Friday, July 2, 2010

The Testing Times of Life

(Note: This post is taken from Friday's post at GRACEFUL SISTERS, an online Bible Study for women. If you haven't already, stop by for a visit. We would love to study God's Word with you!)

“But he knows where I am going.
And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold." Job 23:10

"All right, class. I need everyone to clear the top of his or her desk. Today, we are having a pop quiz." Aah....a pop quiz. Unlike other tests, this is a test that just "pops up", totally unexpected and totally unplanned for. As a student, whenever I heard these instructions from my teacher, I always started to feel anxious and in some ways, tricked. I hadn't been warned of this test ahead of time and a result, I hadn't taken the time to prepare. I hadn't studied. I simply wasn't ready. But... ready or not, the test landed on my desk.

Yesterday, I was surprised with a pop quiz. It didn't come in the usual way...as a paper placed on my desk. No, this test, popped into my life when I found myself confronted by an angry person.

As you know, all this week at GRACEFUL SISTERS, we have been studying about peace. Just yesterday, I started my day by meditating on countless scriptures in God's Word that pertain to peace. When I walked out my door yesterday morning, I was walking in peace.

Then......all that changed. As this woman attacked me with bitter words, I felt anything but peaceful. Oh, you'll be happy to know that on the outside, I remained calm, cool and collected. I responded in love and tried to de-fuse her anger in a gentle way. But.....on the inside......I was a mess! Anger, hurt, resentment, frustration. All of these emotions and about a zillion more were having their own "private" war.

When this "battle" was over, my peace was gone. For the next couple of hours, I kept replaying the scene in my mind. What just happened there?!?!? How could that have just happened?!?! Today, of all days, I was going to walk in peace. I was all "peaced up" when I had left my home. But, where was my peace now? How come my peace hadn't survived this altercation? Wasn't that the whole purpose of peace in the first place?

Then, it hit me. POP QUIZ! Only this is one test I should have passed with flying colors. I knew all the verses about peace. I was prepared. I had studied for this one. Yet....when the test came. I failed. Why?

It is one thing to know something. It is something entirely different to apply this knowledge and make it who you are. Teachers often use testing as a means to determine whether or not a child has mastered a skill or discipline. A wise teacher will use not one, but multiple tests, to gauge the level of understanding in the student. It is not enough to simply memorize facts, repeat rules, or circle A, B, C, or D. A student must apply the knowledge in order to gain the wisdom. The child must take the information and then use it, apply it, make it work.

I had the information, but now I was being called upon to use this information, to apply it, to make it work.

Peace isn't simply something we can merely talk about. It is something we need to put into practice in our daily lives. If we don't.....what's the point?! Peace isn't for the times in my life when all is hunky dory, and peachy keen. NO! Peace is for the moments when all of hell is trying to break into my heart. Peace is to be the guard fighting at the door of my heart.

Peace needs to be ready at all times. And then, when the heat is on, peace needs to step up and defend. In these moments of the battle, if we are prepared and have hidden God's Word in our heart and if we know that we know that we know peace is ours for the taking and the living in, then we simply need to call on the power of the Holy Spirit and hold our ground.

We are in spiritual warfare. This is a 24-7 fight. We cannot for one moment let our guard down. We cannot for one moment think we have arrived! We cannot take our eyes off our Jesus and place them onto the "test of life" placed in front of us and expect to walk away victorious.

I shouldn't have been caught off guard. I am not ignorant of the devil's devices.(2 Corinthians 2:11) I know to " Be self-controlled and alert. [because] Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (I Peter 5:8).

I also know my God. I know that greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4) I know that with Christ, I can do ALL things. (Philippians 4:13) I know when I have a demand placed on me, my God shall supply ALL my needs. (Philippians 4:19) I know to be anxious about nothing, but to pray about everything, and in doing this, the peace of God will guard my heart and mind. (Philippians 4:6-7). I know, I know, I know. Now, it is time to live it. Time to apply it. Time to make it work in my life.

I know this is not the last pop quiz that will come my way. Somewhere, sometime, when I am least expecting it, I will be tested again. The next time, I pray I stand in the peace that I know to be mine. I pray that I use my sword of the spirit and defeat the enemy of my soul. I pray I master the art of living in the spirit and living in peace.

What about you? Has your peace been tested this week?

Remember, our God is faithful.

If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:12,13

Life is all about learning how to live it. Thankfully, in Christ, we are able to sit at the feet of the Master teacher. Yes, indeed.

“...he knows where I am going.
And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold."


3 comments:

  1. Oh yes. Pop quizzes. Lovely. :)

    I love this....“...he knows where I am going.
    And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold."

    Kinda lets you know it's going to be ok :)

    Have a wonderful weekend, Stacy!

    XO

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's the cutest scripture ever! "He knows where I am going..." I feel like putting that at the beginning of every prayer, lol.

    Gotta love those pop quizzes. It certainly lets me know how I'm doing, because He already does. That's why I get a bunch of the same quizzes over and over. I never get the ones that are easy {for me} like being kind to the poor, I get the hard ones {for me} like forgiving the people closest who hurt me. Gotta love those pop quizzes.

    ReplyDelete
  3. OH yes! And it's only Wednesday!!! :) This post is awesome. I'm going to send it to my sister and mom as our family is going through some fiery trials right now.
    Thanks for blessing me this morning and bringing awareness to my mind.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a "heartprint" of your own.