Tested By Trial
15Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth. -2 Timothy 2:15 (AMP)
I absolutely adore little things, tiny things. I used to love to go to the trial size aisle in any store. There was just something endearing to me about all of the miniature little packages, mimicking the full sized version. Part of the excitement of planning trips for me was a justified excuse to peruse this favorite location in the store.
I must confess that I am one of those people that take the little soaps, shampoos and lotions from the hotels. My husband, returning from a trip recently, knew that I would be excited with the surprise that he was bringing to me; little hotel soaps. My favorite kind, the one’s wrapped in thin paper so that the fragrance can be diffused without even opening them.
Does that not parallel who we are supposed to be in Christ Jesus? Trial sized versions of Him, emulating such a fragrance as to convince others, even without saying a word, to invest their lives in the “full-sized version”, Jesus.
Society says that word of mouth is the best advertising. Why? People like to base their opinions and pin their hopes on the experience of others. But what happens when opinion becomes opinion based on opinion? It becomes a sure foundation…for failure.
Christianity was never meant to be centered on opinion. That is where doctrinal divide entered in, blinded the Pharisees to even recognize Jesus as the Son of God and continues among proclaimed believers today.
The Pharisees were very educated men, “scrupulous” observers of the Law. Paul even proclaimed himself to be “a Pharisee, son of a Pharisee”, in Acts 23:6. He grew up trained in the Scriptures, fasted, observed the feasts…he could quote the Word. The packaging was right, the commercial was perfect with appeal, but the contents were lacking.
Saul, before his conversion to Paul, was an experienced Pharisee. But he had no experience with Christ Jesus as Lord. He persecuted and killed Christians in his zeal for God. But after his trial and testing on the road to Damascus, Paul became a trial sized version of Christ.
Because of the trials and testing that Paul endured, he was able to accurately guide and encourage Timothy in the way he should go.
As humans we would all rather take the road of less pain. But the truth is, as Christians, when we try to travel the “path of least resistance” we find ourselves steeped in circumstances we should have never had to encounter.
We want the blessings and the promises of the Scriptures but not the stretching of our faith that might be required of us. We want to claim we are set apart from the world, but often cannot be distinguished from it. We make large claims of wanting to be like the “Paul’s” of the Bible, without investing even a portion of ourselves in the capacity that he did.
There’s no condemnation. We are human. God knows that and understands. Jesus came, took on human form, emotions and all, so that we could relate to Him. If you read, you will find that He didn’t want the pain and suffering either. But He chose it. He invested His life in us.
The degree to which you invest, will determine the return that you gain from that investment.
The Pharisees were very invested in their learning and obedience to the word of the Law. They were invested in their observances of the feasts and festivals. But when they were faced with the very Messiah that they had studied, they did not know Him.
You can only be a trial sized version of what you are tried in.
All of the packaging, commercializing and promises of what you are representing are going to be tried. The contents of what you are claiming are going to be poured out. There is no way around it and you don’t have to believe it for it to be so.
Your witness is just that: yours. You cannot bear witness to something that you have not experienced. Your life was not meant to be mine or mine yours. Our experience with Christ through our trials and testings’ are meant to encourage and build one another up…towards Him.
The fragrances of His victory in the trials of your life are meant to draw others to the throne. Our relationship with Jesus is not evidenced by a trial free life, but victory through Him in spite of the trials!
God is not seeking perfection. He is seeking those that He can pour His Perfected Light through. Allow yourself to be that trial sized version of Christ. Allow Him to prove Himself to others through you so that when your contents are poured out, they will be found to be proven: Tested by Trial.
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