Kingdom Principle: God promotes via a test, Satan provokes via tempting.
The fruit of the test is Humility & Confidence.
|Job 23:1-9, 16-17 Psalm22:1-15||Hebrews 4:12-16||Mark 10:17-31|
The world has created a fear in reaction to the concept of a test. However – you cannot take a driver’s test, unless you meet the criteria to be behind the wheel. You cannot take a test for passing a class, unless you had the opportunity to learn. You cannot take a test for your health unless you have someone to provide the health care. A test is a privilege offered to you by someone who has gone before you to be in position to affirm your passing, and to grant you promotion. God brings us as His Children and Servants along in His Kingdom through a series of tests. Satan on the other hand is a deceiver and seeks to steal, kill and destroy us – not to promote or inspire us to grow. In fact Satan will provoke us and prod us through tempting seeking to destroy our hope in power of Justice or the authority of Righteousness (see last week)
In Genesis we find the origin of the test verses the temptation. It Genesis 2 we find the tale of two trees. The Tree of Life verses the Tree of knowledge of Good & Evil. Satan used these trees to provoke a test. The reality is that God had provided a test previous to this to prepare Adam for this temptation. Adam passed the test, but failed the temptation. The test is found in Gen. 1:28, creating man in his own image, God blessed and charged him to “Be Fruitful… Subduing the earth… and have dominion over the animals. Satan’s temptation has not changed since the Garden. (Rev. 12:7-9 & Ezekiel 28:11-19 esp. vs. 17 tells of the original fall before man’s fall, Genesis 3:1-13 tells of the fall of humanity, Luke 4:1-13 tells of the temptation of Jesus, and 1 John 2:15-17 tells of the temptation that all humanity will face.) This temptation is three-fold;
- lust of flesh (fruit from tree of knowledge is good for food, turn stone to bread)
- lust of the eyes (fruit is pleasing/beauty to eye, have cities bow to you)
- boasting in wisdom of world (fruit makes us god-like, throw yourself from temple)
We know a tree by its fruit, (Matt. 7:15-20) below is a quick table showing us the fruit to know the difference between a test or temptation.
| Tree of Life–>
\!/ Tree of Knowledge
God’s good, pleasing and perfect will by a renewed mind.
“Good” that does not lead to life. (Foolishness)
Intended to bring harm, but redeemed for life.
Godlessness and wickedness motivated by a depraved mind
God only provides test to promote us to Life – that will always be his focus as should it be ours. We are to ask ourselves does this decision bring life or death. Satan will always focus his attention for us on is something is good or evil, for in doing do, the opportunity for death is always present. So when “something” takes place in your life, there is a way to know when it is a test or temptation prior to engaging it – but the answer you will get here is – when it is the Lord’s will it is a test. Read on below to make is a bit more bite sized.
First looking at this weeks scriptures – we see Job knows he is in a Test, but is friends want to prove he has done something evil. Hebrews 4 demonstrates that Jesus was tempted, yet we know the Father’s will was his choice and confidence is our hope. Mark 10 shows us the invitation to a test by Jesus for the rich young man, to which we do not see the end result, only the immediate choice. To which the disciples are shown that all those who pass the test, receive promotion in this life and in age to come. The Psalm walks us through the agony of a test, but clings to the faith and hope that nothing can overcome God’s Justice in Christ’s Righteousness. Overall we learn that those who seek the will of God have confidence in their choices, yet walk humbly by faith.
Our Test ”er” is the Holy Spirit who brings conviction to our hearts for the sake of Justice and Righteousness (John 16:7-8) This conviction promotes us to seek only the Tree of Life, rather than the Tree of Knowledge.
The fruit of the Tree of Life is Confidence & Humility.Where God’s Justice prevails over us (there is no invitation to the enemy) Confidence as a conqueror will prevail. Where Christ’s Righteousness prevails over us Humanity as living sacrifice will be our act of worship. The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil is Compromise & Haughty eyes.The test of God will begin with the Holy Spirit and yield victory in your spirit. The temptation of the enemy will begin in the flesh (soul +body) and yield victory in the eyes of the world alone.
Put in our own words the difference between a Test and a Temptation.
1. Where are you compromising in your Awareness (of self or others), Attitude or Actions?
2. Where are you victorious (a conqueror) in God’s good, pleasing & perfect will? Where you don’t have an answer to the second question – it is likely to lead you to a compromise of the first.
If you long to have an answer to the second questions regarding God’s will, ask for it – seek it out and discover what steps you may take to be ready for a promotion in God’s Kingdom.
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