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Friday, September 24, 2010

A Testimony Starts with "A Test"

Matthew 4:1 (NIV)
1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.

Right after Jesus was baptized He is led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. It seems that the purpose of the Spirit is to test Jesus.

I believe that everyone that makes a commitment to the Lord will be tested. He or she will have difficult times as soon as they say, "I'll do whatever you say, Lord. No matter what!" It is then that the test begins.

I have had many people tell me that they have committed their finances to the Lord only to have unexpected bills come their way immediately. They have told the Lord that they will always trust Him and soon seen their children sick or their job in jeopardy. They have committed themselves to a mission trip or to teaching Sunday School and been struck with a personal illness which shook their faith.

I am not trying to say that "no good deed goes unpunished." I am saying that we never know the reality of our own faith as long as it is never tested. A testimony starts with a test.

I looked carefully as I read this one verse. The Spirit led Jesus. The Spirit does not tempt us. We are merely led to the place of temptation. The tempter will always stand ready to have us tarnish God's glory. He will tempt with the hope that we will join him in cursing God.

The Spirit led Jesus also means that He was out front. Leading requires you to be out front. He doesn't send us to the place of temptation but leads us to that place. He knows what will happen and therefore stands before us.

The Spirit led Jesus also means that He is with us through the whole temptation. We are never alone. We always have His strength if we will simply stop trying to win our battles without Him.

It is interesting to note that the devil threw his best at Jesus, failed and left Him. This does not mean that he never opposed Jesus again. He just realized that he was defeated and had no further reason for being there.

It was from this point that Jesus began His preaching ministry. He had been tested and proven true. He had a testimony.

Is there a testimony being created for you right now? Have you committed yourself to the Lord only to find yourself being challenged like never before? Please remember these three things:

The Holy Spirit is leading you right now.

The Holy Spirit is before you right now.

The Holy Spirit is with you right now.

Your power can be found in Him. From this testing you will have a powerful testimony.

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