Forward Thinkers, before we continue our weekly series, I want to ask a serious question to the Houston Police Department. Now that you’re proven to be great detectives and International investigators locating the stolen Tom Brady Super Bowl jersey(s), can you now use those superior skills and locate the murderers of some of the unsolved murder cases sitting in your files?

Genesis 22:1-5New International Version (NIV)

Abraham Tested

22 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”

Forward Thinkers, God tested Abraham. Yes, God, not the devil, tested Abraham. Forward Thinkers, it is hard for religious church folks to handle the fact that an all-loving God would actually test us but those with a relationship with God understands all relationships take you through a series of test over a period of time. Forward Thinkers, if God tested Abraham, don’t be surprised when God tests you; and understand promotion follows every passed test.

Forward Thinkers, the first thing I want to look at here is, how do I know if the test I’m enduring is from God or Satan?

Forward Thinkers, when Satan is testing you, the purpose of the test is to defeat you, kill you, deceive you, or to cause you to quit your journey.

Let me point out two different times Satan tested someone in the bible and let’s learn from their test.

Satan tested Eve in the Garden of Eden by tricking her into disobeying the Word of God. Forward Thinkers, Eve failed the test and lost her position in the original Promise Land. Forward Thinkers, when we fail our test, we risk losing our position of power and authority. Satan hates to see us winning.

Satan also had the nerves to test Jesus in the wilderness. Forward Thinkers, unlike Eve, Jesus didn’t disobey the Word of God but used the Word of God to pass the test. Every time Satan tried to test Jesus, he responded by declaring ‘it is written’. Forward Thinkers, Jesus is showing us to pass the test of Satan we must have a Word from God in our heart.

Forward Thinkers, when the test is from God, the purpose is to promote you and take you to another level on your journey. Forward Thinkers, can I get a witness to agreet that the test made you better?

The bible says Abraham replied to the test, ‘here I am’. Forward Thinkers, do you have enough faith to tell your test, ‘Here I am’?

If you really want to confuse the enemy, welcome them to the battle. Tell your test ‘Here I am and I thank you for choosing me because after this test I will be stronger, wiser, and this test will draw me closer to my God.’

Forward Thinkers, to go as high on this journey as we desire to go, some of our tests must be big enough to force us to totally walk by faith and not by sight.

The next verse says Abraham got up early in the morning ready to pass the test. Forward Thinkers, are you ready for your next test? Forward Thinkers, please understand there will be a next test if you’re expecting the next blessing to show up.

Now let’s put our focus on verse four. Abraham saw the place of purpose and promise in a distance. Forward Thinkers, sometimes we can be so far and yet so close at the same time. It just depends on how your faith sees life. I don’t know about you but I prefer to think I’m closer to my destination than ever before but I also understand faith without works is dead so I must continue to press and push.

Forward Thinkers, there are two major points that occur in verse five. The first one is Abraham tells some of the people with him to stay behind with the donkeys.

Forward Thinkers, everybody can’t go with you through the next test on your journey and here is how I suggest you make the decisions of who goes and who stays:

Take those who cause you to leap in your destiny with you.

Leave those who cause you to lag behind.

Forward Thinkers, please take special note of this: even though everybody can’t continue with you, we must still celebrate the roles they played on your journey to help you get to that point of your journey. Not one experience in life is wasted if we stay focused on the big picture.

Forward Thinkers, some people are connected to your destiny while other people are stuck in your history.

The second major point here is Abraham said we will be back. God had proven his faithfulness to Abraham at such a high level, he declared this is only a test and I believe God has already worked it out in my favor somehow.

14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, in the mount of Jehovah it shall be provided.

Forward Thinkers, God provided a way for Abraham and during the most difficult test of your life, remember it’s only a test and embrace your journey knowing God Jehovah-jireh will provide.

Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church located, in both Houston, Texas, and the Woodlands, Texas. Pastor Deckard is also the Co-Founder of the No More Bloodshed Movement. To contact Pastor Deckard for speaking engagements contact him at pr.ghic@gmail.com, follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Periscope @ Pastor E A Deckard or the church website www.ghic.net