Take “The Test”

That the tested genuineness of your faith — more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:7, ESV).

When someone comes to me with a problem or a complaint, I give them a test.

I’m not examining whether they know the books of the Bible but whether they meditate in Scripture. I’m not concerned that they understand Calvin’s Institutes (or have even heard of them) but whether they pray to Jesus regularly.  

Their ability to overcome trials has nothing to do with their fitness regimen, but rather, they have accountable and encouraging fellowship. And I know they won’t fully experience God’s peace without practicing disciplemaking.

My test — for anyone with a trial or complaint — checks their faith foundation.

There are four foundational disciplines of the Christian faith:

  1. Bible
  2. Prayer
  3. Fellowship
  4. Discipleship

All four are necessary to withstand the storms of life. As Jesus said when He concluded the Sermon on the Mount . . . 

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock (Matthew 7:24-25).

Solid foundational disciplines build a faith that survives spiritual attack.

Take this test:

  • What verses of the Bible have impacted your life recently?
  • What are two of your answered prayers in the past month?
  • Do you know your spiritual gifts and calling?
  • Have you recently discipled someone?

This is a yes or no test. If you notched four “yeses,” any trials blowing your way will be thwarted by a strong house of faith. If you answered no to any of the questions, that’s what you should focus on now.

We can’t find long-term solutions to trials, anxieties, friction in relationships, financial pressure, or stumbling in temptation without a solid foundation in Jesus.

As a pastor, I followed the advice of the Apostle Paul in my ministry . . . 

According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation (1 Corinthians 3:10). 

That’s why I check the foundation of those coming to me for council. The best thing that I can do is make sure they are building upon the rock.

Let’s take and pass The Test.

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