When God told Abraham He was going to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham challenged Him to do the right thing. He said, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25) Imagine telling God what to do. Abraham was pretty gutsy.
Wait. I do that all the time. When I pray for a specific thing, I expect God to do it because it’s the right thing to do (isn’t it?) Sure I tack on, “if it’s Your will” but I often believe I know His will because I know His promises.
So what’s the difference between challenging God and expecting Him to keep His promises?
Jesus put it another way. He said, “don’t test God.”
During Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, Satan quoted a promise and told Jesus to prove God would keep it. The scripture Jesus quoted back was Deut 6:16. Israel was being told to not test God like they did at Massah. I looked at this incident a few days ago. It’s where God provided water from a rock after they complained of thirst. They had forgotten what God had done for them and didn’t believe His promise to provide.
So the question I have to ask myself is, “Do I test God? Where do I ask Him to prove Himself to me?”
Testing God is not trusting Him to keep His promises. It’s forgetting what God has already done.
So when Satan invited Jesus to prove God, he was really challenging Jesus to prove He trusted God. But if Jesus had done what Satan suggested, He would have been testing God, not proving His own trust.
I don’t have to prove God is Who He says He is. When I trust God, I’m acting in faith, but it’s faith based on experience. When my circumstances are scary, I just need to accept that God’s in control and wait for Him to act on my behalf.
Remembering what He’s already done will help me do that.