Hi there, welcome to the concluding post of when the teacher allows you take the test. Missed the first part? Click here
When God allows us to take a test whether a divinely orchestrated one or the type set by life, He wields our tests as an eyes opening tool in 4 ways:
1) Our tests act as a mirror
To show us our real selves. Let’s take Abraham for instance. This is someone that pulled one of the biggest faith stunts in the Bible. He left everything, in the company of his wife and nephew, to begin life afresh headed for a direction he did not know. All he knew was that God told him to leave his father’s house to a land He will show him. To an average reader, Abraham is fully schooled in the matters of faith to be able to take that step. Who would have thought that a “small” famine will make this same guy to pack his things and run to Egypt without trusting God to see him through? Who would have thought that this same guy that converses with God as a friend and God has shown him the stars and the sand with the promise of a heir and multiple blessings will get impatient and succumb to his wife’s suggestion to compromise and birth Ishmael?
It may be unbelievable to him that despite how close he is with God, he is still capable of messing up, but trust me when I say this, God was not shocked neither did the eyes of the heavenly beings pop out of their sockets in surprise while they watched who was ordained to be the “father of faith” display faithless acts. I have also done some extremely foolish things that if I ever get to recount here, you may cringe. But believe it or not, God was/is not surprised I did all those. He knew I was capable of doing them even if I didn’t. Those “failed” tests have made me realize that I still had a long way to go irrespective of how people perceive or rate me.
2) Our tests humble us.
By the time we stare face to face with our “messy” results, we are hit with a sudden realization that we are equally as flawed as any human and given the right circumstances and timing, we are capable of horrendous acts. Conviction takes over and we are humbled. We realize we didn’t have what it takes after all. The students who failed turn their faces to the Teacher to educate them and keep them grounded. They thought they were ready because their “mates” were moving to “Primary 6” already but from the results, it’s obvious they can’t handle the next level. It becomes glaring that they should sit put in “Primary 5” and allow the teacher equip them before they ruin the next level.
3) Our tests convicts us and opens up a desire for growth.
When it becomes glaring that I am not all that, it creates an ache in my heart to be a better person. I am more yielding and willing to enroll in God’s refining school when I am staring face to face with my tests results. For instance, if God was to invite me, out of the blues, to do an in depth study on anger management, I may not readily jump at it cos I may think, “What for?” But if I go to work and face an experience that makes me lose my cool under pressure, my anger issues will be all too glaring. I may not know I still had that in me. I may have assumed I have learned to control my emotions better.
Remember, our real selves ALWAYS precipitate to the surface under intense pressure.
With my tail between my legs, I go to God so broken because I messed up. Now, He has my full attention. If He places me on an emotional intelligence growth plan, I will quickly subscribe.
Reason: I can see for myself that I have a long way to go in that area, contrary to what I may have believed about myself or the lie I may have unconsciously sold to others.
4) On the flip side, God may allow us to take a test to show us what we are capable of.
Sometimes, I am reluctant to take the test. Slower to take risks. Slower to jump at opportunities. Slower to run off with an assignment. Especially if I fear failing at it. I still have some phobia for failure. God may decide, ahead of time, to give me a pep talk on why He thinks I should do a particular thing or take advantage of an opportunity. Other times, He lets me be and sets me up. Literally. He orchestrates events that puts me right in the middle of a situation where I am forced to act irrespective of what I think my probabilities for passing or failing are in that situation. When I pass the test, I am pleasantly surprised at myself.
Oh! I didn’t know I could do this. I didn’t know it wasn’t that hard. Or that complicated. I could have let this opportunity pass by because I thought I will fail at this. Now, I am going to be doing this a lot more often cos I know I can do it
Naturally, I wouldn’t have taken that test. But when He set me up and made me sit for that exam which I passed, my eyes were opened further to things I am capable of that I did not know. You can never know fully all the things you can do unless you try. That is why He allows you to take the test.
Why am I sharing all these?
So that you can develop the right attitude when tests come and the results seemingly go wrong (or right). And the sweetest part? Knowing that God can use my tests (failed or not) to achieve something beautiful in me and knowing that even my failures are no surprise to Him gives me the courage to forgive myself. We beat ourselves so much and wallow in condemnation maybe because we think God is so shocked and disappointed in us.
“How can you do this, Emmanuella?!! A whole you???”
Humans may feel that way but definitely not God.
I am also in awe of the fact that He knows that I am capable of a whole lot of nonsense and He still called me. He still handpicked me. He still chose me to execute a portion of His kingdom agenda. It makes sense of this quote fully:
He doesn’t call the qualified.
No one ever gets to be qualified by their actions. Not now. Not even when we think they are prim and proper. And this does not apply to only our past flaws and failures. Our callings in God even made room for our future mistakes. I am suddenly reminded of the list of men of Bible days who still messed up AFTER being called by God. Abraham. Moses. David. Peter. Jonah. They did not try. Some did abominable acts that if left for humans, they don’t stand a 2nd chance. But God knew they were flawed and still called them and gave them a godly heritage. When He looked at them and looks at us, He didn’t look or is looking at the men and women we were/are but the men and women we could become irrespective of the dozen mistakes and “mess ups” we would make on the journey of being those persons He had in mind.
He loved you despite knowing ahead that you will fail the test. He loved you even when you were in doubt that you will pass the test. And He is more than willing to turn every test, the result notwithstanding, into a teaching tool. Now tell me, if God is for you, who can be against you?