Passing the Test

Most days I don’t TRY to be hateful, but there were days when I actually got a thrill out of giving people back EXACTLY what they gave to me.

Attitude. Sarcasm. Wit.

It was easy because I have a lot of it--attitude, sarcasm, and wit. Honestly, I used to be proud of my ability to cut people with my words. But, the only thing I want my words to do now is inspire, encourage, motivate, and laugh.

Despite my best intentions, I don’t always effectively curtail my attitude. God has a lot to DO in my life, but He has just as much to UNDO in order for me to effectively demonstrate the love of Christ. Sometimes I slack on my end of the UNDO process by refusing to yield to God’s direction.

Recently, I was engaged in a discussion at work that ended up being a lot more confrontational and aggressive than I would have desired. I sensed the Holy Spirit prompting me to respond in compassion, but the mere thought of “giving up” and allowing her to “win” made me cringe.

But, in that moment I realized that I had been around this mountain…time and time again. I immediately thought of how an 11 day journey can take 40 years (Deuteronomy 1:2-3) if you refuse to adhere to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. I made up my mind that I would not prolong my journey. I would pass the test.

School is ALWAYS in session with God. He doesn’t just deliver a final. God provides periodic “pop quizzes” to assess our growth. No one likes pop-quizzes, but they are often a great indicator of areas we may need to dedicate more attention to prior to the final. The benefits are mutual to both the teacher and student. Our Teacher—God—knows that He can’t move on to another area of study until we’ve grasped this lesson. God doesn’t afford us a syllabus that outlines our test dates, but each day we choose to attend class via time with God in His word we can be confident that we will be tested on all that we learn during those sessions. We must resolve to pass the test.

So, today get aggressive in your spirit. Ask God to help you discern when you are being tested—to help you to pass the test. Ask Him for the wisdom and discipline to obey the Holy Spirit. Refuse to prolong your journey. Do not allow an 11 day trip to turn into a 40 year trip due to an inability to check your flesh! Resolve to advance to the next lesson by choosing to put all you’ve learned into action. Recognize that the moment you make this proclamation you will be tested so do like I do and say—“Look flesh…you gon’ learn today!”

Ashley Ivery is a single mother of two brilliant children, Aiden and Devyn, with an overwhelming desire to empower women and help them to realize the importance of a relationship with God. Through her writing she hopes to encourage women to claim their strength and value in Christ. She graduated from Fayetteville State University in 2012 with a BS in Psychology. Her motto is: "Be Authentic. Live Honestly. Dispel Light."