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No hold-back and no reserve

Do you ever put God to the test? By 'testing' God, I am not saying you stubbornly do something you have been wanting to do that you know is clearly outside of his will, but really just wholeheartedly leaning into him so much that you don't lean on anything or anyone else in your life for that thing you are seeking. Trust isn't established in the absence of doubt, is it? It isn't built in the absence of fear or even frustration. Trust is formed when we let go of doing something ourselves and allow another to come alongside, take over, and begin to lead us. Putting God to the test begins when we let go - when we fully lean into him and allow him to really move within our lives in the way he desires to move. Not just in areas where we 'feel comfortable' allowing him to move, but even in those areas of our lives where we find he might just do a little 'meddling'!

Oh, put God to the test and see how kind he is! See for yourself the way his mercies shower down on all who trust in him. If you belong to the Lord, reverence him; for everyone who does this has everything he needs. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those of us who reverence the Lord will never lack any good thing. (Psalm 34:8-10)

Testing God doesn't mean we don't give him the proper reverence he deserves in our lives. It means we escalate him to the place of reverence he might not get as frequently as he deserves! We take backseat and he gets the lead - something that we struggle with more than we'd like to admit. He isn't put on a pedestal in our lives, but he is given the permission and access to begin to orchestrate the thoughts we dwell upon, the actions we begin to take, and the outcomes produced as a result. Sometimes I think we believe 'testing God' means we put some type of 'fleece' out there and see if God will meet our 'demands'. In the Old Testament, we observe a story of Gideon, asking God to 'prove himself' to him - because Gideon was having a hard time trusting the message he had received from God that God was going to deliver Israel from the hand of their enemies.

Gideon was having a 'faith crisis' at that moment. He didn't just put the fleece thing out there before God once, but twice! Once he asked God to make the fleece have dew on it in the morning and the ground to be totally dry around it; the other he asked the opposite, ground wet and fleece dry. He even goes so far as to ask God to not be mad at him for needing to have this 'test' to prove God meant what he said! Does this sound at all familiar to you? Have you ever had this crisis of faith, making it so difficult to trust God in spite of knowing he is clearly speaking into your life? I have and rather than trust God with what he said, I asked for my own form of proof that God was going to do what he said he would do! I think some of us do this regularly, but don't actually mean to.

His mercies are new every morning - a truth I am very cognizant of in my own life. His mercies are limitless - another truth I am very aware of because I need his mercies to be without limit in my life. It took a while for me to 'grow into' the trust relationship I have with God today, but in the process there was more than one time that I put God 'to the test'. I don't think he was put off by that, though. He allowed me to work through those 'trust issues' one by one until I finally came to the place of fully leaning on him in those areas. I think he will do the same in your life, too. You just need to realize where it is you are having this crisis of faith and then ask him to show you how to trust him when it seems like you cannot. He isn't going to deny you when you ask for the ability to trust - he is going to show you that he is totally trustworthy and without any reserve or hold back on his part when it comes to his grace and mercy! Just sayin!

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