“Please stand by for a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This is only a test. In the event of an actual emergency, you would hear instructions.” Remember that statement? From time to time back in the day, you would see that on the TV followed by a great assortment of colored lines. As normal protocol, it would happen frequently at night, but occasionally, it also occurred in the day. As an interested kid ~ I always wondered when the actual emergency was going to come. A tornado? A severe thunderstorm? An invasion of a foreign army? For many years ~ no emergencies seemed to come.
Sometimes I wonder if we reduce our lives to nothing more than a test. Don’t get me wrong, being tested, disciplined, and refined is a part of life itself. These things are embedded in God’s work and will for us, in Christ Jesus. His presence, the Holy Spirit, is diligent in this work. But beyond the testing and “being put through the winepress,” if you will, is something much deeper and more profound. You see, we were created and made for a passionate purpose that derived from God’s own heart and desire. It is His will to know us. To commune with us. To call each and every one of us His child. Again, He has a passionate purpose for us individually (as sons and daughters) and corporately (as His Church, His people).
I have done much schooling over a few decades. The interesting thing about each course (at any level) is how the Instructor teaches the material and how that material (or coursework) exists apart from the Instructor. But in authentic Christianity, unlike anything else I have ever experienced, all of the material points back to the Instructor, from Who it has all originated. In fact, as Paul writes to Timothy, “All Scripture is God-breathed and useful…” So apart from the One True Instructor, there is no material at all. Isn’t it interesting?
I say all of that to say this: In our beliefs and in what we hold dear to, don’t magnify the tests or the material or the situations over the Instructor. Better yet, get to know the Instructor (God) intimately and transparently with everything you are. Then, the material will begin to make more sense and the tests that come will only draw you closer to Him. The passionate purpose of God, as Oswald Chambers states, is “to draw us increasingly closer to Himself through all the trials, tears, joys, and jubilations of life.” May we respond to His awesome presence with a passionate purpose for Him and for His others. My prayer: That we would yield to the work of the Holy Spirit and give Him full access to impart His passion, in us, moment by moment and day by day.
In Jesus Name…