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Testing God

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Loyal
There are times when God tests us.
( Gen 22:1; Exod 20:20; Deut 13:3; 2 Chron 32:31; Heb 11:17; 1 Pet 1:7; etc... )

There is one place in the Bible God say we can test Him.
It's about tithing in Malachi 3:10;

But other than that, we are told not to test God.
Deut 6:16; Psa 78:18; Mal 3:15; Matt 4:7; Luke 4:12; Acts 15:10; etc...

I am surprised at how often I see questions about "how far can I go"?

How many times do I have to forgive?
Is it OK if I go out drinking, but don't get too drunk.
Is it OK if I look at women in swimsuit magazines?
Is is OK if I play violent video games?
Is it OK if I watch movies about zombies and witch-craft?
Is it OK if I take recreational drugs?
Is it OK if I touch my girl/boy friend certain ways as long as we don't have sex?
Is it OK to hang around with homosexuals,as long as I'm not?

I don't know the answers to all of those questions, but I wonder...
why do we need to ask? Why test God at all? Why not just try not to do those things
at all.

It seems to be human nature... (the flesh). If the speed limit is 55, we will
drive 60. If the speed limit is 60, we will drive 70. No matter what the limit
is... we want to break it. We want to see how close we can get to the edge...
without falling off. I wonder if by testing God... we have already fallen off but
don't know it?

Yes there can be forgiveness for these things. (if we repent).
But if are continually testing the waters, are we really repenting?

Instead of seeing how close to edge we can get, maybe we should be focusing on
how close to God we can get.

If we are having doubts and questions about the things we are doing. Maybe the
Holy Spirit is telling us not to do them. Maybe we should be listening to the Holy
Spirit more, and not depending on the answers we get from other people. The Bible
talks about all of the things listed above...

It's good to know the scriptures. But it's also a good idea to follow the Spirit's prompting.
Gal 5:25; If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
 
Loyal
When we stretch things and push things binding or even breaking the rules, knowing that God is merciful, the limit can come for us before there is another repentance or another opportunity to repent. What is the limit? One certain limit for us is our appointed time to die.

We know that God is merciful, but how many times will He allow us to go without punishment before there is no more forgiveness?

Jesus told Peter to forgive his brother who sins against him "seventy times seven". If we believe that God will forgive us when test Him, how many times will He forgive us?

I believe it makes a difference where our heart is at the moment. For example, if we are distracted driving our car and go 15 miles per hour over the 55 miles an hour speed limit it should not be as serious as if we have a new car and want to see how fast we can go. Of course the cop or the judge may not see the difference. All they may see is the excess 15 miles per hour.

Will God be more merciful? If He does give us a pass this time, how many more times will be too many?

Consider David who sinned sins punishable by death in the matter of Uriah and Bethsheba. For either murder or adultery David's punishment under the Law given to Moses was death. God was merciful.

Why wasn't God similarly merciful with King Saul who failed to kill all of the sheep? The heart of the man in each case is the answer. That is still where God is looking...
 
Loyal
@amadeus2 @B-A-C I think that's a very helpful approach. Asking the right kind of question is the key.

Aking: 'how close can I get to the limit without sinning' is likely to end up in eirther sinful behaviour or in legalism.

But the question, 'how can I keep myself close to God's heart' ought to end up with answers that are creative and fruiful.

(Not sure I've expressed this too well. Tired)
 
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