Blessed Test or Repeat

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?


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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,

Dr. Mike

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.




Dear Heavenly Dad:

Glorify your name in all that I do. Let not my path be one of ease and comfort, but one of challenge and dependency on you. You are always with me. Help me always be with you. Make you the center of my life. Let nothing come between us. Help me capture your vision, to see your work, to accomplish your will in everything I do.

Help me be a living example of kingdom life in today’s world. Let your kingdom surround me and surround all the people we meet today. Let your glory shine through me and in me so that every person we meet today knows they have met you. Amen.

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“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. Matthew 10:34


                        ”Play it safe.” “Don’t take any risks.” “Why rock the boat?” “It’s better to keep it dull and routine than expressive and unpredictable.” Or does it?

      The older I become the more predictable, dull, and routine this life seeks. What change I am confronted with only creates more work and effort on my part. Basically, my nature has moved towards laziness where I don’t want to make the effort. I would rather live life with contentment, peacefulness, and stability. But is that reality?

      The scriptures teach us that a people without vision will perish. We need a mission to focus our life towards. Now our life’s mission could simply be to avoid all confrontation, to avoid being involved in other people’s lives, to live for ourselves without a care of the world around us. We simple live our life so that when we are gone no one will have missed us. We live as a world unto ourselves. But is that an apprentice of Jesus Christ? Is that what the Kingdom of God is all about?

      Didn’t Jesus forewarn his disciples that He came to bring division among families and people? Didn’t He predict that we would stand before courts and rulers as a witness to Him’? Didn’t He compare our struggles with that of a pregnant woman in labor? Didn’t He threaten the status quo with His mission of preaching, teaching, and healing? Didn’t the apostle Paul write that Christ-followers are turning the world upside down? Didn’t he cause riots in the streets with his message of One God? Didn’t his former religious partners seek to destroy him? Didn’t small armies pursue him with the purpose of killing him? How controversial was he in his time? Yet didn’t he preach a message of peace, contentment, and stability?

            The Kingdom of God is not a tamed vision. It requires total surrender. It requires the death of selfish desires. It is not the path of least resistance. Instead, it’s a journey through battlefields. With the armor of God, we are proactive in our daily walk with Him. We do not know what to expect on any given day. All we know is that He is with us. Today may be a roller coaster of emotions, struggles with the self, darts from the evil one, or attacks from love ones. Through it all though, we have an Advocate who is with us and we rely on. In prayer and through faith we call for assistance. We move forward towards our heavenly call. Our mission is sure. Yes, we may desire the easy way out. But, as a disciple of His we have agreed to take whatever comes our way and handle it with His love. We may have initially desired tame visions, but in the pursuit of the Kingdom of God we take on more than we are capable of handling apart from Him. Yes, I like it dull, routine, and boring. But I gladly take whatever comes my way because it will make me stronger for the Kingdom, stronger for Him, and stronger for my love ones.

              Dr. Mike