Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Ever-Increasing Demands of Faith/David Wilkerson

Is there ever a point in our walk with God when we become so trusting, so proven faithful through the years of testing, that we can expect a respite from spiritual warfare?  Is there ever a vacation from troubles, a time when we can relax free of trials?  Does a lifetime of meeting faith's demands earn us a furlough from the battle? Is it possible to have nothing left to prove, to reach a point in faith where a test is no longer necessary?

The answer, according to Scripture, is no.  In fact, the opposite is true; the trials of the faithful increasingly become more severe and troublesome.  The Bible bears this out again and again, from the Old Testament to the New.  

This question enters the minds of many godly people about their own faithful lives:  "Lord, you know my heart.  I have trusted you through years of excruciating trials and testings.  You and I both know I will trust you no matter what I face in life.  So what are you after? What is this awful trial about?"  I have two responses to this question, both drawn from what I see in Scripture.
  1. The first reason for such continual testing is well known to most Christians.  That is, the life of faith continually demonstrates humankind's need for the Lord in all things.  Simply put, we never reach a point of not needing God.  The idea of a "furlough from trials" presumes a "furlough from need."  And there will never be a time when our needs are met by our circumstances.  The Lord is our source, our all in all.  
  2. I am convinced an additional reason beyond our ever-increasing afflictions - our trials that demand greater faith - go far beyond anything having to do with this world.  From what I read in Scripture, God's elect are being prepared for ministries in glory.  And our trials today are meant to bring victories having to do with the Lord's purposes in eternity.  
The battle you're enduring now is not about this world, not about the flesh, not about the devil. Rather, the warfare you're facing is preparation for your eternal service in glory.  You are being prepared for service on the other side.

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