On your journey to becoming the person you were meant to be, there are certain tests that will undeniably show up in your life in some form or fashion. You must pass them to qualify for promotion to your next level.
Most people consider taking a test as a negative, but if you’re prepared, it’s a positive experience. There is a reward on the other side. Remember, you are taking the test for a reason. Its purpose is to see if you are ready to handle what's next.
If you are constantly failing the same tests, you’ll remain stagnant and get discouraged. To stop this cycle of failing the same tests over and over, you need to become more aware of the requirements and the purpose of the test. Then you need to make up your mind that you are going to pass whatever test comes along.
Passing the following six tests is vital to discovering what you were chosen to do, and then walking in the fullness of the extraordinary person you are to become.
The Patience Test
Most people think patience refers to waiting for something. However, this test comes when trials or tribulations try to rob you of your patience. If your response is to remain consistent and constant through whatever situations arise, you are passing the test.
If you get anxious, nervous, frazzled or worried, or panic every time something happens, you will find yourself having to take a retest over and over again. James 1:4 (NKJV) says, “But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” The result of patience is maturity. That word in Greek means to finish, to be complete.
The undesirable events that happen in your life are meant to cause you to lose patience, disrupt your consistency and distract you from continuing to let your dreams manifest God’s way. Then you’ll start doing things within your own natural ability, because worry and fear have convinced you to do something about it right now. Those emotions that provoke you to react are the opposite of patience. Your response should be to remain consistent when you get an unexpected phone call or a negative doctor’s report.
Passing the patience test allows perfect timing so you can witness miracles and become complete, whole and wanting nothing. Sadly, most people never get to the “wanting nothing” promotion of this test because they don’t let patience do its perfect work. They think time is getting the best of them, especially women, so they put patience on the back burner. They start putting an age limit on when they want to see the manifestation of a husband or children, so they take matters into their own hands. Then, instead of enjoying a happily ever after, she’s a struggling single mother or in a miserable marriage because she found a mate on deadbeat.com.
When fear, anxiety or worry knock on your door, simply let them know that visiting hours are over because you are in the middle of taking a patience test and you are determined to pass this time!
The Heart Test
There are two stories in the Bible that exemplify two really important heart tests. First, Abraham: When God called him to become the father of many nations, that was a really big promotion! And then came the ultimate test. God told Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, and gave him very specific instructions. He was to walk up the mountain, put his son on the altar, and kill him. What a test.
When Abraham passed the heart test, God spared his son. In the same way, as a chosen vessel, the heart test is always going to require some sacrifice on your part. It may be your money, time or something that you love, but promotion comes when you are willing to give it up. Abraham cherished his son, but he was obedient to the instructions he was given.
Are you holding on to something so desperately that it has taken priority over your assignment? The heart test has two essential components—trusting and obeying God. Remember, God told Abraham he would have a baby in his old age and that child would be the father of a great nation. Then, when the baby was older, God said, “Kill the boy.” Could you have trusted and obeyed God—kill the dream, murder the legacy?
The second story involves King Solomon. He was the wealthiest and wisest man who ever lived1, but I believe he became intoxicated from his own success. Solomon was instructed not to marry foreign women because they would turn his heart away from the Lord. He was disobedient and that’s exactly what happened. As a result, God told him, “Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant1” (1 Kings 11:9-11 NKJV). Solomon failed the heart test and experienced a major decrease in his life.
One failed instruction can have lifetime consequences! Your heart is also the birthplace of decrease, and you must be intentional about guarding it and being obedient to the instructions of God. Then you will be on your way to experiencing increase instead of decrease in every area of your life.
The Faith Test
Losing faith is one of the most unfortunate events that could happen to you. Without faith, you lose hope, and then become hopeless. When adversity presents itself, it’s really a test of faith, to find out if you really believe in what you’re doing.
When you stand in front of an investor, they’re not really concerned about your presentation as much as you think. They want to look you in the eye to discern your own belief in you. Will you still have faith when it doesn’t look like your dream is going to manifest? Are you prepared for the long haul? Will you have faith to hang in when things do not happen immediately? When your faith is tested, will you react out of desperation? Will you get weary or tired before you complete the journey?
I remember when there was a negative amount in my bank account, having to decide would I still believe I was going to see increase in my life? When I had a meeting and the attendance was not as large as I expected, could I still believe I would become an influential speaker? When things weren’t going according to plan, did I still believe I was chosen for a great assignment? Did I believe I was healed even when I did not feel well?
Through each of these tests of faith, I held on to the promises of God and he didn’t disappoint me.
The Love Test
This test challenges us to treat people according to God’s instructions. Passing it requires being able to maintain military silence when you know you have a valid reason to verbally assault your offender. What if God hadn’t given you a second chance, or had turned his back on you when you messed up and fell short of expectations? We are required to extend the same grace he gave us to others.
Expressing love in the marketplace is simply an act of serving others. No one wants to go to a business or ministry and receive bad service. The likelihood of being a repeat customer is little to none once we experience bad service. I love going to a restaurant that excels in the treatment of its patrons; I will even drive an extra hour and pass by many other options to do so.
When your nasty co-worker walks past you and sneers, and you still wave, smile, and say “Good morning,” you are passing the love test. When you serve an unappreciative person and don’t receive a thank-you, yet you still serve them the next time with excellence, you are passing the love test.
Romans 13:8 (NKJV) says, “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
The Physical Test
Are you preparing your physical body for the assignment at hand? You cannot effectively fulfill what you are called to do with an unhealthy vessel. A football player can’t play if he is injured; he gets taken out of the game. Many leaders are letting unchecked health issues take them out of the game as well.
You need energy and strength to accomplish whatever you are chosen and called to do. I travel many days throughout the year for speaking and training engagements, and I’ve got to be in shape to do it. Most people don’t know that one hour of teaching equals eight hours of physical work. I have to train my body to accomplish what I have been chosen to do. I don’t want health issues to stand in my way, so I must do my part. That means I need to eat right and exercise regularly.
We have the power to be healthy, so make a decision to maximize your effectiveness by training your physical body to meet the demands of what you have been chosen to do. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” This scripture is saying that your body is a temple which houses the Holy Spirit and you are to honor God with your body. In other words, when you don’t take proper care of yourself, you are not honoring God. Ouch!
I hope this revelation empowers you to make any adjustments you need to in the area of health and wellness. They will be beneficial—to you and those who love you.
The Money Test
We all need money to fulfill our assignment. Most people don’t have an income problem, they have a money management problem. We need to become expert managers of the money that we have and then we can experience increase.
Money is a seed. You must be faithful with the seed. You can either eat it or plant it. You can invest it for the future or you can spend it on your present. If you plant a seed, you can control the entire forest. Most people don’t have seed or cash flow because they spend it on their present. The money test comes to deliver you from material things. People fail it because of financial lust. They have acquired a lot of debt from trying to accumulate things they haven’t earned yet.
Can God trust you with $1 million? I had to answer that question some years ago and the answer was “No!” If I would have obtained that amount on a Monday, I would have bought a new house for at least two other people, purchased 30 pairs of new shoes and five new cars, and would have been broke and depleted by Friday.
God couldn’t yet trust me with the life he designed for me because I was stuck in financial lust. I wasn’t a good steward over my finances. My spending habits exceeded my income. I contributed to my church and gave to charity every now and then, but I only obeyed God with my money sometimes. God is not a fair-weather God! You’re with him or you’re not, you’re in or out, you’re going to be obedient or disobedient. And either he can trust you or he can’t. We don’t ask God what he wants us to do with our paycheck because we really don’t want to hear what he has to say. However, your blessing is on the other side of your obedience. Your money leaves your hand, but it doesn’t leave your life—it enters your future. Your obedience will bless generations to come.
Ultimately, giving is not about your money, it’s about your heart. God wants to ensure your heart is with him so he can get more to you. What are your motives when you ask for a new car? Is it to be able to pick someone up to give them a ride? Is it for your pleasure solely, to ride around and look prosperous? If you need transportation there is nothing wrong with asking for it, but examine your motives for that car and every luxury you desire.
God wants us to have financial abundance. Money is a tool to carry out your calling, to be able to help others, to use and to invest. Money is an amplifier of whatever is in your heart. If your heart is evil, you will use money for bad things. If your heart is right, you will use money for good things. Money is also for you to enjoy. Money is a test of your faithfulness and character.
This article was extracted from Issue 3 of Inspire Magazine (Fall 2021). Learn how to get your copy of Inspire Magazine.