September 29, 2017
by Dr. Al Weir
"'...Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,' says the Lord Almighty..." (Malachi 3:10, NIV 2011).
I was writing clinical notes at my computer when I overheard my administrative assistant talking to someone, probably a family member.
"You need to pray when you first get up in the morning. If you think of it, pray at noon. Then pray when you go to bed at night. And if you have anything against somebody, let God deal with it. Just try this for two weeks. It's going to be okay."
I have no idea what issue my administrative assistant was speaking into, but she was speaking truth to someone in conflict. She was saying, "God has a place in your conflict and can guide you through. Give it a try, a test run, and see if God doesn't come through."
All of us have areas in our lives where we should consider a test run with God-a deliberate trial to see if He will come through.
For those who do not yet know our God, Blaise Pascal suggested a test run to see if He is real. Simplified to the extreme, Pascal's wager states, if you bet on God and win, you win it all. If you bet against God and win, you win very little. His wager was meant to be an encouragement for non-believers to take a test run with God and see if He would make Himself known.*
The same is true for us as followers of Christ; there are test runs some of us should be considering.
- Perhaps I need to test run sacrificial giving.
- Perhaps I need to test run "giving thanks in everything."
- Perhaps I need to test run forgiveness.
- Perhaps I need to test run letting go of that sin I hold so close.
- Perhaps I need to test run trusting God with that one step I cannot quite take at His command.
Perhaps I lack the strength in myself to make it through, but have enough fortitude and faith to test God for two weeks, to see if He can make it through with me. Perhaps I am like the father who said, "I believe, please help my unbelief"-the father whose son was healed because he gave Jesus a test run, a chance to come through (Mark 9:24).
Do I fear to test because I fear God will fail?
What in my life is crying out for a test run with Jesus?
Let me trust you enough to let you take over, even if I cannot yet let go completely.
*Morris, Thomas: Making Sense of It All