How are you when it comes to tests? Does your palms sweat? Does your stomach turn into knots? In those undergraduate days, I hated tests. Since I was blessed with an excellent short term memory, I would cram the day before the exam, take the exam, and score a high grade. But don’t ask me the same questions the following week; I wouldn’t be able to recall. Yes, I basically studied for an exam grade; learning was on the lower rung of the priority ladder. However, in graduate school, the attitude changed. Exams were excited because I loved the majority of my classes and learning was my prime motivation. I didn’t really care about the grade. The result: better grades and mastery of the subject material. Why does this matter?
The Bible states that you will be presented with life tests (Ps.11:5, Pr.17:3, I Thess. 2:4). A time when you will face a moment of truth. A time when the results will reveal the true character of your soul. These tests will not be multiple choice, essay, or mathematical formulas. They will typically confront you with two primary choices. The choice to live within the circle of the Triune God fellowship or outside the circle. In either circle God remains with you. The difference has to do with eternal rewards and possibly a more difficult path to follow while walking through the jungle of life.
For example, Adam and Eve failed their test and was thrown to live outside the Garden of Eden. Abraham chose to obey and was ready to sacrifice his one son; yet God intervened and Abraham was favorably rewarded for passing his test of faithfulness(Gn. 26:5). Jacob wrestled with the Lord (Gen. 32:24-26) and likewise passed God’s test for persistence and endurance. Joseph was tested through slavery and prison, but remained faithful and obedient to God’s integrity. Saul was made the first King of Israel but failed the test and was disowned and replaced by David. Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by Satan. (Temptation is not a sin; temptation draws-out personal desires that could lead to sin). In Jesus’ case, he was tempted with immediate governmental, religious, and economic leadership (Lk.4:1-13). Jesus though trusted that His Father will work out the plan and didn’t take things into his own hands. He was faithful to His Father’s desires and passed the test.
In business, many opportunities will come to make large sums of money. The problem isn’t the money, but the manipulation, deceitfulness, and witchcraft that is played out to attain the “prize.” Is this God testing you or blessing you? Or is this God blessing you and testing you? Like all moments of truth, you will not know until later in life. But for the moment, are you willing to sacrifice one’s character, virtue, and integrity for the “golden fleece?” Your prize comes from being faithful to our provider; to live and conduct business within the Triune God’s fellowship circle. During the test, will you faithfully and honestly stand before God who knows you better than anyone, and hear his voice speak to you? The objective is to be wholeheartedly honest with all parties through the entire process and focus on glorifying God with the end result. When you remove God’s purpose from the picture, than you cloud the process with selfish desire and godless acts that shamefully brings a failing test to the Master’s feet. The outcome is a good reflection and snapshot of where your soul stands before God.
Again, life tests will come in the marketplace. The choice is usually between more Mammon or fulfilling your word with others and God. The answer will reveal whether one’s heart is truly purified to stand within God’s inner circle or just continue to hang on the far edges with more refining to be done. Though God will never leave you nor forsake you, you have a choice in how diligent you cultivate your soul. Or is that just simply too radical for you to believe?
Our Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus, and Holy Spirit: thank you for loving us so much that you have invested the universe to prepare us for eternity. Thank you for opening our hearts to see, our minds to comprehend, and our hands/feet to serve you. Thank you for taking time to create your masterpiece in us through a new creation in Christ. Help us to yield ourselves to your Word, calling, and purpose. Help us each day to redeem the time. Help us to be prepared for whatever tests come our way that we will be truthful and supportive of your honor. Help us to desist and you to uplift your ways, your love, and your Kingdom through us and in us. Thank you for a new life in you.
Yours in Christ,
Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married
Learn. Integrate. Grow.