April 21, 2022 8:00 am
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Greetings, friends and new listeners and welcome to The Sound of Faith.
I'm Sharon Otz, thanking you for being with us today because we know faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. If you've ever been in a time of prolonged testing, today's message is perfect for you. For reasons God allows prolonged testing. God has promised that He is faithful and will not allow us to be tested above what we are able to endure.
Find out why He sometimes allows our test to become protracted in four reasons God allows prolonged testing. We're going to begin this morning in 1 Corinthians chapter 10 and reading a very familiar verse. 1 Corinthians 10 and 13. There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man or to humans but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able but will with the temptation also make a way to escape that you may be able to bear it. A well-known verse that we all love and quote but I want to do something a little different right now. I'm going to go back and read it again but I'm going to stop at a certain point and see how we get a different effect. There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted period.
How many see the difference? Oh yes I think we would all like it to be that way. We would like it to end with a period after tempted. Amen. You know we would like it if it read He will never allow you to be tempted. He will never allow you to be tried but I'm sorry it doesn't read that way.
Amen. In fact it's telling us God will allow you to be tempted and He will allow you to be tried and the word tempted there in the Greek is parazzo and it means because we remember this is God allowing this and James told us that God doesn't tempt anyone with evil. That is not his nature. He's not interested in you failing or falling. Here's how God allows us to be tempted or tried.
The word parazzo to test a thing for the purpose of ascertaining its quality or to ascertain how someone thinks or behaves and it's in a good sense. God wants to see what you will do and what I will do when He allows us to go through certain circumstances and He's voting for us. He's cheering us on that we will behave the right way and act and do the right things. It means to try one's faith to try one's virtue and character and to prove that you can endure and that you can make it.
So that's a good thing. You know we buy products that have the UL approval on it and the good housekeeping approval on it and that UL is very important. It's under laboratories and it means that they test things that if they're not properly manufactured could be dangerous, could set your house on fire, could have faulty wiring or other things that it doesn't pass the test and when it doesn't pass the test they got to go back to the drawing board and start over again because we don't want to buy things that are going to be dangerous or harmful to us. Amen. So if He allows us or if He allows temptation to take hold on you He does it because He knows that you can pass the test.
He said He will not allow you to be tested above that which you are able. The word above there is hyper and we understand the word hyper don't we? We say someone a kid is hyperactive we know that kid is bonkers over the top. You can't get that kid to be still. You know it's hard to make them to sit still for a little while.
Amen. How many know that? And sometimes there's some adults that are that way too. They're just hyper they just go a mile a minute.
You can't keep up with them. And so the word is a superlative idea meaning He won't allow you to go beyond. To go above or beyond is what it means. And then the word able.
We all know we can hear dunamis in that can't we? And we know that that is the strength that God gives. It's the ability that He gives that makes us able.
That makes us capable. So God is never going to allow you to be tempted above or beyond what you are able. Because He's going to give you the ability. My dad brother Hardy always used to say God will never bring you to your breaking point. But He will bring you to your able point. Amen.
That's a good word isn't it? So it says with the temptation also make a way of escape. We want to look at these two words with as a preposition and also here is a is an adverb and we kind of skip over little words like that. But they're very important.
They're in the language for a reason. And when we put with and also together because they go hand in hand with the temptation. He will also make the way of escape. So it tells you that they go together.
God allows the test to come. But He's got connected with it already the way of escape. The way of escape. That means the way out.
Let me tell you what the Greek word is for out of. Ek. Ek. Basis.
And Ek is E-K but we bring it into the English as E-X. So I'll draw your attention to my left and to my right that over the doors lit up nice and bright and red lights is the word X it. You go out of it. That is the way out. If suddenly we knew that there was a fire we should go out of that door.
That's where we need to go right there. Turn and go that way and go out of it. It's your way of escape. Amen.
And that's what the word means. And you know Jesus said in John 14 6 I am the way. But I want you to know Jesus is not only my way. He's my way out. He's my way out. Amen. He is my exit. When there is trouble that is gaining on me.
He's the way out. Now you know if you watch any kind of movies or shows you know about warfare especially military warfare and you know maybe about espionage and covert ops. I like those kind of shows. I like shows with espionage you know when the spies and the intelligence and they've got to you know figure one another out and then the covert ops when they have to go undercover and do things like that. I like to watch those kind of things as long as they don't have terrible language in them. I like to watch them.
Amen. Now you know if you have ever watched any of these you understand that before they go on a covert ops for instance the SEAL teams you know they are de la creme of the military. They go through extraordinary training and most of the ones that start off don't make the team.
It is so grueling. The training they have to go through most of them fall out of the training before they ever finish. And so when they finally go on these covert ops you know for instance when they went after Osama bin Laden they had to have a lot of intelligence before they dared send them over there.
Amen. They had intelligence that they had gathered from some of the wives and some of the other people that had worked for them. So they they go after all of this information and then and only then do they release these SEAL teams to go in these dangerous places. But they also have an exit plan because just because you rehearsed and rehearsed this is what we're going to do.
You know number one young guy does this two does that three does that etc. And they build temporary places and stages where they actually go through it like this is what we're going to see and this is what we're going to do. But that doesn't mean it's going to be just like that when they get there because something can always go wrong and usually will. Usually there's something they didn't expect or didn't know about and what are they going to do then. What if it goes really really bad. They have to have an exit plan. Amen.
Because they don't want to lose more men trying to go get one man. So they have to have a way out. And let me tell you something. The Lord always has an exit plan for you and me. When you're in the middle of that severe trial you may not see a way out and you may get a little frantic and you may start to become doubtful or fearful but you've got to trust the Lord that if things really go bad he's got an exit plan for you. There is a way out. And the way I see it God will either give you or say to you go out this way or he'll say day I'll give you grace to stay. He's either going to say go out this way or I'm giving you grace to stay. Amen.
We saw that with Paul when he said you know I'm this is the third time I'm praying this prayer. I'm tired of this messenger of the devil buffeting me and I want you to get rid of him. I want him to go right now God. And the Lord said no.
Not going to remove him. But what I'm going to do is give you the commensurate grace to stay up under it. You know if God gives you the commensurate grace you're going to make it. You're going to make it.
Amen. You might have to fight a little longer and warfare a little longer but he's going to bring you out. And in the meantime he's going to give you the grace to endure. The Greek word for endure is hupa pharoah. It means to bear up under something and let me give the qualifier to do it patiently. Those amens got a little quieter.
Did you notice. So not only to endure but to do it patiently. And you can't do that without God's grace because you don't have that kind of grace. You don't even have that kind of grit.
Amen. But God wants you to not only endure but he wants you to do it patiently because he wants you to come out of that thing with your document. I just passed. How many know when you graduate when you go take a course and you get that document says Sharon Hardy Knott's has completed this course and graduates with honors and excellence. Now that makes you feel good when you go to nursing school or tech school or some other type of school and you get that it makes you feel real good or if you work for the government and you get another higher up clearance because how many know you can't work for the government if you don't have clearance and you may go in at the entry level and you only got clearance for certain things.
In fact you may not even be able to walk around the buildings unless you've got an escort who has clearance to take you into certain rooms but you can get more training and you can pass the test and then you can start going in some of those other places and you can continue to do that and it makes you feel good when you've achieved that kind of excellence. Oh well you know how good you're gonna feel when you come through that test that prolonged test and God says see I told you you were gonna pass I knew you were gonna pass I wouldn't have put you through it. Amen. Now usually that's all we would read is verse 13 but I want you to look at verse 14 because they go together. Wherefore my dearly beloved flee from idolatry. Now it may sound out of place to you because you're thinking okay we're talking about being tested what's this got to do with idolatry. Remember Paul writing to the Corinthians was writing to former pagans who worshipped all kinds of gods and it was their routine that if they had any kind of trouble going on in their lives the gods were mad at them. So you got to do something to get them so they're not mad at you you got to appease them come bring a sacrifice to the gods come offer this burn incense bring something get them on your good side.
So this is kind of what Paul understood. So what is our takeaway? Our takeaway is when you're under great pressure and you're looking for a way out don't rely on yourself.
Amen. Don't trust in other people. Trusting God to see you out. You may go and ask people to pray with you about this thing but if you're looking for them to get you out of it then that is idolatry in a manner of speaking. God wants you to run to him to come to him he's greater he's stronger he's higher than the arm of flesh his mighty arm has gotten him the victory and it will not fail you. He will undergird you with the everlasting arms that are in eternal refuge and you know that you are safe in his arms.
My God I've been singing that song all week safe in his arms. Amen. When the storms and the winds and the waves come I know that I am sheltered in his arms of love. I know God is faithful that tells me he will limit the temptation he will limit it so that it won't be more than I can handle so I won't fall apart and give in to it. He will provide the escape and he will proportion the temptation so I can get through it or he'll proportion the grace so that I can endure it. Amen. Now coming off of this I'm going to give you four reasons God allows us to base temptation and trials and sometimes prolonged trials where we may think because Satan will be quick to tell us God's not answering your prayer. Amen. And so we're going to look at it for reasons. Number one God allows us to go through prolonged testing to teach us spiritual warfare.
Like I mentioned a moment ago these military ops teams and such they have to go through extensive training before they ever face the enemy and sometimes they learn on the job. Amen. And it's the same way with us. Let's turn to Ephesians chapter six. Now I preached this message a month ago and I really took it apart. But we read here in Ephesians six and verse 10. Finally my brethren be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God that you might be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all to stand. I believe I pointed out to you when I preached this message that we are told three times to stand. And we can when we have on God's divine armor.
Amen. And we went through all of these words and I was very technical about all the meanings of this. And then we went on to read in verses 14 to 17 what the armor consists of.
And I'll just quickly refer to them because as I said that message has it in great detail. First of all we've got to be strong in the Lord and the power of his might. This word strong and dunamanao means to be strengthened with God's strength inwardly. Inward strength. You know a lot of people don't work out you know I'm talking about like at the gym. They're really really big on getting core strength. They say if you can get core strength then that is going to help your whole entire body be strong. And as you age you will continue to be strong because you get the core strength. And there's certain exercises that it takes to do it.
And they're hard and they're tough especially when you first get started to do the exercises that strengthen all these core muscles. Amen. Kind of think of that in a spiritual sense.
That's what he's talking about here. Having core strength inwardly spiritually. And then he says be strong in the Lord and in the power. He brought out the fact that that word is kratos and it means great force demonstrated. It means also dominion power.
Power that rules rules over other power. And then in the power of his might the word might is iskus. And we talked about how that was like a big muscle guy like like the hawk or Iron Man. Just muscle bound. And so whatever they do they had this outwards you know muscles that you see but all that's not just for show so they can get on there and you know and do all this and maybe win a prize. No they got strength in here.
They can take and pull a car with their teeth and a rope. Amen. We're talking about this awesome force in operation.
That's what we're to do. I call it the triple threat. The triple threat. You've got dunamis.
You've got kratos and you've got iskus. You've got strength inwardly. You've got power and you've got force and might. And that's what we get only when we have won the whole armor of God. We're able to stand against the walls of the devil.
The word is methodia. We bring in methods into the English meaning. We know what his methods are. You know the devil does the same thing over and over again.
Amen. He figures out people and he comes up with strategies and he does the same old thing but that helps us a lot. Because once we understand and the Bible tells us plenty about who he is.
A trespasser, a liar, a murderer, a slanderer, accuser and may I add a coward. Because he always attacks when you are most vulnerable. He don't want to attack you when you're strong. I've got all the armor on.
He's not a dummy in that respect. Amen. So we can stand and then we learn the girdle of truth which is so important because it carries and it connects to most all of the other weapons. And of course we know that's the written word of God. The breastplate of righteousness.
Righteousness is what guards our hearts. Amen. The shoes of the gospel of peace. We found out they're killer shoes. They're not just fashionable gladiator sandals.
No they got spikes on the bottom and spikes sticking out of the toes and can take down an enemy in a minute. Amen. And the shield of faith. Keeping it out in front. Quenching every fiery dart of the enemy. The helmet of salvation is so important because the mind is the arena where Satan attacks first. Amen. And then the sword of the spirit.
Oh my it was so good I had to come back the second week and just preach on that. The spoken word of God. Because it's a two-edged sword. When God speaks it to you then it is one edge.
But it's not going to be two edges until you open your mouth and you speak it out loud. Then it becomes a two-edged sword. It's the one weapon against which Satan has no defense. It actually strikes terror in his heart. Because that kind of sword we learned about that the Romans had. When they stuck it in it had all these serrated edges. It just shred the insides of a person to pieces.
And when he pulled it out it did even more damage. That's what we do when we have the spoken word of God upon our tongue. So the first reason that God allows us to go through prolonged temptations and trials is to teach us spiritual warfare.
And we do need to be taught. Look I have known the Bible since I was yay high. First with my granny. You know before I even went to school. I mean I got my first Diggs Bible when I was 15.
I have been to Greek classes. I have studied the word of God extensively. But when I was in the most fierce battle of my life when I was thrust in bed with intractable pain 24-7. I really at that point did not know how to exercise spiritual warfare. Oh I could have preached it to you.
Taught you all about it. I could have given you the scriptures. But to do it it took me a while to get going. I let the devil slap me around a while. I laid there and cried.
My pillow was full of tears for a good while. Until finally I got the revelation. You're going to have to open your mouth.
You're going to have to start speaking it. Amen. And of course I better not park there.
So I better move on to number two because I could park there indefinitely. Number two reason why God allows us to go through prolonged trials and temptations. To manifest to the angelic beings both the good ones and the evil ones. Satan's utter defeat. Remember when the disciples came back to Jesus.
He had sent them out two by two. Said now you go into the cities and towns. You heal the sick. You cleanse the leper. You cast out demons. You preach the gospel.
You tell them this is the kingdom of God. And they came back. They were so joyful. They were just coming back running over. They had such success.
They had such great victories. They couldn't wait to get back and say Jesus even the demons are subject to us in your name. Like that was news to him.
He wouldn't have sent them out and told them to do it if he didn't expect them to succeed. And they were gleeful and delighted about it. And here's what Jesus said. I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
What? So we just told you the demons are subject to us in your name. And you say I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
So what Jesus was saying is I expect this. I was there. I was there and I watched as he got kicked out of heaven and all of his rebellious angels with him.
Amen. I saw it. And not only did Jesus see it, but all of the faithful angels, the two thirds of angels that stood true to God, they were standing there and they saw Lucifer come marching in with his one third of rebels. They saw them come in before the throne of God.
And he started acting like I'm going to throw you. And God didn't even get up off of his throne. And the word of God didn't get up off of his place. Amen. One of God's faithful archangels, Michael, he stood up and he gave and he must have had those killer shoes on.
He gave Satan a good kick with those killer shoes and he fell like lightning. Amen. What an insightful word of the Lord. For reasons God allows prolonged testing. God is on record that he is faithful and that he won't allow us to be tested above that which we are able. When we feel that we are at our breaking point, he will make a way of escape and exit plan or give us the commensurate grace to stand. I have found four reasons in scripture that explain why sometimes tests are harder and longer to teach us spiritual warfare, to manifest to angels Satan's utter defeat, to reveal to the faithful angels his plan of redemption and to teach us to never give up.
We will look back to the pre-creation account at the fall of Lucifer, to the coming of the Redeemer and his delegated victorious authority to his church, to the coming sequel of Satan's fall and the believer's eternal glory. Four reasons God allows prolonged testing can be ordered on CD for a love gift of ten dollars or more for the radio ministry and please consider adding extra to help us with mounting postal costs. Request SK 218, that's SK 218 and send your love gift of ten dollars or more to Sound of Faith P.O. Box 1744 Baltimore Maryland 21203 or you can order online at soundoffaith.org where MP3s are available. But to order by mail, send your minimum love gift of ten dollars, request SK 218 to P.O. Box 1744 Baltimore Maryland 21203 and we would appreciate your letting us know the call letters of this radio station. Till next time, this is Sharanat saying, Maranatha.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-29 01:17:23 / 2023-04-29 01:27:14 / 10