Filled with Tests

All of life is full of tests, especially if you are a lover of Jesus. He allowed Lot to be tested and Joseph, Daniel, David and many, many others. I recently heard someone describe a person who says with their words that they are a Christian but their actions don’t line up as a Christian atheist. One whose life doesn’t match their words as in Titus 1:16, “They claim to know God but by their actions they deny Him.”

A good word for me today…my actions mean everything to God. :o)

Many time when God allows a test in our lives, it is our “actions” that define where our heart is……or better stated…what is in our heart.

We often times do not know when the test is coming. I always hated “pop quizzes” in college and high school. Often times I was caught with my “pants down” meaning I wasn’t prepared. In the Christian walk, understand that the “pop quizzes” reveal exactly WHERE OUR HEART IS. For example, I had a major pop quiz this weekend and I know for sure that I got an A. I say this with excitement because 5 years ago I would have gotten an F for sure.

Allow me to share…I was at a wedding weekend for one of my best and long time friend’s daughters. The weekend was set. We arrived on Friday and had the welcome party and dinner. Mind you, I had been anticipating and looking forward to this weekend for an entire year. I love the couple that was getting hitched…love them. I was also looking forward to celebrating with some people I dearly love and whom I rarely get to see.

We arrived at the welcome party and I was having the time of my life when the waitress walked up to put champagne at our places. What do you think happened? I got a glass poured on my head and it continued down the front of my newly purchased silk blouse. Needless to say, I suddenly looked like I had entered into a “wet t-shirt” contest and had hair like a “wet kitten”. The Holy Spirit took over. He said to me in my spirit…”this young girl is the same age of your daughter. She didn’t mean to spill that glass. She is, after all, is hard at work here…serving everyone and earning an income.”

Then the words GRACE and MERCY came to my mind. She had disappeared to get a towels and I thank God for that. It allowed me time to “be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry”. When she returned, I was able, NOT in my own strength but in the power of the Holy Spirit, to say, “It is ok. Do not worry about it. It is just a blouse and I am fine.” I know even my body language was good and lined up with my words. I left so that I could change and regroup and get back to the party. Little did I know that by Sunday morning, after Friday night’s spill, many people were aware of the incident.

It literally makes me shudder to think how that scene would have played out if I had not grown in this area! Not knowing that I needed to prepare my spirit every day for the “pop quizzes” in life. They are going to come and they are not going to stop coming. Many times God uses them to give us a grade on where we are. And maybe so we can see how much more we need to “study!”

Please understand….I don’t want to be recognizable next year. I turn 53 in a few weeks. Next year at this time, God willing, I want to be even more different….for the better. It can be a scary thought if I allow Satan to whisper to me things like, “Oh what will God allow next…to really see if you are better? What horrible, scary test is around the corner?”

Satan does that to me. He tries to scare me when I am being tested, trying to make me wonder about the next test in life. But I have learned that it is the voice of the enemy. I have to keep my eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of my faith. He is the one that will examine my scorecard at the end of life. The great news? If you receive him as Lord, our works aren’t the ticket into heaven otherwise I wouldn’t make it.

Salvation is a “gift” but I do know that how I score on the pop quizzes I am given is a direct reflection of the condition of my heart. I want to know there are great rewards stored up in heaven for me. How will you spend eternity?

Yes, our shots count…for eternity. Do not let Satan deceive you in this area. Welcome the test. Don’t be afraid to look at your score either. If you’re not dead, God’s not done and you can choose to make a better score. The “pop” quizzes aren’t going to stop. James 1:2-4, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” Bible study, prayer, and seeking God’s agenda can enable you to change. To have a better score.

Every shot counts in life. As in golf, you are the only one that will sign your scorecard before a holy God. Your parents won’t be there, nor your kids, nor your bff. It will be you and God. Seek to make a better score today. Make your “shots” count. Allow God to be your caddy and pull the right clubs, give you the right yardage and carry your bag. HE WILL not misguide you!

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