It seems we are now coming to the time when everyone’s faith will be proven. Faith is not proven until it is tested, and the times that we are entering will test the faith of us all. This is our greatest opportunity. In the Lord every test is for the purpose of promotion, to see if we can be entrusted with more authority and power. Are you ready for the tests?
As my friend Francis Frangipane likes to say, “You never fail one of God’s tests — you just keep taking it until you pass. And, every test is an open book test. You can go to the Bible and find the answer for every problem. If you have trouble finding it there, you can ask the Teacher.” This is all true, and should be a great encouragement to us. We should be able to find the answer to every problem. However, finding the answer is not all there is to passing the test. We must live the answer.
For us to pass the test that comes to prove our love, we must stand in love, allowing love to control us even when we are tempted to think wrongly of others, or have the choice to do good or evil to them. Every time our love is tested it is an opportunity to grow in love. We probably all pray for the Lord to help us grow in love, but do we truly seize the opportunity to grow when the trials come as an answer to those prayers?
I know many people who have asked the Lord to give them patience, but I don’t know many who asked this more than once! His answer to this prayer is to put us in circumstances that require us to grow in patience, which is very trying for those of us who don’t have much patience. How-ever, if we recognize the trials and devote ourselves to the peace and rest of the Lord, we will grow in patience.
For us to pass the test that comes to increase our faith, we must stand and walk in faith — not fear or doubt. Every test of our faith is an opportunity to grow in faith. We probably all pray for the Lord to help our faith, but do we seize the opportunity to grow in faith when the fears or doubts come? In 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 we are told:
“For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward.
If any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.”
Did you ever think of the Lord as an arsonist? He lights fires in His own church just to see what we will do! His tests are not drills, but real fires. Even so, the answer to every test is basically the same — turn to Jesus. Jesus is the answer to every human problem. The answer to the love test is to behold His love for us and let it flow through us. “We love, because He first loved us,” (1 John 4:19). The answer to the faith test is to behold the Lord. If we see Him we will have faith.
While in the military and as a professional pilot, I was subjected to routine tests to determine my competency as the pilot in command. If I was well prepared, I would enter those tests with great confidence, even exuberance at being able to see my own level of skill increase under pressure. Tests in the Lord should be the same way, as James 1:2-4 states:
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
If we have joy entering trials, it is a good sign that we are ready. If we are fearful and depressed at the prospect of having our faith tested by the times we are entering, this should be a revelation to us that we are not as ready as we should be. This doesn’t mean that you will not be at least a little nervous at the prospect of trials, as even the most prepared person will usually be slightly nervous entering a test. But I am talking about something more than that — I am talking about fear gripping us to the level of near panic or depression that colors our lives at the prospect of what is coming. To the degree this kind of fear grips us in the face of testing can be an indication of the degree to which we are not ready for it. However, be encouraged, you still have time.
We still have time, but we cannot waste any more time. If we are not ready for what is coming, it is only because we have wasted too much time in the past, which is one thing we must determine not to do any more. We must now give ourselves to the study that we have always promised ourselves we would. We need to devote time to prayer and fellowship with the Lord and His people. We need to choose now to give our time to the true spiritual gold, silver, and precious stones instead of wasting it with what is in fact worthless. We need to pursue and develop our spiritual gifts, and the training or discipleship that we need. One of the greatest antidotes to fear is the pursuit of purpose, having a vision and step-by-step goals for their achievement. We should be occupied with that which causes our faith to grow.
The Lord is about to release the army that He has been preparing for these times. Most battles are determined by the quality of the soldiers more than anything else, and quality soldiers have confidence in the day of battle. If we are properly trained and equipped, we will be confident as we enter the times that are now upon us. If you are not confident, do not waste any more time. The fire is coming that will reveal whether our lives are built on gold, silver, and precious stones, or wood, hay, and stubble. If we are ready, we will be confident. If we lack confidence, we must quickly make the necessary changes in order to get ready. The stakes are too high to waste any more time.
~ Pastor Rick Joyner
|Pastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.|