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by Reverend A. LaMar Torrence, Cross of Life Lutheran Church
I. Often there are times in our lives when we ask the question: What is it? What’s going on? How come I can’t get a breakthrough or why is it that I’m living from hand to mouth, cant’ never get ahead, and nothing seems to get accomplish? You take two steps forward and three steps back. It seems like you are literally taking it just one day at a time, just barely keeping it together. For some it seems that you are living just to go to work and pay bills. For others, your relationship, your marriage is in a rout- no passion or compassion. You wake up not speaking to each other and go to bed arguing. You’ve become roommates and there is no romance. So you ask yourself the question, what is it? Is it I? Am I the crazy one? Am I purposely-living life or am I living with a purpose? Well you need to know today that God has a purpose for your life. He has a plan design just for you. The only decision you must make is will you follow his plan. Will you walk in his teachings or not? That is the decision you must address. What is this? That is the question that is eating away at the hearts of the Israelites. Why are we experiencing these current circumstances? Why does each new day bring triumph or tragedy, pleasure or pain, sweet times or sour times? Where is the consistency- the promise of a land flowing with milk and honey? One day we are celebrating Pharaoh’s defeat. The next we are thirsty for water. One moment we are living in an Oasis. The next we are starving in desert? What is this?
A. What is it? Well. This is a Test. (Tell someone it’s only a test). This is a test to see how you will answer the question-what is it? This is a manna test. This is your spiritual SATs, GMATs, etc regarding your faith. You have given God lip-service saying you want his will done in your life, so now he’s putting you to the test.
B. What is it? This is a time of trying whereby God is proving you. He is preparing you spiritually, mentally, and physically to inherit the promise. He is developing your faith. He desires to have a people that are faithful going from faith to faith; people who will be spiritually outstanding. He is calling you to be his people patterned after his word, his likeness, and his glory. He is “proving” you; training you in the faith to grow your faith. He wants you to grow in your relationship with him. No body is perfect but you are being perfected (Matthew 5:18, Hebrews 13:20-21, 1 Cor.1:28, 1 Peter 5:10). You came to him broken, afraid, uncertain, sinful, and tired. And he took you as you were. Now he is refining you, shining you up like pure gold, getting the diamond of coal. Before you can increase your territory Jabez, he wants to see if you will be faithful over what you have.
C. What is it? This is a time of trusting whereby you will have to learn how to live not by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. You have to learn how to walk by faith and not by sight. How to trust him when there is no money in the checking account, no more minutes left on the phone card, the light bill is due, groceries are low, and the car is in need of repair. This is a time where he will give you your daily bread and you have to trust him daily. He’ll give you just enough to get by and that’s it. You have not entered
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