Are we passing the test? 2 Cor. 13:5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you — unless indeed you fail the test?
Another year has come and gone and as we look to the New Year we begin to set new goals, agendas and making New Year’s Resolutions that we very seldom keep. We avoid examining our lives from the previous year and in doing so we create a shaky foundation for the plans we are making for our future. Let’s just sweep them under the proverbial rug. What we don’t remember won’t hurt us.
We have become a society of not keeping score (I don’t get that), grading on the curve (threaten the smart kid in the class), and giving multiple choice questions that have as their standard answer; “d” all of the above (no true or false please; 50/50 is not good odds). Passing the test takes very little effort or studying on our part. If we can score a C- or even a D that is still a passing grade; let’s just move on.
But, when it comes to our faith, our Teacher is not going to settle for a C- or D. He is a God of excellence. Perfect love cast out fear and perfected faith opens opportunities for greater test. As a matter of fact, He tells us to consider it all joy when the testing comes. James 1:2-3 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. The Lord desires for us to go from one level of faith to the next. Rom 1:17 For in it (the gospel) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.” Passing the test is moving from one level of faith to the next.
Consider, the people of Israel as Moses is leading them to the Promised Land. For forty years the wandered in the wilderness until they all died, missing what God had promised. They continued to fail the testing of their faith and were never allowed to enter the blessings God had provided.
But, let’s examine the shepherd boy David. Being a faithful shepherd of his father’s sheep he is called to defend against a lion and a bear. He faithfully depends on his God to give him victory over these opposing threats and God honors his faith. Fast forward to the day when he is sent to check on his brothers who are at war with the Philistines. The whole army of Israel are frozen in their faith as the giant Goliath spews threats against the army of God. Remembering his previous test and God’s faithfulness, he steps down into the valley and passes another test.
When it comes to our faith, God does keep score. He doesn’t grade on the curve and there are no multiple choices to the faith He has called us to. Unlike some of our school systems who will promote kids without adequately grasping the fundamentals; the Lord requires us to pass the fundamentals of faith before calling us forward.
Before we move forward this coming year, let us first confess and repent of our failed attempts of the previous year and then fix our eyes forward to the test that await us. Phil 3:13-15 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Let this coming year be one of passing the test and moving toward the goal of our upward call of God in Christ Jesus! Don’t continue to wander around the same old mountain of unbelief and disappointment.