Will I rise to the challenge? I felt that message lingering in my mind. What will be said of my faith tonight? All the declarations of faith that I have made, all the teaching I have done, all the claims that Jesus is Lord were now on trial. Would I rise to the challenge?
A card came in the mail that spoke words God wanted me to hear. “When you gave your life to Jesus you issued God a challenge.”
Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart.
For I am always aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth. Psalm 26:2-3
On Jan. 23, 2013 this is what I wrote:
One spring evening in 1992, a teenage girl, who didn’t really understand what she was getting into, decided to die with Christ in baptism. On a winter evening, 21 years later, her son just died.
In one of hundreds of sympathy cards, a message from God arrived. Though written by the hand of a teenage boy from Florida, it spoke God’s message not his own. Addressed to her husband it said,
I have no understanding of the pain you are going through, but I do understand this. When you and your wife chose to give God your life you issued God a challenge. Psalm 26:2-3 “Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind . For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I will walk in your faithfulness.”
A challenge indeed. This woman had issued hundreds of challenges through her declarations of faith. Every time she said, “I am a Christian” the challenge was issued. Again and again, her life said “prove it.” Jesus said, “yes, prove it.” She wrote these words herself:
2012 saw some of the deepest turmoil of our lives but also some of the most intimate glances of God’s careful provision through it all. I am resolved to face 2013 with a trusting faith that will go through the valley again if He asks me to.
Prove it! Five days later her son died.
She has cried thousands of tears. She has wept. She has moaned. She has cried out to heaven for mercy. She is walking through the valley. And she is still clinging to Jesus. She won’t let go. She has anchored herself in the truth that Jesus gives life.
And the words of heaven said, as they did to Abraham thousands of years ago, “Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son” (Gen. 22:12).
So I guess the question is asked to you too. Will you rise to the challenge? What are you withholding from God. Today your challenge is issued. Prove it.