“I know, my God, that You test the heart and are pleased with integrity.” – 1 Chronicles 29:17
Many of us may think that the greatest tests come in adversity, but in reality the greatest test come during prosperity.
At least this is true in my life. It seems that when things are going well for an extended period of time I tend to lose my focus on the God who has blessed me as well as the sensitivity of the sin in my life.
Adversity motivates us to change behavior or even “make a deal with God” out of a desire to see our adversity changed. You know, making a deal like: God if you will allow me to get through “this” I promise I will (whatever)! The irony of this: God does not work this way! On the other hand prosperity fails to provide this incentive for obedience. During prosperous times we fall into a sense of satisfaction and confidence in life that is based on our prosperity (and our pride) versus God.
For example: Hezekiah was a great king! He was faithful and honored God most of his life. Unfortunately like so many men he became proud toward the end of his life. God wanted to find out if he would still honor Him and recognize His blessings in his life. He failed the test when God sent an envoy to his palace to inquire about a miracle that God had performed on behalf of Hezekiah.
The test was designed to find out if Hezekiah would publicly acknowledge the miracle performed on his behalf. “But when envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon to ask him about the miraculous sign that had occurred in the land, God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart” (2 Chronicles 32:31). Hezekiah’s failure resulted in his children failing to carry on as rulers of Israel. In fact Hezekiah’s country, Judah, would eventually be defeated by the military of Babylon and taken captive to that foreign land.
The lesson of Hezekiah is clear, if it is our desire to remain faithful in our walk with the LORD it will take a steadfast humility! Make no mistake; prosperity can be our greatest test.
Peter said it well “And all of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time” (I Peter 5:5-6).