Once people accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and thus saved from the wrath of God to come they are also assured of eternal life. The Holy Spirit is a down payment of that assurance.
The rest of a believer’s life should be focused on walking and living by faith and not by sight. The Bible says the just walk by faith and not by sight. Once a believer is saved, it is at the very moment, he/she has been enrolled in God’s School of Faith. That is why Romans 1:17 says,”…the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith.” In other words the more you grow in faith the more God reveals Himself to you.
I often say the reason God allowed man to develop a educational system for children, that calls for students to graduate from one grade to the next is to illustrate to His children, His beloved, how His School of Faith works. The only way a believer can grow is by graduating from one level of faith to the next.
Like carnal schools, God must test us or allow Satan to attack us in order for us to graduate to the next level. During the course of a believer’s life there are at least three (3) tests every believer will face in order to graduate to the next level. I am 100 percent sure every believer has faced one of the following tests, and if not, they are sure to come.
There is the test of circumstances whereby God will create a circumstance in your life to see whether you will continue to trust Him or trust the world’s systems or values. When Abraham began to walk by faith, God created a famine in the land to see if Abraham would continue to stay where God had lead him or would He leave and put his trust in the world. Abraham left and went down to Egypt. Throughout the Bible, Egypt is always symbolic of the world. He failed the test. God is the God of circumstances. He creates situations in our lives to see if we will continue to trust Him. Sometimes the circumstances are so harsh that God is looking to see if we will stand and say, “yea though he slay me, but yet will I trust Him.”
Then there is the test of people, whereby God will use people to see if you will continue to put your trust in Him. God gave this test to His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, when He allowed Satan to test him as to whether or not He was the Son of God. Many of us are tested by people who try to place doubt in our minds as to whether we are saved. God wants to see if you believe you are saved by what other people say or by what His word says. Faith cometh by hearing, hearing by the word of God.
The last test every believer will face is the test of things. God will use things such as money and possessions to see if your trust is truly in Him or in what you have or might could have. Many people have committed suicide because God allowed them to lose their money or possessions in order to test their faith. God often test churches on how they treat their members to see if the church is trusting God or trusting the wealth of its members. Many believers are walking in vanity instead of walking by faith because of their possessions. They have failed to realize that the Word of God is their will that shows and tells them how rich they are. It is faith that unseals the will.
God inhabits the praises of His people but the only thing that truly moves God is faith. Even our praise must be mixed with faith. God will continue to test your faith so you can grow and be able to receive more blessings from Him. We all fail God’s tests from time to time, but He will never kick you out of His School of Faith. He will just keep on testing you until you pass. And when you finally pass, He will have another one waiting on you. God wants us to be able to move Him into doing great things for us but He cannot move in a great way without our faith growing from faith to faith.
Gilbert Owens is a native of Roseboro and a columnist for The Sampson Independent.