Isaiah 9:13 For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the LORD of hosts.
When I was still an unsaved teenager in high school, I did not do well in my studies. The truth of the matter is that I did not go to many of my classes. To compensate for this, and in an effort to try to keep me in school, they placed me in classes that were designed just to keep me on campus. One of those classes was a substitute for English. It had nothing to do with English, but I got credit towards English for attending. Although their plan did not work and I eventually dropped out of school, I paid later on for my lack of attendance.
My first year of Bible College, I had to take an entrance exam for English. If I passed it, I got to proceed forward to the English 101 class. If I failed it, I would have to take a non-credit English class to catch me up. I will remember the day of that test. I received the test and wrote my name at the top. So far, so good. The first question was this: “Name the eight parts of speech.” This is where my lack of going to classes all those years came back to bite me. I had never even heard of the eight parts of speech. Looking around, I saw all of the other students writing furiously on the test. Under that question, the others got progressively worse. After a couple minutes of fumbling around, I just turned the sheet in, realizing I was taking non-credit English.
In the verse above, Isaiah is speaking of the destruction that God had brought upon his people. Instead of returning to the Lord, they just decided that they would rebuild. God sent more enemies their way and they still refused to return to the Lord. Instead of seeing what God was doing as a motivation to get their attention and prompt them to return to the Lord, they failed the test and continued on as they were.
How often do we fail the spiritual tests that God brings our way? You see, God allows situations, circumstances, and difficulties in our lives to try us and our faith. But most Christians fail to pass the test. They fail to comprehend what God is trying to accomplish in their life: bringing them closer to Him. Instead, we soldier on in our own strength, trying to figure out the answers on our own, and we fail the test that God placed in front of us.
God tests us for many reasons. In Isaiah, it was more of a punishment for their rejection of God and a desire for them to return to Him. For us who know the Lord, God does it to teach us patience and to mature us in our faith so that we may grow.
The saddest thing about failing a test that God intends to use as a way to mature us, is that we have to take the test again. The consequences of my lack of study in high school in the area of English caused me to have to take a class that I did not receive any credit for. The fact of the matter is, my English was so bad that it took me several tries to get through that English class.
The main thought I want you to get is this: see what God is trying to teach you in any situation of life. As a Christian, all of my life has a significance to God, and it is all tied to my spirituality. Let us look at what God wants us to learn so that we may grow and mature into the Christians that He desires us to be.
Determine to not waste your vacation by returning stronger than ever.
Nothing can be more satisfying than seeing someone trust Christ as their personal Saviour and take steps towards spiritual growth!