Test and See: Deepening the Reality of Christ in our Lives
The mystery of Christ living in the hearts and minds of those who believe in him cannot be grasped. Its reality is not based on feelings of warmth or rest, but evidence of his grace.
Believers in Christ taste and see the work of the Spirit within them. They taste God’s promises and see that he never fails.
A believer’s response to God’s goodness is propelled by thankfulness, joy, and hope. This sparks a willingness to grasp his commission to be messengers of God’s grace to all souls. It is a natural outpouring of living water that flows within the depths of our souls.
“We believe therefore we speak.”2 Corinthians 4:13
Evangelism could be seen as a test to see if God delivers on his promises. Will the power of the Holy Spirit grant me to be a bold witness? Does God’s Word really work? How do I know if he is truly working in the hearts of dear loved ones who are struggling with their faith?
When God delivers on his promises, the reality of Christ deepens our faith.
Perhaps that is why the Bible suggests to believers to test and see with these two words:
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test?2 Corinthians 13:5
Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.1 Corinthians 11:28
A bold faith asks God to test their faith.
You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.Psalm 139:1, 23-24
…Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Examining ourselves and testing our faith means trusting God’s reliability to keep his promises.
Here are five tests to help deepen our faith and trust the reality of Christ in our lives.
#1: We test God by looking back.
When we examine our past, we discover that God has worked out all things for our good. Worry did not help God. Anxiety was a fruitless by-product of a small faith. In hindsight, our vision clears, and we see a loving and gracious God passing the test. He is perfectly reliable and trustworthy. He always delivers.
By looking back on God’s track record, our faith deepens.
#2: We test God by looking forward.
When we examine our future, we discover what is most important in our life. Heavenly treasures are far more valuable than earthly ones. By viewing life within an eternal context, our faith is refreshed with true hope, peace, and comfort. Christ’s victory on our behalf secures our heavenly inheritance.
By looking forward within the eternal context of God’s promises, our faith deepens.
#3: We test God by looking in the present.
There are days when all we can do is to grasp on to the moment. The future seems overcast, or the past is too painful. This moment in time is exactly where God has placed us to be. Each day is a victory that God has set aside from the beginning of time. By living today, God is delivering on his promise.
By looking at the present within the context of God’s purpose, our faith deepens.
#4: We test God by proclaiming the Truth.
One of the greatest exercises of our faith is proclaiming our faith to others. Evangelism is a spiritual muscle that God tells all believers to exercise. Whenever a faithful believer steps outside their comfort zone, they are testing God’s promises.
By exercising our faith, our faith deepens.
#5: We test God by asking him to test us.
Like the psalmist, we ask God, “Search me and test me, O Lord, my Savior. Reveal to me what needs to be revealed so that I may grow in your grace. Remove any obstacles that are hindering my trust in you.” This is a scary prayer. It means repenting of secrets sins and worldly distractions. It means letting go of crippling hurts in the past. It means asking God to prune us so that we may grow more fruit. Like a spiritual root-canal, we know that it is going to be uncomfortable.
But here is the deal.
God is exceptionally personal. He already knows us better than our selves. There are no secrets with him. And despite all of that, he promises forgiveness and restoration.
Letting go means testing God. Can he deliver happiness, pleasure, and the desire to escape that the world offers every single day? Will a life absorbed in Christ truly fulfill all my needs and desires?
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