A friend of mine once interviewed for an executive position in a well-known company. Many of us have heard of the unusual interview questions and scenarios this company was notorious for inflicting upon its applicants. Frankly, it was impossible to prepare for such oddball queries prior applicants were asked, such as, “Why are manhole covers round? or “Why are corn silos constructed in that shape?”
On the day of the interview, my friend was guarded as he attempted to project an air of confidence and ease. After a perfunctory introduction, the interview proceeded with a tour of the facilities. Stopping at one of the many kitchens placed between offices, the interviewer surveyed the scene of dirty plates and utensils, shook his head, and declared, “What a mess! We have a company full of geniuses and not one of them is smart enough to clean up after themselves.”
My friend nodded and chuckled. “Same at my old job!”
“Oh yeah? What did your company do?”
“Put up signs like, ‘Your mother does not work here, clean up your mess!’ We had people sign up for shifts to clean. None of it worked. Only when the mess got in the way of others did they clean it, but then, only enough for their space.”
“What’s it going to take? HR is not helpful. Financial penalties? Rewards? Take away the kitchens?” The interviewer’s tone had changed as he fixed his gaze upon my friend. My friend’s radar was activated and he inadvertently blurted. “Ummm…is this a test?”
“Nah!” The interviewer wryly smiled. “I’d like to hear your ideas!”
In reality, the casual tour was an unconventional test. Fortunately, my friend gave an answer that was to the interviewer’s approval and he was hired.
Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.
John 6:4-6 (ESV)
Jesus quickly answered Philip by performing a miracle, feeding over five thousand people by miraculously multiplying five barley loaves and two fish. Jesus was testing Philip, pushing him to increase and enlarge his faith to believe in the power of God rather than the failings and limitations of man.
I wonder how many times Jesus has tested me and I was unaware or worse, miserably failed? As I sojourn with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I have learned that every moment I walk with Him is a test; I can never let my guard down. Testing is not temptation for God does not tempt me or any other believer. He protects me against Satan and his demons who continually attack me with temptations. When temptations do occur, it is a test of my faith and willingness to look to God rather than rely upon my own strength and inevitably succumb to the temptations. Like the unconventional interview my friend experienced, the temptations may be subtle, even disguised as praise. It is no surprise for these are my vulnerabilities, my pride and ego, and it is in these realms where I am always tested. Thanks be to God that He gives me His Holy Spirit to spiritually discern these temptations and with it, the strength to resist the temptations and cling to Him for victory.
Is this life a test?
God is my Tutor, my Teacher, and my Truth! Each test reveals a bit more of His glorious grace and mercy that He has bestowed upon me when I did not deserve it.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.