Was it a spiritual attack? Or was it a test from God?
I think we first need to define what a test from God is. I’m going to give you my explanation … and feel free to educate me theologically if you have a different understanding. It could help us all understand it better.
I have been looking for a scripture which states “God tests us” or something to that effect, but I am having difficulty finding it. If you find one, please let me know, and I’ll update this post.
What I did find are scriptures discussing how we are tempted. The classic temptation verse is just below.
James 1:13 – 15 (NIV)
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
According to this verse, we cannot be tempted by God. Temptations come from our own evil desires. These desires stem from selfishness and pride, but they come from our own sinful nature. The devil and his horde use these desires to lead us to sin against God. However, we have this promise …
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
This brings a deeper understanding of temptation; God does not tempt us, but he will NOT allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. My understanding is God allows satan and his demons to put things in front of us which play off of the evil desires living within us. We see this clearly in the life of Job. Read below.
Job 1:6 – 12 (NIV)
One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.”Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
For this reason, we definitely cannot say God does not allow satan and his demons to tempt us. He allowed them to interfere with Job’s life. Their purpose was to cause Job to curse God. Job succeeded not because he was a super spiritual stud, but because God knew Job’s limits (limits he had given to Job) and did not allow satan to go beyond those limits. Refer back to 1 Corinthians 10:13 above.
The reason behind God allowing satan to tempt us is this:
James 1:2 – 4(NIV)
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
I’ve always been taught God tests us, he doesn’t tempt us. I have always thought testing was something God did with certain acts. And maybe he does and I’m just waiting on someone to correct me on this post. But I am beginning to see how his testing is usually intertwined with satan’s temptings. He allows satan’s temptings, but only what we can bear.
Now … to the story prompting this blog.
Recently, some doctors told me I have hypothyroidism. Plus, there is a good chance I may have gall stones. These two things have greatly effected my morning routine (especially the exercising part). In the last 3 weeks, I’ve put on 1.5 inches and gained 10 pounds. Now, I have a lot of work to do to get back to the place I didn’t want to be at in the first place. Therefore, I put a plan in motion. Starting today, I would arise early, get to work early (avoiding traffic issues) and have a quiet time and exercise time before going in to work. These are good things which will greatly enhance my life with God and my life here on this earth. The bad guys know this.
Last night, Chloe was awake for most of the night with an ear ache. Fortunately, my wonderful wife took her to the couch and tried to make her comfortable so she would sleep – which would allow me to sleep in order to be somewhat productive at work. This was actually good. My sleep was minimally impacted.
But the bad guys did their number on me by filling my mind with all kinds of things to think about and worry about and stuff. And this kept me awake. I awoke the next morning at 5 am, and was talking to myself about sleeping until 7. I almost convinced myself, but something prodded me to keep going. I showered, then, drove to the commuter lot. I got on the bus and began my quiet time. My prayer was “God, show my why I was spiritually attacked last night which almost caused me to miss out on this time.”
I arrived at work, and headed for the gym. I planned on a two mile run and actually started the run. As I was coming in on the final half mile, I began thinking how I should tell Kristie thank you for taking care of Chloe last night. And then, it occurred to me (or should I say, God answered my prayer.) The spiritual attacks from the night before all occurred in order to stop me from putting my life back where it needed to be in my time with God and in my physical conditioning. The bad guys were trying to keep me in bed. They almost won. But remember 1 Corinthians 10:13 from above. Thank you God for getting me through this morning.
Also … remember this verse …
Proverbs 6:10 – 11 (NIV)
A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.
I hope in some way this can be an encouragement to you.
Go with God,