God's Proving Ground for Faith by Os Hillman
By Os Hillman
Ebook PDF Download
By Doug Fortune
"He did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience." Judges 3:2
God brought the nation of Israel into the Promised Land of Canaan through Joshua. After Joshua, there came an entire generation who had very little experience in fighting battles like the ones fought by Joshua. Training and testing God's people is one of God's important strategies that enable His children to succeed in spiritual warfare. This is why we do not live a life free of trials. These trials are sent specifically to see if our faith is real or simply empty words.
"They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the Lord's commands, which He had given their forefathers through Moses" (Judges 3:4).
God allows circumstances to develop around your life to give your faith opportunity to be proven. It is only when we are tested in battle that we become skilled warriors. You can be confident God will allow trials to come your way through situations like an unreasonable boss, a vendor who refuses to pay, a false assault on your character, or a difficult relationship that requires unconditional love. These battles are sent your way to test what you know in the mind in order that they might become part of your heart.
You will discover if you have passed the tests or if you need more battles that will give you the opportunity to learn the art of spiritual warfare. Do not fear these battles that are before you. God has already given you the victory if you choose complete dependence and obedience to Him. Then you will become one of God's greatest warriors, skilled in spiritual warfare.
"Then Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband." Ruth 1:3-5 Naomi's life was going well. A great husband. Two fine sons who had two wonderful wives. Then the unthinkable happened. Her husband died. A little time later both her sons die. Her and her daughter-in-laws find themselves in the midst of shattered dreams. This isn't how life was supposed to be.
"While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, 'Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.'" Acts 10:19-20 Peter had never preached to the Gentiles. In fact, he believed it was against Jewish law to associate with the Gentiles. God needed to change Peter's attitude about this, so God gave Peter a vision that showed him it was permissible to preach to the Gentiles. The Spirit came to Peter and informed him that some men were about to come visit him, and he was to go with them. He went with them, and the Lord did great miracles in the lives of Gentiles through Peter.
"So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, 'Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel down to drink.'" Judges 7:5 Would you ever take on an army of 100,000 with only 300 men? Sound preposterous? I agree. However, this is exactly what happened with Gideon. It was bad enough that he began with 10,000 against 100,000, but this was too many men according to God. He would not allow Gideon to fight with this many soldiers, because the temptation would still remain to believe that it was the strength of his army that won the victory. God told Gideon to pare down his army to a mere 300.