Teachers give tests for various reasons, the most common is to see how well their students mastered the information they tried to teach them. Our Father God gives tests for the same reason. The only difference is the motivation for the testing; God already knows where we are – the test is so that we will know where we are.
It’s not often that a student asks for a test. In the following passage of scripture the Psalmist asked God test him:
Investigate my life, O God,
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I’m about;
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life. Psalm 139:23-24 (MSG)
This is a test that all of us should ask for, prepare for, and want to pass. We should all be concerned about how our life is measuring up, not according to the standards of the world, but according to God’s standards. In this translation, we see clearly that though this is an open book test, the Psalmist realized that he might not have interpreted the information correctly. He wanted to be assured that he had not done anything wrong, that he was in fact on the road to eternal life!
With a contemporary culture that is devoid of absolutes, it is imperative that we regularly do a check-in with the Holy Spirit. That we not only see if we are rightly dividing the Word of God, but also that we are rightly living that Word. It is so easy to slip into the nuances of our culture and preclude that God understands. God has a standard for each and every one of us and we cannot afford to even "measure ourselves by ourselves". Watching how others live and deciding that this is acceptable could have us wind up in a world of trouble here, and beyond. There is only one standard-bearer – His Name is JESUS.