This Is Only a Test
Taste and see that the LORD is good -Psalm 34:8
Life in general is a series of tests and explorations, from the moment we are born discovery plays a vital role in our development as human beings, from taking your first steps as a child to reaching the moon.
The desire to simply explore the unknown and discover new knowledge is a typical human trait. A thorough examination of a subject increases the knowledge and benefits individuals or a society. Standardized testing has been called the greatest single social contribution of modern psychology, and it may be the most useful evaluation method available for human intensive endeavors.
Without testing research and exploration we would have never made it to the moon or have found cures for many infectious diseases. Léonardo da Vinci spent some forty years, his entire adult life working on the problem of flight. His approach was to emulate birds, and these drawings reveal his careful anatomical studies of birds’ wings.
Many attempts have been made over the years but the American brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright are credited with having made the first powered passenger flight on December 17, 1903, giving birth to what would become a massive international air travel industry. On July 19, 1969 Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon. Due to the never ending testing and exploration mankind has achieved great advancements.
Within the philosophical arena of faith the same method of testing and research can be applied. God has never asked anyone to believe anything that does not rest upon a foundation. Faith does not mean to move blindly into some area and say, "Oh, I am trusting God." That would be very foolish. God never asks us to do that. For example, in our salvation we do not bring a little lamb to offer as a sacrifice; our faith rests upon the historical facts of the death, the burial and the resurrection of the Son of God.
C.S. Lewis stated: "We must not encourage in ourselves or others any tendency to work up a subjective state which, if we succeeded, we should describe as "faith", with the idea that this will somehow insure the granting of our prayer.... The state of mind which desperate desire working on a strong imagination can manufacture is not faith in the Christian sense. It is a feat of psychological gymnastics."
I do not recall another period when "faith" was as popular as it is today. If only we believe hard enough we'll make it somehow. So goes the popular chant of the New Age Advocates and Word of Faith Preachers. “What you believe is not important, only believe!” What is simply overlooked in all this is that faith is good only when it engages truth; when it is made to rest upon falsehood it can and often does lead to eternal tragedy.
The word faith in the Greek “pístis” comes from the root word peithô meaning to persuade, to be persuaded, or come to trust. This faith is always received from God, and never generated by any form of religious practice or institution. Ephesians 2:8, 9 states: “For by grace you have been saved through faith (pistis); and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast"
Faith is always a gift from God, and never something that can be produced by people. In short pistis "faith" for the believer is "God's divine persuasion" and therefore distinct from human belief (confidence), yet involving it. The Lord continuously births faith in the yielded believer so they can know what He prefers, the persuasion of His will (1 John 5:4).
God never asks us to take a leap in the dark. He asks us to believe and trust something which rests upon a firm foundation, and it is the only foundation, "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:11).
Carl Sagan, the late and noted atheist and author, referring to Hebrews 1:11 once said, "Faith is believing in something in the absence of evidence.” But a careful study of this passage of scripture will reveal a dissimilarity to Carl Sagan’s misinterpretation. The verse: "Now faith “pistis” is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." The word translated "substance" comes from the Greek hupostasis, which means "a placing or setting under, a substructure or foundation." This word appears elsewhere in the New Testament as "confident" or "confidence" (2 Corinthians 9:4; 11:17; Hebrews 3:14).
The word translated "evidence" comes from the Greek word elengchos, meaning "a proof, or that by which a thing is proved or tested; conviction." The context of this passage of scripture deals with the existence of the universe, for verse 3 says, "through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."
Biblical faith comes from careful observation and the weighing of all available evidence. For example, the atheistic, evolutionary explanations for the origins of the universe don't even qualify as bad science… they are more akin to science fiction. There are only two explanations for the existence of the universe that don't include a divine creator. 1) The universe has always existed, or 2) The universe created itself out of nothing. Who is willing to accept either proposition? One must exert a great amount of assumption and conjecture to support such views for any intelligent, thinking individual will.
Now, consider the vast evidence of design in our world as well as in the entire universe. The design in the earth's position in relation to the sun which in turn controls the environment, or the moon's position in relation to the earth which control the ocean tides simply a matter of dumb luck? What about the intricacies of the eye of a common housefly, or the human brain not to mention the magnificence of the entire human body. Where does the evidence point? It points to an intelligent Creator.
Within our Justice System men are sent to prison every day for crimes no one saw them commit. How are such verdicts reached… through the presentation and consideration of all available evidence. In like fashion, just because no man was present when God created the universe doesn't mean there is no evidence to support the fact that it happened. If Carl Sagan was correct in his assessment of what constitutes faith, then it takes a lot more faith to be an atheist than to believe in the God of the Bible.
Finally, there is an ultimate essential test that everyone must perform. This objective and scientific test will finally prove 100% the validity to the question of the existence of the Creature of the Universe. To perform the test you must be completely sincere and honest in your motive to know God... without total honesty in this experiment will not work! If you are sincerely willing to know the Truth, modestly take this assessment.
First, you will need to find a place where there are no distractions at all, a place of complete solitude! During this time of solitude reflect upon your life and see all of the hurts (which the Bible refers to sin) that you may have received or administered to yourself and others. No one is perfect and completely pure, we all have in one time or another have caused pain, anger and a whole sorts of bad things in our life in one way or another. Many of us have habits that are tearing our families apart and don’t have the ability to stop.
During this time of solitude and in all sincerity… lay ALL your cares, desires and burdens upon God who created us and personally knows what we are going through. (I must reiterate the importance that you must be absolutely honest while undergoing this experimentation or it will not work!)
If you are sincere God will see your heart and His Holy Spirit will enter inside. At first you will probably not feel any different but soon you will notice a difference in your behavior and the power that caused you to hurt yourself and other will no longer have control over you.
If nothing happens after this test then you will continue your life as usual, but if the test actually worked you will have gain a Friend that will be with you forever!
Jesus said, “I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life.”