And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”

So he said, “Here I am.”

And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”

Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. Genesis 22:10-13

Notice that God says, “now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son.”  God hasn’t learned knew information that He did not know before, but rather He has now intimately experienced Abraham’s complete trust and faith in Him because of Abraham’s actions.

How can we recognize that the provision of this ram is a supernatural intervention of God?  We know that this is God’s provision because rams do not simply get their horns stuck in the thicket.  Pastor Miles likened this to a fish drowning!

When you show God a little bit of courage and step out in obedience, blessing will follow.  Just say, “Yes!”

3. Your test performance will determine future rewards. Genesis 22:17-18

If you want to be blessed with big things, you have to be faithful with little things.  Just as a football player does not go straight from Pop Warner to the NFL, you must practice your faithfulness and obedience with little things before God entrusts you with bigger things.

Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.”  Genesis 22:15-17

God says that because Abraham was faithful, He will bless him abundantly.

He also sets aside blessings for you for the times when you trust Him and heed His calling.  Surrender your life to him, your heart, dreams, and passions.  He can be trusted beyond measure.

The Source

This 7-part series asks, are we Takers or Givers? Are we going to give of ourselves so we can receive what God has for us? In Part 6, Pastor Miles talks about how a test by God may reveal our faith in God or our lack of faith in God.

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