Considering the number of “tests”, we have in the world ranging from the health sector to education to relationships. The latest test in relationship I heard was the “taste test”. The presenter refused to throw more light into the taste test so I do not know it myself.
As scary as some academic Tests maybe, others are welcomed with joy and enthusiasm when well prepared. I remember at the University, some senior course mates told me that, as for one lecturer, he only presents past questions both mid semester and end of semester examinations so I should search for every past question of his and solve. I entered the examination hall for a mid-semester examination with vim because I had memorized the questions not to talk about the answers. Similar smile was on my face after the end of semester exams. Getting that particular course for the semester was an average booster. I increased by 4%, it was a record I set and could not break it till I completed.
Test in itself are made for the “testee” to know their strengths and weaknesses. It is the standard that one has to acquire. Lower than standard mark means a failure and above the standard mark, means a success. Surprisingly for medical tests, the “positive and negative” confuses at times. Positive we know to be desirable, healthful, enjoyable but it is the opposite with medical results. If you get results with positive, do not hesitate to seek medical attention and prayers.
I realized that as Christians, our word test is the parable of the sower Jesus narrated to the disciples and the large crowd by the lake (Matthew 13: 1-23). Jesus explained it to them perfectly as to the results obtained by each ground. The individual representatives were the roadside, among the thorns, the rocky places and the good soil. According to Jesus, a farmer went to sow a seed. The farmer is our God and the word of God is the seed being distributed across. In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. The seed, some fell on the roadside (lack of understanding), among thorns (cares of this world), rocky places (cannot bear persecution) and good soil (bearing fruits). I bet you, back in Sunday School, we all responded we were the good soils and that was our state.
I have come to the understanding that, you can know if you are the roadside person, the rocky person, the thorny person or good soil based on your life experiences and the decisions you took at those times. Jesus death has cleansed us from all unrighteousness and He did it once and for all. Our duty is to wash our feet with His word day in and out so that we may know him and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his suffering being made conformable to his death- Just like Paul.
The seed (word) has been dispersed across, each soil had at least a seed. If you are born again, you are born of an incorruptible seed, by the word of God which lives and abides forever. Bearing fruit with the seed is a conscious effort and the decision to remain there is taken each and every time. It is not a state professed to you like your nationality but the more you take the decision to bear fruit, the better soil you become. The decision you make in meeting life situations will determine the kind of ground you are becoming, either: roadside, thorny, rocky or good soil.
There are a number of seed tests in the bible but what I would like to share is the incidence of Shadrack, Meshach and Abednago with King Nebuchadnezzar. The highest authority of the land had made an image of gold that at the sound horn, flute, harp and all kinds of music, everyone must fall down and worship the image of gold King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. But these Jews paid no attention to the Majesty. Even when they were brought before the King to inquire about their action, they replied to him, ‘King Nebuchanezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up’ (Daniel 3:16-18). They were finally put them in the blazing furnace and the soldiers who threw them in died but the Jews came out of the seven times hotter furnace. They bore fruit with their seed.
I find myself in a situation which has compelled me to stop some church activities and programmes because I am not independent yet. This situation weighed me down because it was hard for me to accept. The more I pray to God for favour in the sight of men, the higher my permissions are denied. Doubts later started settling in me. I was becoming a ‘rocky ground’. When troubles and persecutions came because of the word, I was fallen away. Thank God he reminded me of his word.
Brethren, the components of the seed test are not fixed, you identify yourself with one as you walk upon this earth and in your journey with Christ. I pray you come to the even if point and yield much fruit with the seed in you through faith. May God be with you!