A former high school classmate contacted me on a social networking site. Immediately, I smiled within as I was overwhelmed with memories of my high school days. I thought about some of my former instructors and how they were so committed to empowering us for life. I thought about the group of girls I was close friends with as well. Most of them I’d lost contact with, but a few of them became life long buddies. I also reminisced how much I had to study, especially in my junior and senior year. The air was charged with excitement as many of us were in the midst of deciding what path we’d take professionally. The courses in those final two years became more challenging and we were all consumed with the activities of a senior. The senior trip, prom and most importantly graduation were the focal point in our minds. A causal observer would say those activities were the most significant point for us but not so. Each time I sat in class I realized that the principals of preparation and hard work was readying us for the rest of my life. The joy of learning, the friendships that I formed with classmates and the respect of my teachers was wonderful. However, I knew that it was my responsibility to be studious at home in the evenings for the upcoming exams. There was no laughter or smiles in those moments for me. There were only me with my books spread all over my bed, clothes strewn all over the chair and the familiar aroma of dinner being prepared. The television blared in the background and there I was repeatedly reviewing the notes I’d taken that day. It mattered not if the teacher announced the test dates immediately after the term began or if pop quizzes were their style; my job as a student was to consistently prepare a test.
As believers, we should take note because our lives are a series of challenges or tests. When we know Christ, we must understand that we’re in school once again. We learn early in our walk that we have an enemy who wants to keep us in bondage. In building relationships with other believers and busying ourselves with enriching kingdom work we must remember that the focus for us individually is to prepare to be tested. When we think about being tested, we immediately shift our thoughts to Job. He was upright and walked righteously before the Lord. God was pleased with his life because Job never forgot that as much as he felt God’s love and enjoyed the many blessings bestowed to him he knew a test could be presented to him. When the time of calamity befell him, Job was able to not only put his trust in but continue to praise God. Many think that it was at the end that Job passed his test when his wealth was restored. I beg to differ, I believe Job passed his test the moment he praised God at the onset of his series of tragic events that came knocking on his door.
In our personal walk with God we should be ever on the wall waiting to see what assignment we’ll receive from Him. We should be preparing diligently through study of the word, fasting and prayer as if disaster would befall us any minute. This is not to say we should live in fear, but in a state of confidence through refined faith. If we’re not focused, we will not pass the tests. Educators administer tests to determine how much material a student has retained, not to assess how well they’ve taught the subject matter. God is similar in wanting to know how much faith we’ve truly absorbed when a trial presents itself in our lives. He shows us through life experiences how to build our faith through a foundation we’ve established when we accept Christ into our hearts as our redeemer. We need to know how to pray, when to pray, who to pray for and what to pray about. In addition, our focus should be set on the will of the Father which is learning daily how to allow Him to perfect us into an even better servant which is what knowing God is really all about. In order to reach a place in God where kingdom assignments are granted to us, we must first master how to pass our tests. The test of a challenging neighbor, a difficult supervisor, a serious illness or obstinate family member is the proving ground. It’s called LIFE! God is gracious and will test us at our level of faith so that we can bear the challenges we will ultimately face. He also makes a way of escape readily available for us but without preparation we’ll fail to recognize the solution even if its right before our eyes.
It doesn’t matter if we can see trouble on the horizon in our lives or if something unexpected approaches, our job is to prepare. When we trust in God and prepare daily as if a catastrophe was coming the next day, we not only pass the tests in our lives but our faith soars! This is how we can share Christ with full confidence because we have prepared, prayed, labored, obeyed and walked through a valley in our lives where our success hinged on how well we’ve paid attention in God’s class. It is essential to our survival to embrace our relationship with the Father with the same passion we exercise in our high school or collegiate level of study. God rewards us based on how diligently we pursue Him.
The question now becomes, how diligently do we pursue God? How much time do we spend on the trivial matters in our lives? Are we still planning what to wear to the prom when we should be focused on life after the prom ends? God wants us to enjoy our lives and the people around us. However He wants us to be mindful that we will be tried in the fire of life. He is our protector looking to bless us if when we comply with His way and will. We have to pursue God as badly as we need our next breath. His desire is for us to pass the test of faith that takes a lifetime to perfect. In order to be a successful student in the Lord, we must be compelled to fall in love with Christ and walk with Him for the balance of our lives.
Be encouraged child of the most high God~!
Dr. Denise J. Williams was born& raised in Brooklyn, NY having over twenty-two years of ministry experience. The author’s first book “The Healing Of A Broken Vessel” can be found on http://www.publishamerica.com. She’s currently penning her second book and resides in Jacksonville, FL with her husband who is a career soldier.