When Does Trusting Turn to Testing?

In the Bible, we are told three very important things about our relationship with God: one is that we must not test the Lord, our God (Deuteronomy 6:16), we must trust the Lord, our God (Proverbs 3:5), and that we are to walk in faith, as Abraham did (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Yet, I believe there is a fine line between asking God for something and maintaining your faith whether or not you get it, or asking God for something and basing your faith on whether or not you get it.

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In the Gospels of Mark (11) and John (16) we are told that whatever we pray for in Yeshua’s name, we will receive. One significant difference is that in John, we are told that we will receive it from God, but in Mark we are told that if we trust we will receive it, and it will be ours.

They sound like the same thing, but they aren’t: John says what we ask for we will receive, but in Mark, there is the element of doubt that may prevent our receiving that thing we prayed for. Now, both of these statements are to have come directly from Yeshua, so why the difference? Well, the difference is because no two people can give the exact same witness unless they rehearse it.

The point I want to make is that when we pray for something, whether or not we receive it, our faith should be based on our choice to believe and not what happens after we pray. There is the not-so-obvious element in prayer that if our prayers are not for the right things, then God will not answer them, or his answer will be “No!”, whether we pray in Yeshua’s name or not. Our prayers have to be within God’s will, right?

At what point do our expectations for an answer change from trusting that God will do as we ask, or expecting God to do it, and if he doesn’t, allowing our faith to be weakened?

How many times have we known or heard of people who have lost faith because a loved one died, after praying that they survive? Or losing faith because what they asked for they haven’t received?

The truth is, as far as I see it, that they didn’t really trust in God, they were testing him!

They may have prayed for healing or for strength or maybe for protection, but in their heart, they were thinking, “I am supposed to trust in God, and I am asking in Yeshua’s name, so I should get this. If I don’t, then maybe God doesn’t really exist, or maybe Yeshua lied.”

We need to be faithful, and that means whether or not our prayers are answered as we want them to be answered. I believe God always hears our prayers, and he chooses when to answer them, and in which way, and his way is always the best way for us, whether or not we agree. He may say “Yes, here you are” or he may say “Yes, OK, but not just yet”, or “Yes, OK, but not it’s not going to be what you expected”, or he may just say “Nope- not gonna happen.”

Our trust in God should not be based on the belief that he will answer our prayers as we asked because we are weak and self-centered, and our prayers will reflect that more often than we care to admit. If our trust is based on receiving answers to prayers, we aren’t really trusting in God, we are testing him: I don’t think that will work out well.

Our trust in God should be that he knows best what is best for us, and when we pray, whether we receive the answer we asked for or not, we must continue to faithfully believe God knows what he is doing.

So, nu! Next time you pray, think about this: while your prayers are being heard, your heart is being evaluated to see if you are trustfully going to accept whatever answer God gives you, or you are basing your faith on whether or not he does as you asked.

Thank you for being here. Don’t forget to check out my newest book, “Not the Holy Bible: Learn the Bible Without Having to Read It” – you can get it through Amazon or use the link on my website.

That’s it for this week, so l’hitraot and let me wish you (an early) Shabbat Shalom!

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