Passing the Test

Sometimes people ask the dumbest questions. “How do you know it works?” they might ask. “Because I’ve tried it,” comes the obvious response. We know things work by testing them.

I know my car runs well, because I drove it today.

I know I am qualified for a position, because I’ve worked in this field for years.

I know I can use a power saw, because my father taught me, and I’ve cut wood to build a house with one.

Experience is the primary thing employers look for in hiring. Have you done this before? Were you good at it? Can you answer questions related to the job? Knowledge is not enough. Experience is knowledge put to the test.

I took three years of Latin in high school. I know “some” Latin (emphasis on “some”), but there is a big difference in my knowledge of Latin and a person who continued in their study of Latin to the point where they started teaching it or using it in research. Latin has become part of their life.

Knowledge without testing doesn’t remain. I remember very little Latin, along with many other subjects that I studied but didn’t later use (I’m thinking specifically in the areas of math and science). I’m sure you can list a number as well, about which you had some knowledge, but never really put it to use in life. I know I could not pass a Latin test today. I’d fail, because it’s not personal to me, not ingrained in my heart and soul.

The same is true of faith. Oswald Chambers says that only in testing, does faith become personal. We can have all the knowledge of Jesus we want, but without putting our faith in him, and then having that faith tested, it means nothing.

Faith without testing fades, just like my skills in Latin.

Grief tests my faith. An empty nest tests my faith. Relationships at work test my faith. The writing journey tests my faith. I find myself wanting to complain to God and say, “I’m tired of pop quizzes!” Then he reminds me that it’s those common-sense and sometimes difficult circumstances that are refining my relationship with him, burning away the dross of self and superficiality that war with my spiritual man and desire to glorify Christ alone.

I’ve passed some of the tests with flying marks, while others, only by the skin of my teeth and grace.

How do your grades look? What life circumstances are trying your faith? Have they revealed a life of only knowledge of the holy without true experience? There’s one test that we can only ace by faith — that of passing from death into life eternal. Make sure your faith is tested and secure and ready for the final exam.

Grace and Peace

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