John 3: 1 - 4, There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" NKJV
The writer of Hebrews tells us, "He that comes to God must believe that He is (exists), and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him." In today's verse, you read about a Pharisee, who was a ruler over the Jews, named Nicodemus. There was something different about this Pharisee that set him apart. He sought out Jesus... even though it was under the cloak of darkness. I suppose he came to Jesus at night so that the other men wouldn't know that he was curious to find out more about this Jesus.
It takes more than a suspicion or a curiosity to get to know Jesus as Savior and Lord. When you approach Him, you must believe that He is, indeed, who He says He is. Obviously, Nicodemus saw something in Jesus that other religious leaders didn't, and this drew him to Jesus. He saw the mighty works of Jesus and listened to the powerful messages that Jesus taught; he also recognized that Jesus was able to teach with great authority. This gave Nicodemus enough evidence that he was willing to admit that God was with Jesus, but He didn't say that Jesus was God.
So when Jesus was asked by this Pharisee about His authority, He wanted to lead him on into a faith relationship with Him. He told Nicodemus that he must be born again... if he wanted to see the kingdom of God. It's at this point that we see curiosity could only take him so far in his dialogue with Jesus. Once Jesus spoke to him in a spiritual context, this leader began to be bewildered. You see, Nicodemus was thinking naturally, and Jesus was speaking spiritually. This leader wanted to know how Jesus acquired His authority. The natural man can't receive the spiritual truths of God, and this is why we are required to come to God by faith. If we truly believe in Jesus as the only begotten Son of the living God, then the Father will give us understanding of spiritual truths.
Even though Jesus offered Nicodemus an opportunity, through faith, to see with spiritual eyes, he chose to hear and see only with his natural ability. As a believer, you will have many occasions to misunderstand your heavenly Father; it will be in those times that you will be tempted to ask Him, why? We have the right to ask the Father why, as long as we do so in faith and trust. If we do it in doubt... where we are questioning His character and His authority as God, then we cross over into tempting the Lord. We are required to remain humble in the sight of the Lord, and He will give us spiritual understanding in exchange.
So the next time something happens in your life and it begins to challenge your belief in the Lord and in His goodness, know that this will require trust from you. When you're faced with a hard season, a tough decision, or a tragedy that tests your confidence in God's character, then know that it is a temptation of the Devil. Before you can get clear understanding, you must first be willing to submit to the Lordship of the Father and trust Him, then you will have the power to resist the Devil's temptation to oppose the Father; then Satan will have to flee from you. You will know Satan has left you when you don't have negative thoughts or feelings about God... or feel pushed with the need to question His will for your life. Without faith, we can't please Him, but with faith, we can know Him personally. He is faithful.
Trusting Through the Test,