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Pastor Michael J. Brooks: Putting God to the test

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Michael J. Brooks - Reflections

Michael J. Brooks

It was a bit unsettling to get her message on Facebook.

She sent a message asking me to call, but I didn’t see it that day. Then she sent a written message basically calling me to task. The president of a hobby club I’m in asked me to post something on our page, and I posted what he told me to say. She said it was false information. My first response was to “launch” and respond in kind. But for some reason Solomon’s word stuck in my head: “A soft answer turns away anger” (Proverbs 15:1). I responded kindly and offered to rewrite a sentence. She seemed satisfied with this. I do reserve the right to “launch” if she responds further!

Lately I read The Living Bible’s version of Psalm 34:8: “Oh, put God to the test and see how kind he is! See for yourself the way his mercies shower down on all who trust in him.”

Is it unspiritual to “put God to the test”? Many of us remember the word in Malachi 3 about testing God by giving faithfully, so this may not be an unusual concept. I began to think about how we put God to the test when we hear his word and try to put it into practice.

For example, Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:4: “For the love of Christ compels us.” In other words, our motivation in all things should be the love God has shown us through his son.

It’s true we have many motivations to do things in our lives, but the Bible insists the highest motivation is love.

I must confess that sometimes I’m not motivated by love, and most of the time it’s when I’m driving.

A gentleman lately decided he wanted to turn right, but he was in a far left lane. He swerved in front of me, causing me to slam on my brakes, and then he swerved into the lane to my right causing another driver to slam on his brakes. If he had turned left, it would’ve been a simple thing to turn around in the supermarket lot half a block away and redirect himself. I didn’t feel love for him.

And often when other drivers “ride” my bumper I don’t feel love for them. They’re obviously impatient and want to drive faster than the posted speed. I don’t often feel love. My sin nature encourages me to drive slower to irritate them!

But if Christ is to be lord of my life, he’s to be lord of my driving.

I need to put God and his word to the test. His word works. My life is better when I find myself in obedience.

Reflections is a weekly devotional column written by Michael J. Brooks, pastor of the Siluria Baptist Church in Alabaster. The church's website is siluriabaptist.com.