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TEST COMES BEFORE TRUST

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We have always wanted God to trust us with greater things in life. Most of us want to excel in life, excel in our career and especially if you are someone walking in God’s ways, you really want God to trust you with greater gifts and greater blessing. There is nothing wrong with that kind of expectation. God wants to bless you big time. Just go for it!

God answered Elisha’s prayer because his heart was in the right place. Elisha had the right intentions. . The bottom line is you cannot claim what you think belongs to you if your heart is in the wrong place. God is looking at your heart before he opens his ears to your prayers.

Ps 66:18-20 says, ‘If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear”. But certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer, Nor His mercy from me!’

God will first test you before He can trust you. There were four major tests that Elisha had to go through before God granted him his request.

1. The test at Gilgal:

Gilgal was the place where the heaven sent manna ceased and pillar of fire was seen no more.

Josh 5:9-12 says, ‘Then the Lord said to Joshua, ”This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you,” Therefore the name of the place is called Gilgal to this day. …then the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten the produce of the land; and the children of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate the food of the land of Canaan that year.

Are you in a situation where your resources are running out and there is darkness all around you? Yes, sometimes the Lord allows situation that we have never wanted to test us if we will still trust Him! That is when we can say with the apostle Paul that ‘we walk not by sight but by faith’. Faith is not a mere word. Faith without works is dead!

At Gilgal we are expected to walk by faith. Step forward by faith. All these while we were fed with manna from heaven, we could see the cloud and fire but now we are expected to walk the walk of faith and not of sight.

2. The test at Bethel

Bethel is a place of wrestling with God in prayer. It is the hour of prayer.

“Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day…And He said,” Let Me go, for the day breaks,” But Jacob said,” I will not let You go unless You bless me! So he said to him, “What is your name?’ He said “Jacob” And He said, ’Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed,” (Gen 32:24-28).

Jacob was left alone. Have you ever been left alone? Great things happen when we get alone with God. Never feel sorry that you are all alone. Get alone with God. This is when we should cling on to the Lord. This is when we should not give room for the devil. Jacob had the courage to say to the angel of God, until you bless me I will not leave you. Be determined! You can make it through this test.

God is looking for people who will not ‘dance to the music’ but who will rise up and put a demand of the things that the enemy has stolen from them. Come out from the tradition and region and get on your knees and fight the good fight of faith!

3. The test at Jericho

Jericho is a place of warfare. When Jesus was talking about the kingdom of God, He said, ‘The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force’ (Matt 11:12). The Lord did not say that we will become victims of violence but he was talking about the spiritual warfare.

We need to take the sword of the spirit that is the word of God and start confessing it over our situation. Refuse to be refused in Jesus’ name. You are more than a conqueror (Rom 8:37). Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world (1John 4:4). Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:57).

Many of us lose the battle because we are not ready for the battle yet. Some get into the begging mentality and start pleading with God when God is counting on you to pick up the Word of God and fight the enemy. Others lose the battle because they trust in their own strength. God plus one believer equals a majority. If God is for you who can be against you? ( Rom 8:32)

4. The test at Jordan

Jordan is a place where you get a vision. You must be ready to dream big because our God is a mighty God.

“Please let the double portion of your spirit be upon me” (2Kings 2:9). The servant Elisha asks Elijah the great prophet for a double portion of the anointing to come upon him. But God fulfilled Elisha’s vision. Elijah the prophet did 8 outstanding miracles but Elisha the prophet did 16 outstanding miracles. God used Elisha more mightily than Elijah.

It was at Jordan that John the Baptist saw the vision of the dove descending upon Jesus. Joseph was a dreamer and visionary. Elisha saw the vision of Elijah being lifted up to heaven at Jordan. Jacob and Solomon are well known for their dreams. Joseph and Daniel not only received dreams but also interpreted the dreams of others.

Joel 2:28 says, ‘And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.

God is looking for people of vision. In fact, it is God who gives us those visions. But the question is, are we ready to receive them. God is not talking about daydreaming or sweet dreams. Dreams are channels of God’s communication with His children.

Do you have a dream? What is your God given vision for your life? Are you pursuing it no matter what?

May the Lord take you to a place where He can trust you in Jesus’ name, Amen.