Understanding the concept of the world can be difficult. You may have been raised in a Christian household, or perhaps you are interested in the religion and are wanting to explore your faith in God.
Whichever it is, there is one thing that we all want to know of, and it starts with this simple question – am I being tested?
The word ‘tested’ can be interpreted in different ways; some look at it positively, some look at it negatively. However, is it true that God is testing us? And if He is, what for?
Am I Being Tested?
It is understandable why some may look at being tested in a negative life – no one likes to be tested – but the truth is, God is testing us. But this isn’t a bad thing.
This is something that we as children of God should embrace because that is His will. There is a reason God created the Earth, a reason He created animals and humans. Everything we know has a purpose, including us.
What Do We Mean By Tested?
The general definition for the word “test” is the process of discovering what someone knows by means of practical or academic activities. The Bible, however, defines this differently. In this case, a test has nothing to do with how academic you are or what you are physically capable of.
This test is monitoring our lives in preparation for the afterlife. God tests us on love, honor, on our everlasting faith to Him. It is our duty to love Him and follow His word as stated in the Holy Bible.
However, this is nothing to fear. Everybody makes mistakes – one lie you made when you were merely six years old will not determine your entire existence. God is omnipotent (all powerful) and omniscient (all knowing), therefore only He can determine our future.
What is more is that no being knows what we are being tested on. Based on this, our only duty is to respect the word of God and live through each and every day living our lives to the best of our abilities.
Following the Lord’s Word
In simple terms, what we are being tested on is our faith. We are also being tested on the respect we give this world and the love we present to one another.
There is much written in the Bible – there are parables, words from God himself, stories on how he created the world and stories of his son.
Those stories are provided to his followers to set an example on how we should live. We have also been blessed with the Bible to teach us vital lessons.
One of the most notable ways that Christians and non-Christians alike know of is the Ten Commandments, a set of laws which God had issued to Moses on Mount Sinai. These commandments were set out on two stone tablets and God said to Moses that we must all obey what He commands.
These commandments are laws we must live by and adapt into our everyday lives. But it is important to remember that these laws are not a dictatorship of the way we live; it is a spiritual awakening and a promise we make to God.
The Ten Commandments go as followed:
- I am the Lord your God.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
- Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.
- Honor your father and your mother.
- You shall not kill.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.
Even as centuries have passed, these are still commandments that we can all understand, commandments which we can all relate to and commit to. We have to love God, know that He is our God, not speak His name is vain and honor our parents.
We will not commit crime (murder, theft) nor commit adultery on our partners. This is what we as God’s children need to follow in order to embrace the Christian faith and be one with Him.
Falling Into Temptation
Tests come in different shapes and forms, and although God is testing us on our faith and love to Him and each other, this doesn’t take away from temptation.
Temptation is a very, if not the most, powerful entity. It can come during our times of weakness, whether that is through doubting our faith or through falling into a bad habit.
The unfortunate thing is that this is someone we can never escape, it is just something we have to be strong enough to avoid. Our strength is provided to us by God.
Although some believe it unjust, it is true that God allows us to be tempted. But what he also does is gives us the strength to not give in to that temptation. Temptation is unavoidable, it is just up to us to get through it.
Who Tempts Us?
God allows us to be tempted, however that does not mean he is the one creating the temptation. The one who tempts us is the Devil. It is him who desires tempting us for he is the greatest evil. But we should not fear him because we as Christians have faith and that is what makes us strong.
Adam and Eve
We are all familiar with the story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden. At first there was Adam and Eve, and they were created by God. They were allowed to eat whatever they pleased, everything except for the forbidden fruit on the tree.
In the form of a serpent, the Devil tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit from the tree, Adam too eating the fruit. As soon as God found out, their innocence was destroyed and all paradise was lost.
In that moment, Adam and Eve betrayed God’s word for the Devil’s temptations were too strong. Their story is a lesson for all Christians and children of God. It is important to listen to God and follow His word, for He is all powerful and all mighty.
The Devil tempts us in a number of ways. He lies to us about what will make us happy, makes us not want to forgive others who have done wrong (God always taught his children to forgive), he tempts us to be afraid, to be discouraged, and he lies to us about what freedom truly is.
There are many who become confused with the topic of free will and who speak against it, however those are the ones who are not understanding of God’s plan.
Many argue that we do not have free will because God is controlling us by laying on commandments, but that is not the case at all.
It is true that God gives us rules to follow and there are requirements, however that does not mean that if someone was to go against those commandments then they are to be instantly struck by lightning. Everyone has a choice in life and there are two routes to go down – good and bad.
Every newborn baby is born in perfection – they are innocent creatures entering the world. What determines their path is their upbringing and the things which surround them.
The ‘good’ child may be raised with a great loving family who are charitable and attend Church every Sunday to praise our Lord and savior. The ‘bad’ child on the other hand may be raised in a negative environment surrounded by bad influences.
But this is not to say that this ‘bad’ child cannot one day in the future learn to be good. This is also not to say that this ‘good’ child will not one day go down a bad path. We as human beings and children of God have the ability to think and live freely.
God does not control us. God guides us. And with that guidance, we learn to be strong, to be believers, and to not fear the Devil’s temptation.
How To Not Give In
It is not a simple task to not give in to temptation, but this is completely normal. It is all part of life and is something we should look at positively, for in that moment of temptation we are proving our faith to God.
There are a number of ways, however, to not give in to temptation and focus on what this temptation is all about.
The first way is confession. Confession is the act of admitting to all of your wrongdoings and all of your sins – you can confess your sins to a priest.
Confession allows an individual to come closer to God as well as healing spiritually. By confessing, you are releasing any pent-up burdens and exposing them, admitting to any temptations you may have had.
Prayer is a powerful thing and is the main way of communicating with God. God is always there and is always listening to you so you can be reassured that through the power of prayer, your words will be heard.
You can either pray at Church, pray at home, pray with your eyes closed and hands together, or even pray through thought.
There is no right or wrong way to pray – what is most important in praying is that you are talking to God and asking him for guidance.
Know Of The Consequences
It is important to know of the consequences of sin, for to give in to temptation can lead to sin. Sin is described as a transgression against divine law, and anyone has the ability to sin, whether that be through our actions, choice of words, or our thoughts.
We will have the strength to not give in to temptation and to recognize that with temptation comes consequences.
How To Be A Stronger Christian – Be Closer To God
As Christians there is no given answer of how to “pass” God’s test. All we can do is do what we can to serve the Lord and follow his laws. This, however, is not always a simple task.
There are many people who struggle with their faith, struggle with temptation, forget why we have been chosen to live in His world.
Despite this, doubting your faith or struggling to stay strong does not mean you are not a Christian, it means that you have to find ways to be stronger and bring yourself closer to God.
But How Can We Do That?
It is all about dedication and knowing your worth. It is important to recognize that it is God who holds the power and it is God we need to show our worth to. Dedicate yourself to the religious faith and participate in various activities to become a stronger Christian.
Read The Bible
Reading the Bible is something anyone can do and you will find the Bible anywhere. Your local Church will be happy to offer you a Bible. You can also find Bibles online.
When reading the Bible, many choose to pick up key verses and look at psalms, really studying their meaning and understanding God better.
That is why there are Bible studies; this is an activity you can do in a group of Christians as you study the Bible and listen to the word of God.
Write Down Prayers
Try writing down prayers you remember, or prayers that are personal to you. Keep these prayers in a notebook and keep it close to you. With these written prayers, then take the time to speak to God and feel at one with Him.
Look around. The world is beautiful, and it is all down to God. He created the animals, the plants, the glistening yellow sun at day and the stars at night. Realize how lucky you are to be one of His children and allow this to help you grow stronger as a Christian.
We have learnt much about the power of God and the strength it takes to be faithful. It is true that we are being tested but this is not something to look at in a negative light.
God tests us in order for us to express our faith and determination to following God.
He has provided the world with these Ten Commandments, provided us with the Bible, and His put trust in His children to stray away from temptation and know right from wrong.
Being tested is not something we should view negatively and is nothing to fear. In the end, we will understand God’s power and show Him that we are strong Christians.