This post was written by guest blogger Mandi Blankenship.
The AP exams: Many of us are comfortably familiar with them; many of us dare not even trek near such a thing. I stared at the page, facing the most challenging part of the exam. I had no confidence that the few facts I had in my back pocket would be enough to cover what I needed to know. The entire year spent in this class and all of the hard work, study sessions, and all-nighters had reflected back onto these few hours ahead of me.
The AP exams, and others like it that you might have had to take, are all about proving yourself. You answer all of the questions you are asked, trying your best to ace it… trying your best to sound smart…trying your best to pass, to get that credit. On the AP exams scoring a three means college credit, tons of money saved, and that the class was worth it. Anything below? Well, I guess then I could at least keep whatever I had in my back pocket that I had mentioned earlier.
As I realized what was at stake and the pressure raged on my heart and made my nerves twitch, something suddenly came over me.
“You’ve already passed.”
What? No, but … I haven’t even taken the test yet. You don’t understand, see, I don’t know anyth…
“You’ve already passed, I said.”
There again was the sovereign whisper of my Savior, bringing me the truth I needed to be reminded of.
In that moment I remembered that no matter how I did on that test or any other, my future was in His hands and His hands only, and that I had already passed the most important test of all. His test.
But the truth is, I’m not the one who took it. Jesus did. I turned in an exam that was dripping with failure. I hadn’t answered a single question correctly. Jesus took that exam from me, crossed out my name at the top, and wrote His over it. And when God looked at that test and saw Jesus’ name instead of mine, He pardoned me and He let me pass.
And because I know I’ve already passed, I have enough confidence in myself to be able to live my life for Christ, day by day, being reassured again and again that my success is full in Him. If you were taking a test, don’t you think you would perform with more confidence if you knew you had already passed? Knowing that no matter what you do, you would still succeed?
This experience reminded me that no matter how hard we try to be loved by God, to do the right thing, to work ourselves into His favor, we have already passed. As long as you have asked Jesus to be your Savior, know this, my sister: You already belong to Him, and there is nothing you can do to earn that credit, except to accept that He has already earned it for you.
Isaiah 64:6 explains the dilemma: “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”
Ephesians 2:8 explains the solution: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
Has there been anything in your life lately where you feel like you’ve been trying too hard to prove yourself to God? Know that you don’t have to. You’ve already passed.