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A Useful Measurement

February 11th, 2010

“You tested . . refined us like silver . . brought us to a place of abundance.” Psalm 66:10-12 NIV

“A test is always most useful when you have properly prepared.”

My thoughts today are about “useful measurement.”

Consider this about tests: nobody wants or enjoys them; everybody needs and gets them. Here are a few of my observations. Tests are for your benefit. Tests are informative. You can learn from them, recognizing what you do know and realizing what you do not yet know. You can try to avoid them, but you do so to your own loss. You can cheat on them, but you end up cheating no one but yourself. It’s best if you prepare for them, so you don’t fail them.

A test is a point of useful measurement. It is not about passing or failing; it is about progressing and growing. You can often think you are doing better than you are, and a test can show how well you are doing, building your confidence and esteem, or it may reveal where you need to improve, providing incentive and focus.

“The heart is more deceitful than anything else and desperately sick, who can understand it? I, the Lord, test the heart.” Jeremiah 17: 9-10.  God already knows what will be found in anyone’s heart (See Hebrews 4:12 NIV), but wants you to know your heart and what is to be found there. “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23 NIV.

The Lord’s test is not to expose you; it is to inform you. The medical community invests considerable time and money before a medicine is approved for use, undergoing extensive testing for FDA approval. Industry and government tests automobiles for safety and durability. Software and electronics are tested to assure their functional reliability. New products are market tested to prove their financial viability before the company proceeds with investment and production. Many products never make it to production.

Would God be less careful with your soul, something far more eternally important than some product’s profit or safety? God’s goal is to demonstrate usefulness and reliability, and the test is with anticipation of success, not with expectation that you fail. Here’s the good news. His tests you cannot fail. You may have to take them over, but His Spirit will work in your circumstances and heart until you pass with high grades.

Invite God to examine your heart; you will be the better for it. “Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in Your truth.” Psalm 26:2 NIV. You will find as did the Psalmist, God “brought us out to a place of abundance.” Psalm 66:12 NIV. See Job 23:10/1 Peter 1:6-7 NIV. Skip the test; you miss His abundance.

My prayer for you today is to allow yourself to be stretched in God’s loving care.

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