This Is a Test, This Is So Much More than a Test! (Part 1)

Test

Have you ever wondered why God would need to test us? I have. I think back to school, when the teacher would give us tests as a device to measure our progress in the subject matter. Why would God need to measure where I’m at? Doesn’t He know everything already? Isn’t He omniscient? 

His word does comment on this:

“And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not” (Deut. 8:2, NKJV).

Still, why? Why would He need to come up with a test to find out what’s in our hearts? Can’t He just use His X-ray vision, look inside of us, and instantly come up with an answer? Tests are grueling! Often even painful! Why do we have to go through this stuff?

Holy Spirit was talking to me about this recently. I was in the middle of an intense workout, and He chose that moment to drop into my spirit something that amazed me. (Yes, He likes to speak to me while I’m exercising to Jillian Michaels videos. He’ll communicate with us Spirit-to-spirit ANY TIME if we are tuned in and looking for it!)

As He so often does, He whispered a verse to me and began to explain it. This time the Scripture I heard clearly on the inside of me was, “Now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me” (Gen. 22:12, NKJV).

He was initiating a conversation with me about Abraham’s ultimate test, and what it meant to Him.

The familiar tale unfolds like this: God asks Abraham for his heart’s treasure, Isaac, as a sacrifice. Abraham immediately obeys. The opening line of the story lets you know right off that the narrative that follows is about a test. “Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham…” (v. 1a)

But again, why? Did God need “test results” to figure out if Abraham was devout? The Supreme Creator exclaimed when the deed was done, “Now I know that you fear Me!”

Lord, did You not know before that moment, that Abraham feared You? In Your majestic omniscience, had You not already gathered that he loved and reverenced You? Don’t You already know that we love You, without testing us in such extreme ways?

Yes. God knew. And He knows. But foreknowledge is never the same as experiential knowledge. God wanted to experience Abraham’s passion in the deepest way possible. Head knowledge was not enough. He, too, longed for heart knowledge of His covenant partner’s love.

Abraham could have said no. God would have respected his no. He respects our no, each and every time we are not willing to go all the way there with Him. Our free will is completely intact, and He will never, ever violate it. But Abraham said YES, and that stole God’s heart away completely!

To be continued tomorrow!

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What are your thoughts on Abraham offering Isaac to God? What implications does this story have for our lives today?

11 thoughts on “This Is a Test, This Is So Much More than a Test! (Part 1)

  1. Sometimes it’s easy to brush away a request or direction from God because we think it’s too hard or too much; we think surely He wouldn’t ask us to give THAT up or to go THAT way. But this story shows just how much God requires of His people! Nothing belongs to us, because every good thing comes from God.

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    1. That is so very true, Jessica. He is an all consuming fire, a Jealous God, as He Himself identified Himself to us! Longing for us jealously — absolutely all of us! I suspect that He also longs for us to experience what it is to love wholeheartedly with absolute abandon, since He knows He made us in His image, and as a result we won’t be fully satisfied until we enter into love at this level! We were created to love passionately, just like our Maker. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts ❤

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  2. We often overlook or are not even aware of vital things in our life and relationship with Almight God. Those things we take for granted lose value and cause us to disregard the attention they really need. Be it material things, family or serving and trusting in the Lord, our fragil minds and bodies begin to lose focus on that which is important to our Maker. When this happens, Father God knows and acts in love by testing that which we have been blessed with. Have we swayed from our first love ? Is our focus on the glory of God deminished by things of this world ? If so, a TEST may well be in order. The results can be for HIS pleasure and our blessing and growth. We then have opportunity to experience the love He has for us in a very unique way.
    When we call out, Here I am Lord..use me ! There may very well be a test just around the corner. In His Eternal Service – len wisniewski

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    1. Wonderful thoughts, Len! I can see that all He is bringing you through is producing a rich new depths in your relationship with Him, and my spirit rejoices for that! Thank you so much for sharing your insight 🙂

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  3. I just blogged about Abraham and Isaac, and I love your thoughts about that story. God certainly seems to test us not only to strengthen our character, but also that he may experience our love for and dependence upon him. Such tests make us more like him and help us comprehend him. And, as God, he doesn’t need us, but he desires our affection – a beautiful and comforting thought.

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  4. So much to say! First, the idea of tests to measure academic knowledge and learning is fairly recent; they were not doing that yet when the Bible was being written. For people of that time and culture, testing was putting metal through fire to purify it. Testing burns away impurities and strengthens metal. Along with that, the test of Abraham, being told to sacrifice Isaac, strengthened Abraham by letting him act out the sacrifice God would offer (in the very same place, or very close to it) two thousand years later. Abraham was stopped before the death of his son and a ram took Isaac’s place. Abraham may well have believed that Isaac was the promised Messiah and that his sacrifice would redeem the world. The patriarchs had Christ-centered faith just like Christians today. The only difference is they were waiting for the fulfillment of the promise, and for us that fulfillment has already happened. J.

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    1. Wonderful insights J., thank you! I love it how when God tested Abraham, it ended up both benefiting Abraham with that purifying and strengthening — bringing up to the surface what was in the depths of his heart as happens when the purifier of metal heats it up to intense temperatures — and benefiting God with the experience of Abraham’s wholehearted devotion, obedience, and worship. I am also so grateful that He speaks to us in metaphors of our hearts, both those from the biblical age, and those from the world that we live in 🙂

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