New Wine for New Wineskins August 2014

By , August 3, 2014 2:30 pm

ndt01Non-Destructive Testing

1 Peter 1: 3 – 9

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

I was talking to a guy a few years ago and he said he was starting a job in the oil industry that involved something called ‘non-destructive testing’.  I remember thinking at the time that it sounded a lot like the life of faith.  Our Father will allow our faith to be tested but he will not permit us to be destroyed.

1 Corinthians 10: 13

13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

testa procedure intended to establish the quality, performance, or reliability of something

Apparently, defect detection tests are the most commonly employed of non-destructive tests.  An example of a non-destructive test would be an x-ray which doesn’t require any invasive surgery in order to determine the problem.  Forensic engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, systems engineering, and medicine all use some method of non-destructive testing in their work.

NDT involves comparing a known input to a measured output and comparing to a known model.  The Bible says that Jesus was tested in every way that we are tested and so he is the known model that we are compared to.  NDT doesn’t require the sacrifice of the system that is being tested, as would be the case with disassembly, dissection or failure testing.  Our Father doesn’t want us to fail which is why he will not allow us to be tested beyond what we are able to bear.  Jesus, our faithful High Priest, is continually praying for us that our faith will not fail! 

In our generation the church often majors on grace and that is exactly as it should be as grace is truly amazing, but the reality is that grace can only be accessed one way – by faith!  And so, our faith is crucial!  In fact, we live our new creation life by faith in the grace of God!  

Gold is not pure until every impurity has been removed and so it is tested in the fire.  Similarly, our faith is not free from defects until all doubt and unbelief, etc has been removed and the best process for that is to put it through the fire!  Fire cannot destroy gold and it cannot destroy faith!

If we have faith we can be certain that it will be tested but the method employed will always be non-destructive!  God is fully committed to our success – not our failure!

Romans 4: 16

16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all

The Hebrews 11 account of Abraham’s life of faith gives the God-view – minus all of the doubts, failures, and every trace of sin.  When God is talking about the fruit of faith He gives the result – which is what faith is the substance and evidence of!  When you sow a seed you are not focused on all the weeds that grow up alongside it – you are looking for the fruit of your seed!

Hebrews 11: 8 – 12

8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.

Faith obeys because it believes that God loves us and only has the best for us!  There were many tests of Abraham’s faith on the journey between his initially hearing from God and the fulfilment of his destiny.  It would appear from Genesis 11 that Abraham didn’t hear from God until after he had gone to Haran with his father, but in Acts 7 we are told through Stephen that God in fact appeared to Abram in Ur of the Chaldees before he moved to Haran.

And so, the move from Ur to Canaan was instigated by Abraham, but rather than leave his family behind he took them with him.  But although they set out to go to Canaan, his father decided when they reached Haran that they had come far enough and so they settled there!

One of the biggest tragedies that can affect people in the life of faith is settling for less than God has planned for them.  Often this is the result of remaining at the level of revelation attained by the last generation, and not pressing on into the fullness of what God has for the NOW generation!  Remember – religion will either have you looking back to the past or forward to the future but will never allow you to enjoy the NOW of your salvation!

2 Corinthians 6: 2

2  Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.  
   
Hebrews 11: 1

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 

NOW faith!  Faith for NOW!  That is the faith that believes it receives when it hears or asks!  Why?  Because faith knows that God is as good as his word! 

Believing is to our spirit what breathing is to our body!  If you stop breathing your body dies and if you stop believing your spirit dies! 

We live by faith – by believing and trusting!   Don’t ever be discouraged when you recognise that your faith is being tested.

Non-destructive tests are used mainly for detecting defects.  Remember – an example of a non-destructive test would be an x-ray which doesn’t require any invasive surgery in order to determine the problem. God’s word is like an x-ray – it exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

Hebrews 4: 12 (NLT)

12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

God says that his word is like a fire and like a hammer (Jeremiah 23: 29).  Have you ever seen a blacksmith working?  He is not destroying – he is creating!  And so, if we have faith we can be certain that it will be tested but the method employed will always be non-destructive! 

Never forget – our heavenly Father is committed to our success – not our failure!

Romans 4: 16
(NLT)

16 So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe.

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