June 3, 2018
Stick With the Itinerary
Have you ever been involved in a situation or an opportunity in which you ran into some resistance and wondered whether you were heading in the right direction? You may have felt confident in the journey when you began, but now an obstacle (or second thought) has caused you to reconsider the original plan/destination? Is it a test? If God knows my heart, if He knows what I am thinking, and if He knows what I am capable of, why would He be testing me?
In the world we live in we are constantly being tested. We are tested in school. We are tested to get our driver’s license and we are even tested to see if our personalities are suited for a particular job or assignment. These tests tell those testing something about us, but maybe they are truly meant to tell us something about ourselves. If God knows everything then why does He test us? Is it possible that in midst of the journeys of life, God creates these tests in order to help us to see that (1) He is always with us, (2) that this task or journey was designed to help us to learn more about ourselves and (3) sometimes, to recognize that He would not have called us to this particular task had he known we were not up to it.
Our lives are full of journeys, short and long. These journeys will invariably have roadblocks, obstacles and tests that are meant to equip us to deal with whatever is ahead. When we grasp the concept that God only tests to make us stronger, to help us to understand our selves better, and to allow us to be an active part of His plan, it should give us great confidence that we can truly do “all things (we are called to) through Christ who strengthens us.” If God is orchestrating these tests, maybe it is a good idea to “stick to the itinerary.”
Questions to ponder:
· What do you think was the main point of Matt’s sermon?
· Do you think there is a difference between a “test” and a “temptation?” If yes, what is the difference?
· What message(s) do you think God was trying to communicate to Abraham (and to us) by asking him to sacrifice his son? (Genesis 22:1-19)
· How does knowing this affect your relationship with God and those around you?
1. What does this say about God?
2. What does this say about me?
3. What does this say about how God wants me to be?
Do something about it:
Life is full of journeys and tests. How you deal with and what you learn from them is a key to clarifying what God’s purpose is for you. Make a list of the trials and current “journeys” you are involved in. Ask the question, “If this is a test from God, what might He be wanting me to learn about myself? What can I do in the midst of this journey that will point the others on this journey toward God?”
Genesis 22:1-19; Exodus 12; Philippians 4:12,13; Romans 5:3-5; James 1:2-4