Do you remember the movie “Forest Gump”? In the movie, the simple-minded man says, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.”
But this morning, the Lord showed me a better analogy for life:
Life is a pop quiz.”
Do you remember pop quizzes from school – those unannounced tests that you dreaded?
Unfortunately, many students failed those tests because of the “cram” mentality.
They thought that the teacher would announce all the tests in advance. So they would wait until the night before the test, then try to cram all the facts into their brains in order to pass it.
But in real life, cramming does not work!
Think about those sudden situations that occur daily when you must choose how to act. That’s one of life’s pop quizzes.
It’s too late to study then. You need an answer right now!
When you act in ways that honor God, you pass.
The good news is that God’s word gives you wisdom on discerning the right answers:
…I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days…(Deuteronomy 30:19-20)”
God word says to choose the path of life and blessing. So when in doubt about whether an action is right, then ask yourself, “Will this action bring life and blessing to others and myself?”
Proverbs 23:4 warns us:
Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.”
Psalm 119:11 tells us the primary way to guard our hearts:
Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.”
So to pass life’s pop quizzes, it is not enough to have a head full of Bible knowledge. You need to be able to pull out that knowledge from your heart to handle the situation.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).”
If you make meditating upon God’s word in your heart and acting upon that word daily your highest core value, then you will have good treasure to draw from when a pop quiz arrives!
Instead of reacting from your flesh, you will respond from your heart.
Here are some pop quizzes that every Believer must pass sooner or later:
- The Self-Control Test
- The Honor Test
- The Courage Test
- The Obedience test
In the following article, I will share how some people in the Bible dealt with these tests in certain situations.
Some passed and some failed.
However, we can take what happened to them and use the lessons to ensure that we pass our pop quizzes!
1. The Self-Control Test – King David (Failed)
Scripture describes King David as a man after God’s own heart. However on one occasion, David failed the Self-control test because he allowed lust to control him.
Lust is defined as any intense desire in the body that is uncontrolled and unreasonable.
So lust does not just involve sex!
2 Samuel, chapters 11 and 12 tell the story of how David committed adultery with Bathsheba. David’s failure started with being somewhere he should not have been.
At a time when kings typically went out to battle with their armies, David stayed at home, sending his army out to fight without him.
It was at home that David spotted Bathsheba bathing from his roof. Instead of turning away from the sight, he called one of his servants to inquire about her.
But David didn’t stop there. He then sent messengers to bring her to him.
David could have passed this test if he’d had wisdom from Job (see Job 31: 1,4):
I have made a covenant with my eyes;
Why then should I look upon a young woman?
For what is the allotment of God from above,
And the inheritance of the Almighty from on high…
Does He not see my ways,
And count all my steps?”
Job says that he made a covenant with his eyes regarding young women. That is wisdom because all lust begins with your eyes – either your physical sight or what you see in your imagination.
So the first step to become self-controlled is to control what your eyes look upon physically or control your mental pictures.
Typically, the longer you look at the object of lust, the more your desire for that object grows.
David should have immediately turned away from viewing Bathsheba and perhaps go take a dip in the river to cool himself off!
David experienced grave consequences because of his failure to control himself. He experienced loss of His son with Bathsheba and eventually experienced rebellion within his own house from his son, Absalom.
Mark 4:22 says,
For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light.”
When comes to food, many of us fail the self-control test simply because we keep foods that tempt us before our eyes, in our homes, cars, or at the office within easy reach.
In my view, these are tests that you do not need to take. Why create unnecessary food fights for yourself?
You can bypass them simply by controlling your environment. When it comes to temptations, keep them out of your sight and away from your hands!
In that way, you can save your energy for the pop quizzes, the tests that you can’t avoid.
2. The Honor Test – Jesus (Passed)
When Jesus was 12 years old, he went to Jerusalem with his family to the Passover feast (see Luke 2:41-52). But when it was time to go home, Jesus stayed behind in the temple. His parents did not know it, thinking that he was among the group of relatives travelling with them.
When they finally realized he wasn’t among the group, they returned to Jerusalem and found him after three days. When his mother asked him why he had done this, Jesus replied, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”
While at first glance the questions seem disrespectful, I believe that Jesus asked them with a child’s bewilderment. His parents’ alarm truly puzzled Him. Nevertheless, he was obedient.
Scripture records that He returned back home with his parents and made Himself subject to them.
Now Jesus could have easily said, “You can’t tell me what to do! Don’t you know who I am? I am the Son of God!”
But He did not.
Instead He followed Exodus 20:12:
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”
Many of us overeat because of stress from relational conflict.
- “Do I love my neighbor as myself?”
- “Am I respecting the authority God has placed over me?”
- “Do I forgive others readily, pursuing peace?”
- “Am I fulfilling my responsibilities decently and in order?”
Remember, God is watching to see if you will pass the test.
Colossians 3:11-13 exhorts us,
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”
Hide this word in your heart, meditating upon it. Apply it so that it becomes part of you. That way when you are tested in this area, you will pass.
3. The Courage Test – Abraham (Failed)
In Genesis 20, Abraham allowed another man to take his wife because of fear! He and his wife Sarah were dwelling in a strange land. Sarah was quite beautiful and Abraham told others, “She is my sister.” Not only that, but he told Sarah to tell others, “He is my brother.”
Abraham believed that if he said he was Sarah’s husband, other men would kill him to get to her.
Believing that Sarah was indeed Abraham’s sister, the king of the land, Abimelech, took Sarah into his home. However, the Lord protected Sarah and did not allow Abimelech to touch her.
In a dream, the Lord told Abimelech the truth of the situation and threatened him with death if he did not restore Sarah back to Abraham.
Abraham did not trust God to protect him if he told the truth.
Many times, the enemy uses fear to drive us to make rash decisions. We focus on self-preservation, forgetting about God.
When it comes to food, we will sometimes lie to ourselves that we can’t survive without eating a certain food. However in reality, that food is our preference, not our protection! So we must be careful not to get it twisted.
Preferences change, but our Lord does not. He is our source.
To pass this test, you’ll need to confront the thing you fear, trusting the Lord to give you courage and strengthen you.
Psalm 18:2 promises,
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
When you pass the fear test, you come to know God as your Jehovah Shammah: “The Lord is there.”
4. The Obedience Test – Aaron (Failed)
When Moses went up to Mount Sinai to receive the 10 commandments and was delayed in coming back, Aaron, Moses’ brother, obeyed the voice of the people rather than followed the Lord (see Exodus 32). They desired that Aaron make gods for them to worship in Moses’ absence.
So with nary a protest, Aaron received gold from the people, fashioned a golden calf out of it, and even built an altar to it! Aaron knew that this was wrong, but he chose to do what was convenient rather than what was best.
When you are striving to be healthier, do you often eat things that others are eating because you want to fit in, even though you know it is not good for you?
God has given you wisdom on how to take care of your body. What has the Lord already told you that you need to do to take care of yourself?
To pass this test, you must elevate pleasing the Lord above pleasing others – even above pleasing yourself if it conflicts with pleasing God.
In Samuel 15:22, God’s word confirms that He takes great delight when we obey Him and heed His voice.
It may feel uncomfortable in your flesh to do what the Lord has told you to do. But discomfort is but for a moment. Expect that You will receive a full reward from God because of your obedience.
Each day, stay alert for those times that you must make a decision. When a situation arises and you feel your flesh rising up, think to yourself: “Pop quiz, pop quiz!”
Search your heart’s treasury for a word from the Lord to use in that situation. When you follow it, you will pass the test.
However if you fail, then don’t let that experience go to waste. Immediately seek the Lord as to what you can do differently next time. If you don’t have a word in your heart’s treasury to use, then that will be your next step. Find that word!
Once you find that word, hide it in your heart. Meditate upon it every day. Look for ways to apply it.
The next time you face that situation, you will be prepared and pass the test with flying colors!
Be blessed in health, healing and wholeness,
Creator of the Take Back Your Temple program
P.S. Are you passing your pop quizzes when it comes to weight loss? Step #5 of the Take Back Your Temple program is ‘Expect Tests and Be Prepared.’ We cover common tests like emotional eating, food-pushing relatives, and family resistance.
In addition, we give you truths from God’s word that you can hide in your heart so that you’ll be ready for every test that comes your way.
To learn more about weight loss success, visit: https://takebackyourtemple.com/program
I like the analogy. I loved school/learning but when I think about pop quizzes…YIKES!!! Not fun if not prepared. You have just challenged me again to be prepared at all times. Praise God for His Word and that I can study it freely in this country. Thank you God.
I know, Gaya! I’ve had a couple of moments of frustration today and thought to myself, “Pop quiz, pop quiz!” Seeing the direction of my thoughts motivated me to change them in a hurry so that I responded by the Spirit rather than react from the flesh. God is so awesome how He teaches us 🙂