GOD’S TEST FOR HIS CHILDREN – TOT 101
Exodus 15:22, “So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water.”
Before God can entrust greater things into your hands, either in your personal life or in the ministry, He will first teach you how you must trust Him with all your heart and then test if you will eventually trust Him with all your life. The Lord taught and tested the children of Israel in the wilderness, but unfortunately majority of them failed and so they fell in the wilderness.
Do you know that God knows your needs before you are aware of them? Yes, He does! God knows you needed a life partner even before you saw the need for it, He knew you would need children when that was like the least thing you thought about. As a woman, God gave you womb since childhood, even when you did not need the womb, because God knew you would need the womb to conceive at a time; God did not give you womb after you are married. And so it’s applicable to all our needs. God knows what we will need and He has made provision for them even when we do not see the needs.
God brought the children of Israel from Egypt to journey in the wilderness to the Promised Land, as all-Knowing-God, would He not have known that they would need water to drink in the wilderness? But God wanted to teach and test them to trust Him, so He delayed the provision of the water. If the children of Israel were to trust God, they would have cast their need before God in prayer, who just delivered them from the Red Sea and from the bondage of Egypt; but if they were to doubt and disbelieve God, they would complain. Unfortunately, they doubted God, and so they complained. “Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore, the name of it was called Marah. 24 And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” Exodus 15:23, 24.
Now, there is something I need to let you know. Before God can you to the greater level in your spiritual life, ministerial life, financial life and even in your business and career, you must pass God’s test. Just the same way a student must pass tests and exams before he or she is promoted to another class in school or before graduation.
The center of the test is all about trusting God, either you would trust God or not. And another thing we need to know is that most of the difficulties we face are test of trust from God and difficulties are signal of imminent promotion in any areas of our lives.
One of the major reasons many children of God are not progressing in one aspect or the other of their lives or why they are repeatedly facing difficulties is because they are failing God’s test of trust and so God needs to keep them in the same class to keep repeating the same test, and that was the case with the children of Israel.
The first test of trust God presented to the children of Israel was at the Red Sea, but instead of them to trust God with all their hearts, having seen all the signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, no, they didn’t but they failed the test.
So God repeated the trust again at the water of Marah, “So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah. 24 And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?”
The children of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, God did not lead them on express road but to the Red sea, to test their trust in Him, but they failed and complained. Then thereafter He took them to the land of Shur where was no good water to drink, they could trust God and relax but again, they failed.
How did they fail? They complained instead of trusting God. So it now means the opposite of trusting God is complaining, and it means you cannot be complaining while you trust God and you cannot trust God while you are complaining, they are two opposites.
In Exodus chapter 16, God also tested them, “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.” Exodus 16:4. Unfortunately, they failed God’s test again at this time.
Then God came again to text them, in fact God came down on the Mount Sinai personally to text them, “And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.” Exodus 20:20. Yet they failed!
So for good forty years, God tested the children of Israel and they failed all the way. “And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.” Deuteronomy 8:2
The children of Israel were repeating a single class and a single test of Trust (TOT 101), the class they were supposed to take for forty days became forty years, they kept repeating and God is not a God of partiality, He had to keep them in the same class for forty years.
They could not enter the next level, they could not enter the promised land because they failed, so they fell in the wilderness. When a student keeps failing and failing same exam and in same class, what will happen? That was what happened to the children of Israel, only Joshua and Caleb that passed the test of trust entered the promised land.
God was not testing them to speak in tongues or to have a faith that would move the mountain, He was not asking them to do something extraordinary, but to simply trust Him. You would see in those situations, like at the Red Sea, God did not say they should learn how to fast for a long period time or to pray for several hours, He only said they should relax and just trust Him. But they couldn’t.
Now, we all have God’s promises for our lives which we are waiting for their manifestations. We are all praying for the fulfillment of God’s promises in our lives, ministries, marriages, finances, etc.
The truth is that God is so eager to fulfill those promises for us. The promises of God that you saw in your dreams, that you were told are very, very real. But you cannot receive them until you pass the test of trust. So many children of God are dying in the wilderness of life, in the wilderness of their ministries in the wilderness of life and they never get to the promised lands because they are failing test of trust. Many children of God keep repeating the same class over and over and by so doing they are delaying the fulfillment of God’s promises for their lives. Some even think it is the enemies working against them or hindering them from getting to the promised land or their appointed time has not yet come, not know that the delay is a result of their failed test of trust in God.
When you cannot trust God to make a way for you at the Red sea, when you cannot trust God to turn the bad, bitter water at Marah to sweet and good water, to turn the bad news to good news, to turn the medical bad news, financial bad news, to good things but you fail and fall into your own wisdom, by telling lies; is not because you could not wait upon God and trust His way and timing that has made you to join them, the ungodly group. Some are compromising or running away from where God placed them because they can’t trust God.
Some cannot wait for God’s appointed time; they want to begin to eat the food of promised land even in the wilderness.
Why trusting God is so important? Why would God want to test us before taking us into the promised land? It is because if you don’t trust in God, you will not be able to obey God, you will not be able to move forward when God asks you to do so, you will not be able to take the right steps by faith, you will not be able to wait upon God, you will not be able to follow God’s leading. God told the children of Israel to move forward even at the Red Sea but they couldn’t because they did not trust God to make a way for them at the Red Sea. Many children of God remain at the same spot in different areas of they live, not because of witches or wizards but because they can’t trust God to move forward by faith.
Now, when a child of God falls, fails the test of God, and realizes his failure and asks God for forgiveness. God will forgive, ok? But He will make you start over again, teach you, make you to learn and then set another test for you in another aspect of your life. God will not repeat the same exam for you, He never brought about Red Sea test again for the children of Israel, but He brought another test in another place in another form.
God is delaying your next level because it would be dangerous for you to enter the promised land without total trust in Him. If you trust God, you will not join the worldly system, you will not lie to get papers, you will not falsify your information to travel abroad. Those who traveled abroad by force, by falsification, how is market for them now?
If you trust God for your marital life, you will not go and marry anyone who is not God’s will, you will not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. If you trust God, you will not go and look for help from ungodly or unbiblical places.
For how long are we going to keep repeating our TOT 101?
You didn’t trust God for your life the last time, you realized and said “God I am sorry, I will not do it again, have mercy upon me and I will trust You for the rest of my life”. Now God said, “Alright, I forgive you” Then He brought another test again, He allows your wife to have unplanned pregnancy even in your joblessness and your wife, a full time housewife. WHAT? “God why? Why? In this situation of joblessness or in this situation of my critical health, I was warned by doctor never to have pregnancy again or else!” God would see if you would trust Him again or you will fail again.
The last time God tested you, you failed but you repented and promised God to always faithfully trust Him. But now another test has come, will you trust Him now or you will still fail? You will still compromise and fail God again?
Brethren, are you going to fail the next test of trust or you are going to depend, trust and obey God, no matter what?
If only you can trust God this time around and for the rest of your life and in every area of your life, if only you can surrender all to Him and let Him take over to take glory over your life. If only you will not go astray in your own way this time again, if only you will not keep complaining and compromising God’s standards and you shall see the hand of God in your life, you will see God making an express road for you right in the middle of the Red Sea, you will see Him turning the bitter water of your Marah to good water, you will see Him turning the bad situation and the bad news to good testimony and good news, if only you will let Him have His way in your life. You will see Him bringing water from the rock for you.
If only you can surrender your life to Jesus and trust Him with all your heart, you will see Him fighting your battles for you and taking you to your promised land, a land flowing with milk and honey. Will God be asking you too much by asking you to just relax and hand over your life into His hands to turn it around for good? He is waiting at the door, let Him in and let Him take over from here and your life will turn around from here. Amen
Gideon Akande (Evangelist)