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When you have failed a test

This blog posting is kind of like a follow up to “When everything falls apart”, and “The Tests of Life”.  We know that when students go through tests at school.  Have you ever known you were going to have a quiz, but you didn’t have time to study for it?  You just go to sleep and hoping that everything comes by “osmosis” or something like that?  Well God tests and sometimes He chastens us too, and sometimes this test may be foretold in advance [i.e. Jesus wilderness, and the Israelite wilderness] We go through difficult things, and it is about our attitude primarily and what we do and say during these times of chastening and testing.  Sometimes we do not know what direction it is going to come, and we know that the enemy goes around like a roaring lion seeing who he can devour, but we also know God has His plan, which is different for testing.

Women, not intended to stereotype, in general tend to be more emotional and they tend to cry more and be more expressive in their emotions.  Sometimes we find women yelling, and getting angry too, but as believers it is hard to control these emotions without surrendering to the Holy Spirit.  But whether you are a woman or a man, you do get tested by the Lord, and even through the best of intentions you try to obtain a peaceful attitude through the Holy Spirit, but it is the times when you are spiritually undernourished that you go through certain things and you cannot seem to find your way out of the wilderness experience that you are in.  One thing to understand is that God is through His Holy Spirit giving you a slight nudge in what to do in the beginning, and if you don’t listen to that nudge, which is like Question No. 1, and then He gives you another nudge, but this time this one may be a little bit softer than the other nudge.  That is like Question No. 2.  Then by now if the principle of chastening, and disciplining has come into picture, there will you will start receiving a wrong answer mark or an “X” by your “Questions”, and that begins the consequences of sin.  The good thing about the “X” is that if you realize it soon enough you get it erased, and just for another opportunity to do the same question again.  But if you you continue to answer questions wrongly, then the “X”‘s get more and depending on how much you have prepared for the test, and how much you ask the Teacher to help you, you yourself will get up getting upset and failing.  The Good News is that you always have a do over, but you have to ask the Teacher to help you study and you have to ask for tutoring and to go in for “Office Hours”.  The Good News is that the Office Hours are 24/7.  This Teacher is Jesus and through the Holy Spirit He teaches you, but it will have to be at a time, when He is not grieved by you getting upset with Him for the difficult test.

The problem is that most times we don’t depend on the Teacher alone, but we depend on other people, and trying to please them, we try to please other people.   If Job actually listened to the advice of His friends, would He have been actually able to hear from God?  Maybe, because the Word does say, “God works out all things for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” But this was a test.  For Job, it was unexpected, but for some people, God may tell you, “Be watchful, lest you enter into temptation”, and if you don’t listen you are going to end up in trouble.

Part of the problem, is that we don’t have the wisdom our own to figure out the problem, so that’s why we are supposed to go to God, and you may just want someone to pray for you, and they go about giving their advice and telling you how to solve the problem.  Sometimes there are times where people have been thrown everything, which comes there way, and they think as Christians, “I should have been able to handle this better”, and that’s where pride comes in.  Because it is not us, but Christ who lives in us that equips us to handle problems, and because when we don’t listen to the small nudgings, we get overwhelmed, over stressed, and overburdened by our problems.

Hebrews 12, my favorite Chapter says –

For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:

“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”

If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that wemay be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.

So basically what it says here is that you have to endure the chastening, and some places says rejoice, because you are not illegitimate, and you are sons.  So basically when you have a pop-quiz/test like this, and you fail, realize that it’s ok because even though you will have to go through test again, you are building up your relationship with the Holy Spirit to the level of intimacy because in truth, we all fall down, and especially when you are pursuing the path of Holiness, there may be so many things that come against you, but if you trust in God, then there will be a peacable fruit of righteousness and to forgive yourself and to accept His grace, which calls us unto redemption.  We are not guided by our feelings, and we may have bad days, and areas of struggle, and areas of weakness, but God is equipping us, the one’s whom He loves to be a bride ready to be established for His Kingdom.

If you need to repent for failing a test here is a prayer for you:

Heavenly Father,

Please forgive me, I’ve run a muck today, and not listened to Your voice, and obeyed Your commands.  I acted impatiently, hastily, and not out of love, but I really need You to forgive me, and cleanse my heart with Your Blood and to give me a clean heart and a new heart and to pick up the pieces, dust them off, and continue to spin that Potter’s wheel.  I thank You that You are still with me, and that You are teaching me and training me to be a glorious vessel for Your Kingdom, and I abide in Your Truth and wisdom, to know that You are guiding my path.  Help me to be able to discern Your voice more clearly from now on, and to make wise decisions to pass the tests and to surrender my emotions to you, so that I can have the complete wholeness of Body, Mind, Spirit, that you have promised in Your Word.  Thank You Heavenly Father.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

God is faithful to answer the prayers whatever they may be, if you continue to wait on Him.  He will always be with you.

 

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And He has called us friends

We all like to have friends.  Wouldn’t it be nice to realize, and come and accept that God wants to be our friend.

In John 15:15 Jesus says that He no longer calls them servants, but He calls them friends because friends know what their master is doing.

John 15:15
No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

Here is a prayer from David, who was a man after God’s own heart, where He was still known as Lord (Adonai) which means Master, and LORD, which is YHWH, which means I AM that I AM.

Prayer for Mercy, with Meditation on the Excellencies of the Lord

A Prayer of David.

86 Bow down Your ear, O Lord, hear me;
For I am poor and needy.
Preserve my life, for I am holy;
You are my God;
Save Your servant who trusts in You!
Be merciful to me, O Lord,
For I cry to You all day long.
Rejoice the soul of Your servant,
For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,
And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.

Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
And attend to the voice of my supplications.
In the day of my trouble I will call upon You,
For You will answer me.

Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord;
Nor are there any works like Your works.
All nations whom You have made
Shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
And shall glorify Your name.
10 For You are great, and do wondrous things;
You alone are God.

11 Teach me Your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.
12 I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And I will glorify Your name forevermore.
13 For great is Your mercy toward me,
And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

14 O God, the proud have risen against me,
And a mob of violent men have sought my life,
And have not set You before them.
15 But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious,
Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.

16 Oh, turn to me, and have mercy on me!
Give Your strength to Your servant,
And save the son of Your maidservant.
17 Show me a sign for good,
That those who hate me may see it and be ashamed,
Because You, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

The Lord spoke to Moses as a friend, and yet He is called Master, but He speaks to Moses a man speaks to his friend:

11 So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.

These days we take the word friend so casually, to mean just anyone we get along with is our friend, or all our facebook friends, and acquaintances but in Hebrew, friend, meant someone you were intimate like you were knit together, that is the kind of relationship that Moses had with God.  Even then in the Old Testament, most of the people that were called friends turned out to be deceivers and liars, and unworthy, and I think in Proverbs it says someone is cursed for blessing their friend while rising in the early in the morning – Proverbs 27.  But when you look at the way Jesus describes it, friend, was regarded highly by Jesus.

Jesus wants us to know what is in His heart and on His mind.  He wants the fire of God to burn within us.  He wants us to be passionate for Him.  But He wants us to search out the intimate things of God.

The interesting difference between a friend and a master is that with a friend you really have to trust them, but with a master you do what they say because they are in a position of authority and you honor and respect them.  You pretty much have no choice with a master, but with a friend you have a choice that you have to trust them.

Now don’t get me wrong, we should still regard God as the Sovereign God, and our Lord and Master, but there is a deeper relationship that He wants you to have.  He wants you to get to know Him.  I know I did a post on a similar subject before called Jesus the closest companion…but I think we need a refresher course.  Imagine that the God who created the whole universe is not just your friend, but your best friend.

Imagine you ran a red light accidentally and the cop was your best friend, the cop would probably say something like, “Ok, bud, this was wrong, but if I catch you next time, I’ll have to give you one.”

David had favor with Saul for the sake of Jonathan.

Now to put things into proper perspective, God is not just our best friend, but He is our king, and our ruler, and the principle authority figure in our lives.  But He wants us to know Him as our loving Heavenly Father first, but He is also very Holy and He cannot be around sin.  Sin keeps Him away from us.  Let’s take example lying.  Wouldn’t you be mad if someone lied to you?  Wouldn’t you be mad at your children if they didn’t do anything you said and were running a havoc around the house?  Even if you are married if your wife lied to you or she lusted after another man or women if your husband lied to you and lusted after another man, wouldn’t you be upset.  Some marriages people can’t forgive after adultery because they’ve been so hurt, God is the same way.  He doesn’t want you lying to Him or anyone else either, and since the Holy Spirit lives inside of you, He doesn’t want you abusing your body.  He doesn’t want you speaking bad things about His friends.  He wants you to respect and to honor Him as King.  That’s why you should respect and honor and fear Him not because you think He’s going to destroy you or send you to hell – but out of love of the heart.  God looks at intent of the heart.  He looks at motive.

The Bible says “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”

It also says in Ephesians 1:

13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

This verse is conditional to the promise that you trusted in God.  If you don’t trust God as your friend that He really doesn’t want to hurt you.  That He really doesn’t want you to think that He doesn’t care for you, but because He disciplines or chastens you it is for your benefit.  It is so that He is trying to teach you something.  God is always talking, I mean always – everywhere.  Are we really listening to Him?

I’ve had to learn this lesson about trusting God has my friend first instead of one who wants to discipline me.  If your friend tells you, “Hey can you do me a favor?”  And your parents command you to do chores, who are you going to want to obey- your friend or your parents?  It may be the same exact thing.  I guess it depends on your relationship with Him…sometimes He’s your parent and sometimes He’s your friend, but sometimes He’s both.  He likes to play Good Cop and Bad Cop at the same time, but there’s nothing bad about Him, but it is to get you to admit and confess what you did was wrong and take responsibility for it.

When everything falls apart

When we go through hard times and there is nothing and no one that can help, our intimacy and relationship to God is the only thing that can get us through.  When you have been experiencing some rough times – some  Good questions to ask yourself are:  What are you going to do when your Bible is too heavy for you to carry?  What are you going to do when you are not physically capable of using your laptop or computer?  What are you going to do when you try to pray but can’t?  What are you going to do if you’ve lost your voice too?(Not saying that I have)  What are you going to do when you are by yourself and everything around you just seems to be falling apart and you can’t so much lift your hands up or use your voice?  What are you going to do during those times when God is silent or you haven’t “reached” that level of intimacy to bring you close to maturity.  Have you ever thought about these things?  These things are good things to think about.  What does it all depend upon?

Some say it’s obedience and it’s about you reap what you sow, but actually I think in Job, Job got more depressed when other people were saying things like that.  What really matters and what God is looking at more than faith, I would guess is your attitude.  Your attitude while suffering really is a good signal of how mature you are in Christ.  Paul said in Romans 8, “I consider these sufferings of the present time nothing compared to the glory that is about to be revealed.”  If you are able to keep a joyful attitude when suffering then that means you have something that is of value to God.  Sometimes the thing is not whether you are happy or sad, but what goes on in your thought life and how you lift up your heart to Him and just come to that point of surrender in knowing that you cannot do it without Him.  Even Jesus when He was on the Cross probably was not rejoicing and singing and shouting, but He maintained the Word confession out loud, and He surrendered to the sin that He took upon His flesh when He was on the Cross.  We all say we want a deeper relationship with God and a more intimate relationship with God, but do you know what it actually means to take on the nature of Christ?  It means to partake in the sufferings of Christ.  Although it is good that God does not give you more than you can bear, and though sorrow may last through the night and joy comes in the morning, we all have to suffer at some point and our attitude while suffering is important.

There are some kinds of attitudes that are healthy to have while in sufferings:

1)  An attitude of praise – If you are able to not curse God or blame God during the circumstance but to lift Him up and not allow the enemy’s tactics to discourage you and to bring you into self-pity then that is a good attitude to have.  I’ve done a blog post on Praise  –  I forgot what it’s called.  It might be called, “Singing in the Valley”

2) An attitude of communion – If we allow ourselves to acknowledge the fact that Christ has suffered too, and that no one has suffered to the point that Christ has as it says in Hebrews 12, then we will know that no matter what happens we do not have to be discouraged because Christ has already overcome the world, and we know that He has suffered as well.  There’s a verse – I think it’s in Phillipians  where Paul says that he thanks God to know the power of His resurrection, and to partake in the fellowship of His sufferings.  That must be a difficult thing to understand for some people.  I am not saying that you have to suffer that it is a requirement to fellowship with Him, but to say that if you are suffering rejoice because Christ suffered likewise.

3)  An attitude of rejoicing – When you are suffering, good chances are that you are being chastened or being disciplined by God, and even though it says that no disciplining is joyful but is grievous and painful, but the result is peacable fruits of righteousness for those that have been trained by it – We can still choose to rejoice.  We can continually have our hearts lifted up because – we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:4

4) An attitude of surrender – knowing that you are too small to fix all your problems is a great thing.  Knowing that there is someone greater and larger that takes care of everything.  It’s good to be obedient to the little that God has called you to do, but even when you have been disobedient and are trying to take control of your life and figure everything out for yourself then that God cannot operate in changing your free will, so you have to come and humble yourself before Him.  Job did that in the last chapter of Job, where He just surrendered to God and repented.  Surrender is a form of repentence – it is laying your will down and making a commitment to change. It is also the ability to realize how Great our God is.

5) An attitude of not complaining – no matter what circumstances you are going through, the less you complain, and murmur, the better it is.  But you can always talk to God and reason with Him.  Jesus is your mediator.  When Job was suffering he cried out for a mediator between God and man.  Aren’t we glad that we have one?

6) An attitude of Prayer – If at all you can pray, and prayer just means communicate to God in some form (I know some people say you have to utter out loud or speak in tongues), but in some cases you just need in your heart to communicate your heart’s desire to God and have that level of faith step in and take over.

7) An attitude of Be Still and Know – “When you have done all that you can do stand” – It says in Ephesians 6.  When we can just rest knowing that God still loves us and cares for us and that our prayers are being heard and answered then maybe that’s all we need.  We don’t need to beat ourselves up for what we have done because God knows and He is there to help you.  Sometimes He just wants you to go and spend time with Him and seek Him.

Sometimes it’s not about all the rebuking the devil that you do, but it’s about your attitude.  I don’t even want to get into all that’s going on right now, but I know God is faithful even when everything falls apart.  The key thing to remember when everything falls apart is that God works out all things together for good to those who love Him.  There’s going to be a blessing out of this situation that you might be going through – that is the peaceable fruits of righteousness.