A Faith That Cannot Be Tested Cannot Be Trusted

by Sami

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I turned on Christ Fellowship online this morning before going on a walk. To my delight, Dr. John Maxwell preached, as he does there about every quarter.

What was foolish of me was to think I could listen to one of his sermons without taking notes. I lingered in my bedroom taking notes for a bit before trying to go downstairs. I then ended up on the stairwell with my journal for almost 10 minutes before resigning myself to the fact I just needed to sit in the kitchen to finish the message.

Today’s sermon, which I’ll call “The Wilderness Experience”, addressed something on a higher level that I’ve been wanting to say for so long now. I know this has been a hard year with many hurts, tragedies and injustices. That being said, it drives me nuts when I see people saying, “I wish we could just scrap 2020,” or something of the like.

2020 has been one of the most difficult years of my life, as I know it has been for so many of you too. But that doesn’t mean I can’t learn from it and emerge better because of it.

Dr. Maxwell said so many things that made me think, so I wanted to share my sermon notes with you in hopes that would inspire you to think differently about your experiences, not just this year, but for the years ahead.

The Wilderness Experience Sermon Notes

This sermon was originally preached by Dr. John Maxwell at Christ Fellowship on Sunday, September 6, 2020. He referenced verses from Hebrews 11 and Luke 4.

By the end of this message, John wants us to understand 3 main points:

  1. I will be tested
  2. The testing is good for us
  3. The testings will not stop

A faith that cannot be tested cannot be trusted.

Dr. John C. Maxwell
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Jesus was tested in three ways in the wilderness:

  1. HUMANITY (Luke 4:1-4)
    – Jesus didn’t eat for 40 days
    – “I live bigger than my hurts”
  2. LOYALTY (Luke 4:5-8)
    – during your testing time, don’t run FROM the problem, run TO the source
  3. IDENTITY (Luke 4:9-12)
    – the more the testing goes on, the more the questions rise
    – In the prior two sections, Satan said to Jesus, “since” you are the son of God, but in this passage it changes to “if” you’re the son of God.

There are only two instances in the Bible when God’s voice was heard audibly: baptism and the Mount of Transfiguration

3 things Jesus heard from his Father that every child should hear from their parent:

  1. I belong
  2. I am loved
  3. I am special

The Testings Will Not Stop

When “it’s” over (fill in whatever blank to you want here: COVID, 2020, etc), it’s not over.

The Road Less Traveled” by Scott Peck changed his life 25 years ago. The opening paragraph essentially says:

Life is difficult. This is a great truth. Once we see it and transcend/accept it, then life is no longer difficult…then that no longer matters, it’s just a fact.

Adapted from Scott Peck

This (wilderness) makes us who we need to become. The right response brings us out on the other side better.

Coming Out of the Wilderness

When you come out of the wilderness, you will:

  1. Experience a new level of living
    Faith doesn’t make life easier, it just makes you stronger.
    – Everything you want and need is outside of your comfort zone.
    —The wilderness experience allows us to have things we never would have had in our comfort zone.
  2. You become confident in your purpose
    – Nothing defines our purpose like a wilderness experience that defines us.
  3. We possess a moral authority
    – Respect is always earned on difficult ground.

Faith doesn’t make life easier, it just makes you stronger.

Dr. John Maxwell
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Monthly Learning Lunch

Every month, John Maxwell intentionally puts this into practice: he has a learning lunch. He offers to buy lunch for someone he admires and asks them seven questions.

One of the questions he always asks is, “What is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned in life.”

No matter what walk of life or they are from or business they’re in, they ALWAYS talk about adversity. They go on to say wisdom is extracted from learning and something beneficial can always come from even the most adverse experience.

One of his interviewees even went on to say, “With success comes failure; there is no either/or.”

Finally, Dr. Maxwell ended the message with the following quote:

What is happening to us, has great possibilities to birth something new within us.

Dr. John Maxwell
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You can catch up on past Christ Fellowship messages here.

Whether you want to stay safe at home or don’t live in the same city as your favorite pastor, here are some options for watching church online anytime.

For Further Reading:

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