Y’all I’ve been 50 for 90 days. If I were in a job, I would be considered permanent. I would receive full benefits and the all the rights and responsibilities associated according to plan. I actually consider myself grown (at least when my mommy is not around…LOL). Yet, our chronological age and our spiritual age may not align. In fact, I would suggest it rarely does. So to be sure as all good parents do, to ensure that their children are hitting each of the milestones and maturing properly, conditions are established to test the hypothesis. God will send forth a retest on your life to see the extent to which you may pass the test again, or if you engaged in cheating to accelerate the pace, while missing the lesson. What exactly happens when God causes a do-over? Better still, how do we govern ourselves when He does?
I wrote a post recently that God rides with me, and I with Him. These are facts! I not only enjoy engaging in a worship experience, but worship is my lifestyle. I love getting caught up with God and succumbing to the deep level of appreciation that I have for the lover of my soul. However, as much as I know that I am the apple of God’s eye (Psalm 17:8), I also know that to whom He loves He chastens (Hebrews 12:6). And so when it feels like the enemy shows up again, but this time with a twist, one may feel as though they’ve entered into a deja vu moment. There’s a familiarity with the behavior and if we’re not careful, we may act out of flesh as opposed to the spirit. What we mustn’t forget is that although the enemy avails his trickery and it feels as though new items have been added to the exam, and you haven’t purchased the updated study material, there is one answer that trumps all the questions. Hebrews 13:8 affirms, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.” So even though God allows a retest to determine if we are trusting ourselves or trusting Him, His behavior, His stature, His demeanor never changes! If He allowed “it,” He will bring us through “it,” as long as we relinquish our flesh to Him, and call forth the inner (wo)man to proxy the exam on our behalf.
Retests aren’t fun. In the academic arena, they suggests that an error was made and that new evidence must be provided to demonstrate mastery. Through Christ, we have the opportunity to remind satan and his groupies that all mistakes were taken into consideration at Calvary, and anything that happens post the Hill is not worthy of time, energy and attention, beyond that focused on Jesus. No tests are particularly fun, but there is for certain a sense of affirmation when we know that we don’t respond in a way that would disappoint the author of the exam. While we are most certainly here on earth with God’s creation, every other person is dealing with their respective tests, retests and the like. Occasionally, their lessons may intersect with yours – which may not always be pretty. Nonetheless, we can only be responsible for our individual response, keep our eyes on our own paper, and not look to the left or to the right. It’s said, the teacher is always quiet during the test, but it doesn’t mean we have to follow that example. When navigating spiritual tests and specifically retests, we can cry out to God (Psalm 77:1). I would never suggest that trials that I’ve endured have resembled those experienced by Job, but I do believe that each of us are on the receiving end of a “Have you considered (insert your name) moment at some point in our walk with Christ.” When that happens, what shall our response be? Even more, what will make God smile? I will worship. I will worship through the test, through the retest and the post test; and I will serve as a tutor to help someone else along the way. First tutoring session notes go something like this: I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies (Psalm 18:31). Pencils down. Praise up!