Pressure reveals contents! Under duress and stress, what we really are surfaces. God wants the professing and possessing in His kingdom. He looks upon the heart to make the final determination – remember when David was chosen to be king of Israel (I Samuel 16.7), and when Matthias was chosen to take Judas’ place (Acts 1:24).
By Crawford D. Coon
Although we are God’s chosen people that serve and love Him, God will nevertheless prove that devotion. Our profession of faith, our faithfulness, and our testimony do not completely validate our sincerity to God. These are well and good; yet God will often times subject us to some severe testing and trial in order to prove our dedication. Lip service and noble thoughts are not the criterion upon which rewards and approval from God are granted. Approval from God comes to the proven saint who stands every test, and excels in faithfulness during these times of trial.
Almost every product sold on the market today has to meet certain requirements before it is sold to the public. Automobile manufacturers put their cars through hundreds of tests on various testing grounds, testing parts and performance before they are put on the market for sale. Underwriter’s laboratories place their seal of approval on products they test only after they meet certain requirements. Any type testing, whether in material things or with people, is to determine its performance, durability, limitations, and usefulness. Those that fail under testing have no seal of approval placed upon them.
Christians are not exempt from this discipline. Many things arising in our lives will prove to God our abilities, sincerity, and consecration. Bragging and boasting dies on the proving ground. Shakable things are removed in order for the unshakable to remain (Hebrews 12:27). Testing removes the insincere, hypocrite, lazy, and weak from the ranks. We are in a race (I Corinthians 9:24; Hebrews 12:1), and soldiers in a battle (II Timothy 2:3-5), striving for a crown at the close of life. Only the proven will achieve it; are you willing to dedicate fully in order to be approved of God?
While studying the meaning of this important word, keep in mind that God has chosen these things, not to destroy us, but to mature, and edify us.
- Prove – Comes from both a Greek and Hebrew background in its usage in the Scriptures, and means to test, tempt, try, scrutinize, entice, discipline, and examine.
In the case of Israel, God wanted to know several things about them as well as develop some needed virtues in their lives. For forty years He led them through the wilderness determining these things about each of them (Deuteronomy 8:1-6).
- To humble them.
- To prove them.
- To know what was in their heart.
- To know whether they would keep His commandments.
- To make them know that man does not live by bread alone.