Continued from here.
I’m not sure I am fully qualified to write on this particular topic, but I’m making headway, so I’ll give it a shot. The bottom line is that I either trust God or I don’t, and the tests he allows in my life – spiritual warfare that seeks to distract me and prevent me from making progress for the Kingdom of God – show Him whether or not I am ready for promotion. While most of us want to do big things for God, He is kind in not promoting us to doing big things for Him until after we have proven ourselves faithful in little things. If I cannot hold onto my joy & peace and trust that God is in control when my printer stops working, I’m not going to be able to do so when I am publicly persecuted for following God. The tests He allows into my life are not to “punish” me – they are to determine my level of maturity. Until I can be faithful in smaller things, God is not going to entrust me with bigger things.
What does it mean to be faithful through God’s tests? I believe there are many layers to this question. Interestingly, I tend to do well with the hardest tests but fail at the easier ones. For example, Meyer said that two of the most difficult tests are (1) whether you will continue devoting daily one-on-one time with God, no matter what; and (2) whether you will continue forgiving those who hurt you. I have learned both of these lessons very well and have passed them with flying colors. I would add a third that I don’t recall her mentioning in that sermon: whether you will continue to follow God even when mountain after mountain blocks your way. I continually told God that no matter how much it hurts, no matter how many mountains I encounter, and no matter how little sense any of this journey makes, I will continue to obey Him. I need Him to remove some of the mountains to make this possible to do, but I will never, ever stop giving all I have to obey Him.
However, I struggled with some of the smaller tests within those bigger ones. I did not remain joyful and peaceful. I was tempted to complain, although I did less complaining than I used to do. I was tempted to feel sorry for myself rather than focus on God, although I did this less than I used to. So, did I pass this test or fail? I guess I’ll know for sure when the next test rolls around!
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace spinning in a vortex and saying, “This is not happening.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]