Walk in Wisdom - Gleanings in Scripture
Deut. 13.1-3 If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or winder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, "Let us go after other gods, which you have not known, and let us serve them," you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. One reads the above, then muses on the likes of James 1.13 (Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one) and then says - "huh?" Which passages, at first blush DO appear to be contradictory. And if it were not so that we know full well that there is no darkness in God whatever, no sin, only perfect good and holiness, it might send us packing. Nevertheless, we are still left with somewhat of a conundrum in trying to sort it all out. Hence we stumble into the mystery of God's sovereignty and His creature's (human or otherwise) personal responsibility. The consideration of which nearly always finds us wanting to figure our where the one begins and the other leaves off. How to reconcile the two. How to strike a right balance. Which balance can only be arrived at in backing up one layer and looking behind the outward phenomena in each case, to the purposes behind each of the agents. In other words - and this is the vital principle we must come to grips with - In such times (as cited in our text above), the Lord is proving us, seeking to see us rise to the occasion. While, at the very same time and in the very same circumstance, Satan seeks our overthrow. Both are inevitably at play. We dare not imagine only one dynamic or the other is at work. In every trial and tribulation you and I face beloved, God is working and delighting to prove out our genuineness, while the Devil is attempting to use the very same events, situations, circumstances, personalities etc., as an opportunity to wreak havoc upon us. So it is we see the Holy Spirit "driving" Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil (Matt. 4.1 / Mark 1.13). Which is it? Both. Christ is driven by the Spirit to triumph on our behalf, while Satan is attacking to try any destroy our hope of salvation. So it is we sometimes feel most conflicted in our trials. Often, exhausting ourselves trying to discern "is this God, or is this the Enemy?", when it is almost certainly - both. But know this Christian, while the Devil designs your destruction, God designs your triumph through Him. Don't fear the Enemy, trust God. Trust Him IN and FOR the trial. He's in it, even though you may only perceive the hand of your adversary.