25/01/2023 by Rev. Doug Walker 0 Comments
As seen in the HEARTbeat andf the Village Voice
These two words sent shivers down the spine of most students, and the glee of a few who actually studied. It was the latter group who welcomed the opportunity to show the teacher how much they paid attention in class, but those who didn’t paid the price. In essence, there was no middle ground when it came to pop quizzes.
These little tests were inevitable, especially when the teacher disclosed at the beginning of the semester there would be surprise quizzes to test the knowledge gained over the course. The students didn’t know on what day the quiz would be, but did know one would be coming because of the teacher’s forewarning.
If you are a Christian, you will be tested daily with what I would call “spiritual pop quizzes.” We used to be safe in our homes, but the intrusion of the television, radio, and smartphones have made it impossible to get away from these tests, or trials. It used to be that we were only tested in public, but no more. However, the best way to prepare before the quiz is to understand the source of the test, which is either God or Satan.
There are a lot of people who say God does not test us. I respectfully beg to differ. James 1:2-3 says, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” God strengthens our relationship with Him through these faith tests. Just like a teacher who builds knowledge upon knowledge, God helps us to learn simple faith matters at first. Then over our lifetime, He continually builds our faith with these pop quizzes. If we learn from the past, we find them easy. If we didn’t learn, God allows us to retake the quiz over and over, to the frustration of many a Christian. Basically, if the quiz tests our faith, then it is from the Great Teacher.
So how does Satan test us? If the quiz tests our decision to sin or not, there is no question the quiz is from Satan. These tests will not be huge. Satan works his way into our life by giving little tests causing us to maybe think, “This is just a little sin; it’s ok.” Then he slowly moves us away from God and the relationship He wants to have with us.
So, if the pressure and trouble you are facing tests your faith, convicts of sin, brings order into your life, or draws you to God, then God is testing you. But if your circumstances look more like a temptation to sin, makes you feel condemned, stirs up chaos, or pulls you away from God, then it is Satan who is at work in your life. Know the difference! There is no middle ground.
The best way to succeed in these daily quizzes is a little “knee work.” Ask God in prayer every morning to strengthen you for the trials you’ll meet this day, the courage to take the test, and the wisdom to know who is giving the test.
Be joyful, be strong, and most of all be more like Jesus today.