Someone I respect very much brought up the idea of God testing me. She said: You're being tested. Jesus was tested. When I complained that the same relationship pattern has been happening for years, she said: You keep taking the bait.
I had to go into my inner temple and contemplate this idea of God testing me, for myself. I simply didn't like the concept, because having grown up in a Western society with our particular system of education, the entire idea of being tested just seems cruel. However, with a moment of silence and a dictionary, this dread has cleared up drastically for me. I hope this can give you peace around the idea of being "tested by God" also.
First, I thought (and still think) God doesn't need to test me, He already knows my heart. So, after reading the definition of test I realized something wonderful. God puts me through these so-called "tests" to show ME my own progress. The "tests" aren't for God and there's no cruelty or penalty involved, in the process.
Test: a procedure intended to establish the quality, performance, or reliability of something, especially before it is taken into widespread use.
From this definition, I focused on "to establish the quality or performance" and took it to mean how refined I have become after previous opportunities for learning and growing. I then understood what my friend meant when she said I kept taking the bait. Simply, that I wasn't learning, growing or choosing differently, on this particular topic of relationships.
In this conversation with Spirit, I also began questioning about the NEED to hide meanings in parables and images/symbols. In answer, she gave me some images of my own.
This vision simultaneously cleared up my initial concerns about Him testing me and helped me understand why the language of the Holy Bible is perfect, as-is. He showed me myself in a crowd, living an ordinary life in a Valley of Comfort and Familiarity. Then, She said "Up on a mountain there are new heights and peak experiences which you desire. Everything that you encounter and experience in the Valley would be the same, no matter what. On the mountain there is fitness and a renewed body. In the Valley, there are endless dinner invitations and all the normal foods you would eat and the same body as before."
Spirit said: "Things in the Valley of Comfort and Familiarity don't all-of-a-sudden change because you made a new decision and set your heart and sight on a new desire. The change that happens is far more subtle, internal and silent than that. The change that occurs when you conceive a new desire is between you and me - no one in the Valley is aware of those first precious moments, when you implant a new seed into the fresh soil of your Mind, except you and me."
"Now, if you desire something on the Mountain of New Heights and Peak Experiences and you have faith, hope, love, wisdom, diligence, great desire for it and believe in your Spirit-man to achieve it, you will progress - and usually rapidly."
"The difficulties begin when people see the desire on the Mountain, but believe their doubts, frustrations and stay more committed to those people, places and things in the Valley of Comfort and Familiarity, than to the new desire and journey. When you focus on Me and the desire, you can progress very rapidly in Divine Order to your New Life. When you focus on those people, places and things in the Valley, you find obstacles of every kind."
"Now, for a Mind focused on the Peaks - even so-called obstacles are transformed into opportunities to progress without pause. Perceptions change, and your Mind becomes My Mind, truly."
"When you set your sights on a Peak Relationship, that does not mean that those Valley Relationships no longer exist - it means that as you progress toward the peak of the mountain, you can either keep the faith that your Peak Relationship is real and is yours for the receiving, or you can choose to stay in the Valley longer by being distracted by what the Valley offers. And, this, is what people call tests. It is really a revelation about your faith, hope and the strength of your desire and commitment to progress to the top of the Mountain. There is no blame, shame, issue, problem, hate or condemnation in staying in the Valley of Comfort and Familiarity. At least none from Me, my love. The pain you often feel is the pain of continuing to postpone your New Life, for no real reason other than you allowed yourself to become distracted with your old Valley ways of living."
Listening to this Voice of Wisdom, I realized, finally, that the Bible uses Nature and other universal references to communicate because Nature is always the same - like God Himself. Now, I understand why the idea of God testing me was so difficult to accept. It was because tests that God allows are not for punishment, as I feared, but simply for revelation.