Tests 3 & 4
Pastor Phillip O’Reilly
The Credibility Test
Credibility is a huge part of our world and our call as Christ-followers. Jesus spent several years of His life building His credibility with people. Before He began His ministry, He was working to build other’s trust in Him, to build His credibility. Just like Jesus, we each must pass our own credibility test.
Credibility is many things: what you do, who you are, and how other’s view you. Credibility is reliability and trustworthiness. Do we mean what we say? Can others count on us? Do we stand by our word? It is our responsibility to prove our own credibility.
Credibility of competence is having the proof that you are able to do what needs to be done. We must have the right skills, habits, and knowledge for the role we are in. And we must trust in God’s timing. If we push too quickly ahead without waiting on God, we will likely fail and suffer a lapse in credibility.
Credibility of personality is vital in being able to lead people towards Jesus. It is often said that a negative personality is blind to God’s blessings and promises. Do you know how you come across to others? Do you repel people or compel them to you, and ultimately to Jesus?
Credibility of character is perhaps the most important and simultaneously the hardest test. This is probably because character is based solely on the choices we make when no one else is around. The greatest attack on character is the voice that whispers “no one will ever know” in the moment of potential compromise. When there are attacks on character, we can redeem our credibility be owning our mistakes and seeking repentance.
The Wilderness Test
Everyone, at some point, goes through a wilderness test. In fact, we all probably go through many throughout our lives. Even Jesus went through a (quite literal) wilderness test.
The wilderness is a lonely place. Often times, the questions outnumber the answers, and it’s easy to mistake the silence of God for the absence of God. However, when we are in a wilderness test, we must remain strong, and filled with with Spirit. The enemy knows exactly when to come: when we are in the wilderness, when we are alone, and when we are tired.
The thing is, there are desert places between here and where we are going. The space between the Land Of Not Enough and the Land Of More Than Enough is filled of wilderness. Our response to the wilderness determines how long we will stay there.
How do we get out of the wilderness? How do we reach the other side, even stronger than before?
Keep an attitude of gratitude, and put on our garments of praise. We must remember that God is bigger than our wilderness, and that He is faithful all the time.
Don’t fix the blame, fix the problem. Own our responsibilities and our mistakes. Resign our pride and selfish desires to thoughts and actions of love and selflessness. Stay in tune with our motivations.
And finally, don’t look back. The way we have come is not they way we are headed. We are reminded in Ecclesiastes 7:10 to not ask “why were the old days better than these?”. Those questions only hold us in the wilderness longer.
We cannot have credibility without successfully going through wilderness. We cannot make it through wilderness without having credibility of character. Both these tests are important in growing our faith. Without being tested, our faith will not be strong enough to lead others to the Kingdom, and to endure our broken world.