How many times have you been asked to “prove” something? We have all experienced it, been doubted, been questioned, maybe even been mocked or ridiculed, baited into proving that we are able to do what we are already sure we can and have accomplished in the past. I think of the old game show, “Name That Tune”. The contestants banter as to how quickly they can name the next song, “I can name it in 6 notes.” “I can name it in 5 notes.” Then finally at some point one contestant says to the other, usually with disdain and unbelief, “Name that tune.” Our lives are pretty similar, especially our spiritual lives. We give Christ rule of our hearts and our minds, we let Him change us, let Him have His way in us and then, almost immediately we are tempted with the challenge, “Prove it!”
Jesus faced this temptation. When He was baptized by John, He came out of the water and God spoke from heaven, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” From that moment the Holy Spirit led Jesus to the wilderness, by Himself to fast for 40 days and prepare Himself for temptation (Luke writes that Jesus was tempted for the 40 days). The first recorded temptation of Jesus was, “If You are the Son of God . . .” Too often we get caught up in the thing that Jesus was asked to do, to turn stones into bread, to leap from the top of the Temple or to worship Satan in exchange for all the riches and glory of the world. There is great importance to all of these things, but the true temptation was not merely the things Jesus was asked to do, it was the request that Jesus prove that He was the Son of God. In His great kindness, God chose to confirm that which was about to be tested. In Satan’s great wickedness he chose to attack that which mattered most. The same happens in our lives! God speaks His love, His promises, His joy and His salvation. He gives us His Spirit and His presence, washes us with the blood of Christ and begins molding us by His hands. At those moments Satan comes and attacks with the temptation to prove it. “If you are changed why do you have these thoughts? If you have been set free why do you still linger in your past? If you have been empowered why do you still seem so weak?” These questions and countless others are not for our benefit they are an attempt to slander the voice and promises of God. God says that in Christ we are all new creations. God says that He loves us with an everlasting love. God says that He has brought us an abundant life. God says that we are now His righteousness. What God says is true by faith, not by proof!
Many of us have lived our lives not only being tempted by this request to prove ourselves but with a desire for our own proof that comes from our own lack of faith. The heart of God is that we trust Him with all that we are and for all that He has spoken. Grace makes us complete in Christ. We are crucified with Him, our old sinful nature is dead and we are alive in Christ Jesus. God is not waiting for you to prove that you have been saved, He has saved you, we must now stop requesting that He prove His work in us and start living as those that believe. Holiness comes from a deep love in God and a deep faith in His will for our lives. Righteousness is not about deeds and actions it is a state of heart that longs for God and His presence more than anything else. Truth is not what we see or understand it is what God says and proof is not some sort of human response that shows once and for all that what God said is true, it is the reality of peace in the midst of temptation, of joy in the midst of attack and the presence of God in the midst of every moment of this life.
Don’t be tempted to prove yourself, evenmore; don’t be tempted to make God prove what He has already spoken. If you have heard from God today you will be tempted to prove it, that is our enemy’s plan and his mode of operation. Reject the temptation by rejecting the notion that God might be wrong in any way. Ultimately isn’t that what Satan has been tempting man with since the beginning of time? He told Eve, “Surely you won’t die”; he convinced Sarah that she would never have a child; he tempted Saul into believing that Samuel would not arrive in time to make a sacrifice and he provoked Judas into believing that he could profit from his relationship with Jesus. In each event Satan attacked what God had said as true and ultimately tempted the people of God to prove what God had spoken as true or to go their own way. The next step from trying to prove that God has spoken is to try to make God’s will come to pass, that is the ultimate act of proof but it is also the ultimate act of unbelief. Eve ate of the tree, to prove that she would or would not die. Sarah gave Abraham Hagar to prove that he could have a child. Saul performed the sacrifice in place of Samuel to prove that he held the power of Israel as king and Judas betrayed Jesus to prove that he could profit from his position. When men try to prove God’s will, we sin.
Today rest in what God has spoken; rest in His love for you, rest in His salvation, rest in His promise of redemption, of abundance, of purpose and vision, rest in His presence. God never requires proof from us because He knows our hearts. The greatness of His love for us is that He has also allowed us to know His heart, so that we will never need proof from a fleshly action. He is kind enough to give confirmation when we are weak and when we are low, but He does not respond well to our demands for proof. The next time someone questions you and what God had done in your life, let your faith be your proof. The next time the enemy of your soul requires that you prove what God has called true, simply remind yourself, out loud, “It is written, ‘For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him, Amen, to the glory of God through us.’” The proof is in His Word, the proof is in His presence, the proof is in the Holy Spirit that dwells within us. You don’t need to prove yourself because you are the proof, the life Jesus lives through you and me is the proof that He is indeed the Son of God.