Summary: Our growth in Christ
Preparation For Promotion Part 2: Test of Security
In my message last week, I shared with you that God has a desire to promote us, to bring us to a stronger place within Him so that He can fully utilize us for the work He has called us to do. I told you last week that there were several tests that we must consistently pass in order to reach that level, hence the term “promotion”. The first test was the test of trust. Do you really believe and trust God that He will do everything that He said He would do? Your trust in God is based on your knowledge of Him and your understanding of what He has said He will do. Do you believe His Word? For you to truly trust God, you must know Him. Our foundational Scripture is found in Ephesians 4:13-15 which says: “….until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” (NIV) Again, this Scripture tells us that we should be growing in Christ and with that growth develop the ability to be able to stand in the face of adversity without being tossed back and forth. In this message we will examine a second test, the test of Security which again allows us to be strong and steadfast while we are on the front lines in this spiritual battle.
I. The Test of Security
The word security has several meanings. The meaning that I want you to focus on today is this, “feeling secure; freedom from fear, doubt, etc.” The opposite of this is insecurity which means “not safe from danger; feeling anxiety; not firm or dependable.” God will not place us on the front line of battle if we are not ready. If we are not secure in what we know and believe, we will not be dependable. We will not have that sense that everything will be all right regardless of what we may see in front of us with our eyes. Deuteronomy 8:2 says “You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. As I told you last week, God is not the one who tempts us, but He can use the trials and temptations that we face to prove us. We are going to have troubles sometimes, but the issue is not the trouble. The issue is how we respond to the trouble. If we are in a secure place with God, our response to trouble will be different from that person who does not know if they are standing on a firm foundation with God.
Look at Luke 4:1-4. It says “Jesus, full of the Holy Ghost, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days and when they had ended, He became hungry. And the devil said to Him, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, man shall not live on bread alone.” After Jesus had completed His forty day fast, He was tempted by the devil. The first thing that Satan tempted Him with was His security about who He was. He tried to force Jesus to doubt that He was the Son of God. When I was in school we used this tactic to get each other to do something, especially if it pertained to something that would get the person in trouble. The statement would go something like this: “If you’re not scared to do it, prove it.” The point was to get the person to do it by making them prove that they were not too scared to do it. If the person continued to refuse to do it, they were harassed and called “chicken”. By the way, this was call fun. Has the devil ever done that to you? Has he made you doubt who you belong to by trying to get you to prove something? Has he made you doubt the authority in which you are called to walk in? This is how he operates. If he can influence you to become insecure in who you are in Christ, you will walk in that insecurity. He tried to attack Jesus’ security of knowing just who He was. You see, if Satan can convince us that we are not who we claim to be in Christ, then we will stop acting like who we are and begin acting like who we are not. When the devil found nothing in Jesus that he could attach to, He ultimately left Jesus. Jesus passed the test. Had the devil been successful in making Jesus doubt His identity, we would not be here today. The test of security (or insecurity) is a major test for anyone who is going to be used of God, especially those called into the ministry. You will have people question your motivations, your beliefs, and your authority. Even if you are not in ministry, you will be faced with people wanting to know if you truly believe what you are saying and/or doing or if you are play acting. To face this type of opposition, especially from those close to you, you must be very secure in who you are in Christ and what you have been called to do.