The Make it or Break it Test

       Are you one of those people who is currently struggling to pass a test? Does this test mean everything for you? Your livelihood is at stake, your career, your destination. You’ve either failed at it several times and you feel hopeless, or you’re preparing for it and the thought of it makes the yoke heavier. The anxiety keeps increasing and you’re literally a slave to this test. If this is you, you’re definitely not alone and God will work everything out for your good; I am serious. These past three years I’ve been working on getting my license for my teaching career. In order to receive this license, you have to go through a series of requirements showing experience, you need a bachelor’s degree, and you need to pass about seven incredibly difficult state exams. Some of the exams I passed with flying colors, others not so much. As a journalism major, learning about the educational field was completely new to me. It was a world I had never entered and I was starting from scratch. After some time, I passed all six of my exams. I thought I was finished, but I wasn’t. There was one more exam I needed to fulfill to complete the requirements of my job. I figured it wouldn’t be such a difficult task, what’s one more test? It turned out harder than I had imagined.

       Throughout my journey with this test and preparation, God taught me a few things that I would like to share with you. This is especially for those people who feel as if this particular “test” defines who they are, what will happen to them, and it has the ability to break you. The truth is, no test has that power to overcome you in any way. Here is what God taught me:

#1 Put God First. ( Sometimes we can be SO consumed with this test, we eat, breath, and even have nightmares about it. We weep about it, we fret over it, and we halt our time with God, our social lives and even our personal time due to this test. It’s important that we always put God before everything else and not worry. He is the only one that deserves all that time and attention, not a test).

#2 Trust in God’s Timing. (Yes, it sounds cliche, but it’s a fundamental lesson. God knows you’re on a deadline, you don’t need to remind him. Psalm 138:8 says, “The Lord will perfect that which concerns me.” God will not allow you to fail, He will give you a helping hand).

#3 Let Go. (This one took me at least six months before I understood why I had to let go. I had to let go of the pressure, the fear of not having a job, the fear of not fulfilling my final task, the fear of failure. I had to trust in God’s provision and that He would be faithful to guide me on the right path, even if I did not pass).

#4 Honor God by Trusting Him. ( I could not do this in my own strength. I came to a point that I could no longer rely solely on my knowledge, but I needed God’s wisdom for this exam. Even asking for the right studying material was something I needed to seek God for. Surrender it all to Him and HE WILL guide you).

#5 Persevere. ( Romans 5:4 – “Perseverance, character; and character, hope.” God showed this verse to me when I asked him what else was I supposed to do when I started losing hope. This is something we must never forget, perseverance is the only thing that will mold our character and give us hope. God allows you to go through this trial so that you will learn this).

In the end, I passed my test. I am so grateful but more than anything I am grateful for what God taught me. I’ll never forget the lessons. This entire time I wasn’t preparing to pass this state exam, I was preparing to pass God’s test. May this bless you and give you the courage to fight and remember this, God never fails… Joshua 1:9- Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go).

God bless!

It’s time to soar, you’re called for more!

     Since the moment I gave my life to Christ, I remember hearing that the prosperity gospel was something to stay away from. While I completely understand why they warned you from it, as Christians, we’re not called either to the poor mentality gospel either. The prosperity gospel concerns itself with self-gratification and your spiritual condition is placed on the back burner. However, due to this extreme, Christians tend to run towards the other end of the spectrum and lack the motivation to be financially free or wealthy. When Jesus came to this Earth, He specifically said He came to give us life more abundantly. I think he was referring to both, physical and spiritual abundance. A lot of times I see the church is not prospering because we’re too complacent in the jobs we have and we slave away.  So many churches and ministries don’t prosper to their full potential because Christians either don’t tithe or give offerings like we ought to or would like to. Imagine if every church member actually tithe? Where would the gospel be now? How many people could we bless?

There is an incredible eye-opening verse in the Bible that truly stuck out to me when I read it, this is in the parable of the shrewd manager. This verse shifted my poor mentality of being stagnant and complacent. I encourage you to read it in its entirety. Essentially Jesus tells the story of a dishonest manager who was not taking care of the dealings of his master. Because this man had never done any hard labor and didn’t want to be homeless, he thought up a great idea. He decided to charge the people who owed his master and cut their bills down, essentially paying his master back something, rather than nothing. Jesus goes on to explain that the master commended the man for his cleverness and how he used his resources.

Luke 16:8 – “For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.”

After reading this, I realized that people of this world who don’t have Christ are probably more astute than people from the Kingdom of God. (Come on, seriously people!) Later if you look at the verse, Jesus said that if we use worldly wealth here on Earth and bless others, once it is gone, at least it will have eternal repercussions. For instance, if you sow in a radio station and hundreds get saved, it is very likely that you will meet them in heaven and they will thank you. So the moral of the story is that Jesus wants us to be successful and excel in finances to bless others here and eternally. God doesn’t want us to love money and make it a god, but He does want us to be good stewards of it.

If you’re a wealthy Christian, God has blessed you with riches to bless others. Like the word says, to whom much is given, much is required. And for my fellow believers who are striving for more, Jesus can definitely bless you with more. God wants you to be a good steward of your finances now, even if it is not a lot. Show Him that you can be trusted with little.

Continuing on in the parable, Jesus later says, “So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” Brothers and sisters, we need to learn how to handle worldly wealth and stop fearing money. We have the keys to the Kingdom and what we bind here on Earth, we will bind in heaven. It’s time to leave Eygpt and head to the promised land!

God says….”But you are a CHOSEN people, a ROYAL priesthood, a HOLY nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9) Amen and amen. Let us rise together, unite together, and bring the gospel of Christ to others. Let’s use the resources God has given us now to bless others and not waste time wishing we could.