Summary: Prayer is the most powerful weapon in your life, to meet life’s tests head-on. But for many it lies rusted and unused.
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11
Each person has a life message; that is the one string you play on more than any other. You may wonder, what is a life message? It is the passion, priorities and perspective through which you filter your values, resources and choices. On the shelf of life, there are many life messages from which to choose:
Ø If your life message is “life is a party,” then you evaluate your quality of life based on whether or not you are having fun.
Ø If your life message is “life is a race,” then you analyze the quality of your life based upon whether or not you’re winning.
Ø If your life message is “life is left to chance,” then you examine the quality of your life based upon circumstances.
The life message you choose influences your life in every way and at all times. For many, their life message(s) will not last beyond this world. Measured against eternity, many life messages will not stand the test of time.
“The world is fading away, along with everything that it craves. But if you do the will of God, you will live forever.” 1 John 2:7 (NLT)
So, how do I find the will of God for my life? Another way to put it is, how do I find my life message? Eugene Peterson, author of the Message Bible, gives a glimpse as to how to pull this off:
“You take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going-to-work and walking around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” Romans 12:1-2 (Message)
So, what does God want? He wants you to adopt a life message that brings the best out of you and develops a well-formed life of maturity. One of the Bible’s life messages is clearly spelled out and spread out over 200 times:
Life Is A Test
Several years ago a preacher moved to Houston, Texas. Some weeks after he arrived, he had an occasion to ride the bus from his home to the downtown area. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a quarter too much change.
As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, you better give the quarter back. It would be wrong to keep it. Then he thought, “Oh, forget it. It’s only a quarter. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway the bus companies already gets too much fare; they will never miss it. Accept it as a gift from God and keep it.” When his stop came, he paused momentarily at the door, and then he handed the quarter to the driver and said, “Here, you gave me too much change.”
The driver with a smile replied, “Aren’t you the new preacher in town? I have been thinking lately about going to worship somewhere. I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change.” (1)
This story clearly depicts that life is a test. God is testing you every day of your life. I grew up in the era of television when an announcement came over the airwaves every night saying, “This is a test. For the next 60 seconds, this will be a test.”
The picture would go to some type of screen test pattern, the same one every time. Then a moderate hum would come out as volume. It happened nightly. I knew exactly what was going on. All I could do was wait patiently until the test was completed. Then it would go back to its regularly scheduled program. With the same regularity, God is announcing to you and me, “This is a test. For the next 60 seconds this will be a test.”
If you accept the premise that life is a test, then it stands to reason that nothing happens by chance. Every day is an opportunity to strengthen your faith, deepen your character, and develop your prayer life.
When you accept the reality that life is a test, you can see that all the circumstances of life can reveal and develop your character. The tests you face daily will certainly expose the habits of your hidden life with God. Your life message is being chronicled (recorded) and crowned (rewarded) by what you do in your daily routine. The success of your life message is based on what you do daily.