Pencils Up….It’s Just A Test (part 2)

Posted: October 29, 2013 in Christianity, faith, God, Jesus Christ, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

Get your pencils out…we are having a pop quiz! I hated hearing those words back in school. I remember the feeling of dread that came over me when a pop quiz was announced and I wasn’t prepared. True/false, multiple choice, fill in the blank or essays–those tests came in all types and all varieties.  And in the same manner as what we experienced in school, know that this life is filled with continuous tests.   As long as you are living on this earth expect to be tested.   You better believe you are going to be tried.The trial most often comes from the Enemy; but bear in mind our loving God also tests us to make us better.  The key to passing any test is preparation. Know the material you will be tested on. Although this list is not all inclusive, we are often tested in 4 main areas of our lives: our strengths, weaknesses, desires and familial issues. In the last post I mentioned how we are tested through strengths and weaknesses. Let’s now look at how our desires and familial legacy come to test us and make us better. 

Desires

We all have certain dreams, goals, wants and aspirations that we hope to attain.  God made us to desire certain things.  Nothing wrong with wanting the fullness and good things of life, but even in this too you can be tested. The first question:   True or false? Are your desires coming from you and you alone or are they coming from God? In other words are the things you strive for in agreement with God’s will for your life or are they your own made up desires?   The man or woman that you are convinced is your “soul-mate”, the career you are pursuing or those friends that you keep—is that what God wants for your life or is that what you want for life?  The devil has a crafty way of making things seem like they are coming from God.  

Beware!  When we act or pursue desires outside of God’s will for us, it draws us away from Him, distracts us from our purpose and leads us into less than ideal situations. How do you figure out God’s desires?  The bible spells it out when it tells us to “delight yourself also in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4, NIV)  To delight in the Lord means to take joy in or take pleasure in Him.  In other words immerse yourself in the things of God and put Him first.  When you make God central in your life and follow His leading, you will start to crave and go after the things He likes. He will put inside of you His desires (which by the way are always best for you) and undoubtedly you will start to want those things for yourself.  Notice the bible didn’t blatantly instruct us in the scripture to put God first.  The thing is once you take time to know God, the more you experience Him, the more you naturally want more of Him. Because He is a delight, you can’t help but to delight yourself in Him and enjoy Him–it goes without saying.

Next, note that the scripture says once you delight yourself in the Lord, He will give you desires of your heart.  There is nothing more fulfilling than knowing God.  Knowing Him is enough of a treat.   But the icing on the cake is that on top of the privilege of relationship with Him, God goes further and gives you what you want provided it is in line with His will.  He is just that loving, kind and giving.  What an awesome God He is!

 Ok so you passed the first test.  You are pretty confident that God stands in approval with your desires.  You know for sure that what you want is what He wants.  The next hurdle would be, how faithful are you as you wait for God to grant you your desires? Sometimes God gives us what we want instantly.  At times it can take days, weeks, months and many times years!  You heard me. Years! God is not fazed by time at all. You begging, pleading or throwing a tantrum doesn’t necessarily move God.   So the question is:  How are you functioning in the waiting period?  As you wait on God, are you being patient?  Are you still cultivating your relationship with Him and being faithful to Him?  Are you still growing and maturing?  Are you seeking and praying to God with the genuine intent of knowing and loving Him for who He is or are you doing it solely for the purpose of what He can give you.  Folks, I am not saying it’s easy.  Waiting on God can be frustrating and it may sometimes feel like the God that promised to always be with you may have forgotten you. But even in the waiting, if we allow Him to, God sharpens molds and beautifies us.  And when He lines things up in His perfect timing, it is well worth the wait.

Finally how will you act when God grants you your desires? When God gives you that husband or wife, are you all of sudden going to put God on the back burner because your boo comes first?  When God blesses you with finances, will you be a responsible steward of what God blesses you with or will you squander it?  Many people get a little promotion and then all of a sudden they become like Hitler–can’t handle power.  My friend Cory Quarterman wisely said, “Imagine how far God would take us, if we knew how to act once we got there?  “Some of us don’t know how to act once God blesses us.  When God blesses you with the desires of you heart, don’t let your blessings be your downfall.   Remain humble, keep God first and you will be more likely to pass those unexpected tests that come even with blessings.

 
Generational

This really should be one of the easiest tests to pass because it only takes us being observant.  Yet all too often it is overlooked.   If you study the devil enough, you will find that he really does nothing new.  He loves to do things in patterns. So the same way he attacked the characters in the bible is the same way he targets us. The things he did to our ancestors, he always tries to cycle back to the current generation.  You just have to take the time to study and recognize the unhealthy patterns that continue to resurface through your family line and be determined to break those cycles.  If your entire family suffers from obesity and dies before age 60 because of heart attack or stroke, can you really expect to eat junk food all day and live to be 90? If there is a pattern of teenage pregnancy among your relatives, you have to make up your mind to avoid sex before marriage.  If daddy, granddaddy and Aunt Esther lost all they had to gambling, you have no business even looking at a casino. The bible says the sins of the parents visit the third and fourth generation.  Generational curses are a very real and active in our lives.  The demons that afflicted your fore-parents are looking for every opportunity to bring that same affliction on you.  Through prayer, God’s help and your own efforts to do better, you can break every generational curse that threatens to destroy your life.

 
Strive to be as the popular colloquialism says, “tried and true.” God can use every test to cleanse, beautify, promote and elevate us.    Let not the trials destroy you, but allow them to reveal the reality of the treasure God has created you to be.  Let the trials bring you to higher levels of righteousness, holiness and truth.  Study hard and persevere….cheating can’t bring success in the tests of life.  With Jesus as my Tutor….and yet still I rise…

With peace and blessings may you continue to rise always,

Stillirise323

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