While waiting for my car to be fixed, I grabbed a magazine laying on the table in the waiting room. going through the pages, I noticed an increasing numbers of self help test and quizzes designed to somehow give you insight on how to live your life, talk on the phone, write a smart Facebook status, look good in your 40's, create the perfect apple pie for your next holiday and countless others. They reminded me of the time I brought my youngest son for his 2 years old check up. Before getting into the doctor's office, the nurse handed me a clipboard with a stack of papers regarding my little fellow's health and development. The questions were intrusive in my taste, but being a good sport I proceeded to answer to the best of my knowledge questions such as "how many words can your child speak?" or "how would you rate his competence with a fork?" After few questions like that, I started being nervous about the wellbeing of my child. What if he doesn't fit into the charts imposed by the system? Each question brought nervousness and anger. So what if my child cannot poke his chicken nugget with a fork and would rather use his finger instead?
All this made me realize that we live in a world that is constantly trying to figure us out. It is designed to make us fit into a mold and a pattern based on what is acceptable and perceived normal. Each test we take in school or in a magazine laying around in a waiting room is meant to enforce the concept that there is something normal and therefore we should fit into normalcy to be considered ok.
But in God's Kingdom, His tests don't follow the same principle. In fact, if we carry the same mindset about God's test that we face, we are going to miss the importance of it. The design of God's test is to reveal the innermost part of our spiritual identity .Let me put it this way; we cannot pass God's test with a repetition of concept accrued by our mental diligence or by learning concepts by heart. His tests are meant to reveal what has already been seeded inside or our hearts. Character is never learned on the battlefield but rather exposed through pressure.
To use a metaphor or God's testing, I would like to invite you to a children's game called the invisible ink. All you have to do is press a lemon and with a toothpick start writing on a white piece of paper using the lemon juice as ink. What you notice is that what you just wrote disappears as soon as the juice gets dry, leaving on the remembrance of what you wrote in your mind. Now in order to reveal the hidden message, you will need to place your piece of paper over a flame. The heat will cause the lemon juice to turn brown, thus revealing what has been inscribed earlier. Was the message there all along even though you couldn't see it? Obviously the answer is affirmative. Did you have to work hard to make it appear? Not really. Has the flame caused the reaction? God's testings use the same metaphor, it is only meant to reveal what has been written on our hearts way before we even prepared for a test. It is the revelation of what we truly believe inside, but we cannot see.
So next time we feel the pressure and the fire of His testing, let us remember that it is only meant to reveal what we have inside and not try us to see if we understand His kingdom concept.
God's test are never failed, we keep taking them until we pass
Zech. 13:9 “And I will bring the third part through the fire,
Refine them as silver is refined,
And test them as gold is tested.
They will call on My name,
And I will answer them;
I will say, ‘They are My people,’
And they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’”
2Cor. 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? 6 But I trust that you will realize that we ourselves do not fail the test.