“One of my neighbors came by last night,” Stan began. “He wanted to borrow a flashlight.”
“What was that all about?” I replied.
“Well,” Stan said, “he’s kind of frugal. Always trying to avoid spending any money that isn’t absolutely necessary.”
“So he doesn’t own a flashlight?” I asked.
“Not only that,” Stan replied, “the reason he needed one is that his house lights didn’t work. It seems he hired an unlicensed electrician to do some work and the guy didn’t know what he was doing and caused all of the electricity in the house not to work.”
“So he hired someone who was unlicensed because he was less expensive?” I responded.
“Yeah, I guess,” Stan said. “Seems to me that what he really failed to recognize is that electricians are licensed for a reason. They have to pass an examination that shows whether or not they know what they are supposed to know.”
“No examination, no license,” I replied. “So you don’t know what you may be getting in hiring someone who hasn’t been tested.”
“Exactly,” Stan said. “Same thing with me and my relationship with God. He tests and examines me to see where I am in my faith walk with Him. How well do I know what I am supposed to know?”
“Just like the guy who called himself an electrician,” he continued, “but didn’t know what he needed to know, if I am going to call myself a Christian, there are things that I need to know in order to walk the road from conversion towards transformation.”
“And God tests and examines you on those things?” I asked.
“He certainly does,” Stan replied. “And all of His testings are for my benefit, so I will be in a relationship with Him where I am continually drawing closer in total, unconditional surrender to all He wants to do in and through me.”
“If I ignore, resist, or reject God’s testings,” Stan continued, “I may try to pass myself off as a maturing Christian, but the truth will be exposed when the lights don’t come on!”
“As in not shining light into the darkness of the world?” I asked.
“Exactly, my friend,” Stan concluded. “And what I need to do is to allow the Holy Spirit to test and examine me on a continuing basis. Not only that, I have to take to heart the results of the Holy Spirit’s examination and use it for my continual transformation. All of that so the lights God intends will, indeed, come on!”
Examine me, O Lord, and try me; test my mind and my heart. Psalms 26:2.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. James 1:3.
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you want to test and examine me to see where I am in my relationship with you so that you can help me on the path towards the transformation you intend for me. I confess that too many times I have rejected and resisted your testing because I did not want to be examined. Please forgive me. And please help me in following every step of your lead in testing and examining me, knowing that you do it for my good so that I will pursue an ever-deepening and an ever-closer relationship with you in every fiber of my being. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Do you believe that God tests and examines you for His purposes? What does that look like? What are those purposes? Do you want to be tested, or do you resist because it may be painful? When God tests you, how willing are you to see the results of that testing? How willing to make the changes that the testing shows?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to S. Tory Teller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.