Proving Ground - Part 4
God has big plans for your life but there are tests along the way to fulfilling His promises. In our last week of the Proving Ground series, we are taking a look at two tests that will determine your level of trust in God; a key to overcoming anything.
Today is our last installment of the Proving Ground series. Here is a recap of the first 7 tests:
- The Test of Small Things
- The Motivation Test
- The Credibility Test
- The Wilderness Test
- The Authority Test
- The Warfare Test
- The Offence Test
8. The Test of Time
Many people live on the sidelines of life as if waiting to be called into the game. But life is a continual unfolding of opportunities. In order to make the most of these, it is important that we prepare. You must ask:
What do I pay attention to? vs. What grabs my attention?
If you take the time to plan, you can list out what you will pay attention to and that will help you focus when things come along and grab your attention.
Focus on your why - Why am I here? What is my purpose? What is my problem to solve? When you have clear answers to those questions, you can prioritize your time.
In the Bible, great leaders learned to think both short-term and long-term. They learned to trust God even when it meant waiting. In order for us to do this, we must understand that there is purpose in these seasons of waiting. As James said, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." There is purpose in every season and knowing that allows me to think both long-term and short-term at the same time.
9. The Lordship Test
For centuries, theologians have debated how to balance our free will with the sovereignty of God. In Proving Ground, Gerald addressed this topic very well. He said that trying to pick either free will or sovereignty is a "dumb dichotomy." It is not one or the other, it is both.
God's will is that we would will His will. So while we take comfort that God is in control, we must take great honour and pride in the fact that we have an opportunity to carry out His plans and purposes here on earth. Passing the Lordship Test brings us to believe that God is always right.
Proving Ground Within the Church
It doesn't matter where we are and what we are currently doing, we each have to pass these nine tests continually. God is not concerned with how many people attend your church; He is looking for us to be faithful with what we have. He is moved by the individual lives that are changed with the gospel we share. Why? Because the church is the hope of the world and we have a mission to reach every available person, at every available time, by every available means, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by creating churches unchurched people love to attend.
If you have enjoyed this series, we would highly recommend you purchase your own copy of Proving Ground. If you'd like to purchase one, you can find it here.
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