The Mystery Test

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“But Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life’” (John 6:68, NKJV).

In the moment described here, Peter passed the mystery test. You and I, and every soul who desires to follow Jesus, will go through the same test. Our response to it is critical.

What do I mean by the mystery test? To provide some context for this story out of John’s gospel, Jesus had just offended a bunch of people. He had made the provocative suggestion that eating His body and drinking His blood was the way to eternal life. This proclamation seemed so scandalous that many who had been following Him turned away. Many of those in the crowd had turned up, simply hoping for another free lunch (He had just provided one the day before.) Unable to stomach such an incomprehensible teaching, they left, grumbling to each other.

Then Jesus turned to His twelve disciples and asked searchingly if they were thinking of leaving too. This was the mystery test. Would they be willing to follow Him even when He made Himself almost impossible to understand? Even when His actions and instructions offended their sensibilities?

They passed the test. Peter spoke for them all when he answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Even though they could not understand His words, they knew Who it was that had spoken them. They had come to know how trustworthy He was, how perfectly pure and upright His heart. There was no shadow of turning in Him, no darkness whatsoever. They chose trust in Him over the “right” to understand.

You and I will have moments like these with God. Moments when His decisions and dealings are incomprehensible to us. Moments when His movements seem to go against our sense of what is right and fair. Moments when He reserves the right to be God without explaining Himself. Moments… when He asks for our blind trust.

In those moments, when God’s actions don’t match our expectations, we find out what is really in our hearts. Are we in it with Him for the “free lunch?” For what we can get out of following Him? Or is our heart set on being His disciple, no matter what the cost? In those moments, His purifying fire brings the impurities to the surface of our souls. In those moments, we, too, can choose to turn away, grumbling. Or we can allow Him to purify us in a deeper way. We can fall at His feet and cry out, “To whom else would I go? You have the words of eternal life!”

If we choose the latter, we will be rewarded in ways that go beyond our imagination. When we trust Him with all of our heart and lean not on our own understanding, we pass the mystery test. How this enraptures God’s heart, when we cling to Him in surrender during the hardest of life’s moments!

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us” (Deut. 29:29, NKJV).

As we walk with Him, He will reveal more and more of His enigmas to us. We will continually grow in our understanding of His ways. However, we will find that there will always be those “secret things” that belong only to Him. The element of mystery never goes away. From now until He takes us home, He will call us to live not by sight, but by faith. The longer we do, the more we will discover that this is the only way to truly live! How glorious and liberating is a true walk of faith!

If you have an extra few minutes, enjoy this profound song on the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgWOcYpHm0o

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Have you gone through the mystery test? If so, what are your observations of its effects on your spiritual life?

21 thoughts on “The Mystery Test

  1. Our family had many such tests like these when we wandering homeless. Especially when the day was dark, nothing made sense and there was a tempting offer to walk away from the poverty and accept some ephemeral offer of possible assistance. When those days came, and they came frequently, as a family we had to make a choice. Every single time that choice came down to following God instead of trusting man. It wasn’t easy but after what we had seen of God’s provision, and who we knew Him to be, where else could we turn? He alone was leading us and providing for our needs. Man failed us at every turn but God did not.

    Here we are today, not much better than we were, but at least not wandering anymore, and every so often He will ‘pop the question’. As it was then so it is now, where else would we go but to Him who is our all in all? Has it affected us, yes, yes it has. Our walk of faith has now become a walk of uncompromising faith. 🙂 And so too our intimacy with Him, maturity and character has followed. Not our doing but His.

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    1. Your trust in Him is beautiful beyond expression, Homer. I know you have pleased His heart more deeply than words can say. Thank you so much for sharing from your journey here. His riches of grace and peace to you and your family!

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  2. Great thought. Brings to mind a relevant scripture in Proverbs:

    It is the glory of God to conceal a thing Pro 25:2

    Certainly life does not withold its share of mysteries. And as you point out, the key is to hold on until their meaning is revealed. Makes life interesting, but not always easy.

    God Bless You!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, David! That Scripture is perfect for this subject, I really appreciate you sharing it. Sooo true that it’s often not easy. But adventure never lacks, that’s for sure! 😀 Many blessings to you today.

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  3. It is difficult to even imagine “faith” without mystery! When we become aware of something, as Peter did, we must decide to trust in our FAITH or to search elsewhere. Our flesh, the world and the enemy, gives us a multitude of other choices. But we must decide for ourselves. Len
    Without faith in God, our minds demand an explanation and we pursue other gods.

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  4. I just finished rewatching ‘Bird Box’ on Netflix 💖 I thought about your insights on joy as we rely on faith in the midst of survival and uncertainty. Thank you for this message of hope and permission to let go of knowing every detail of ‘the plan’ We know where our home is and that the battle has already been won 🎉 Just pray and do the next right thing 🕊🤗

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    1. For sure! I actually wrote a whole series earlier this year about a situation I went through last year with my youngest daughter in a coma. If you do a search on my site for “Lily” you should be able to find those. They definitely fit into the category of The Mystery Test!

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