Year Trial Review
Within many job settings, there can be what is called a mid-year review. This review can be used to evaluate how far a person has come since the beginning of the year, a specific task or project, or other designated time period. These reviews are a great way to provide a person with feedback that will elicit continued growth or allow someone to get on track if they have failed, up until that point, to reach the mark.
During this process, an individual has the opportunity to see what mid-year course corrections may need to occur. Additional goals can be set or existing ones can be refined or even redefined. The objective for the rest of the review period can be established. Perhaps, even more direction or information is provided as it relates to what is required to complete the process.
Once the review has been concluded, a satisfactory or unsatisfactory response is given, or perhaps a pass or fail or one in a range of responses is stated, for example; Unacceptable, Fair, or Exceeds Expectations. You are left knowing where you stand and what improvements need to be made. Sometimes there is even room for advancement. You are able to be promoted to a higher level. The review, when submitted, is forever maintained within your permanent record.
This procedure allows for many things to take place, but the ultimate goal is so that the individual being reviewed has a clear designated path that they are to follow, which will result in the successful completion of what has been assigned under their watchful care.
Let us take a moment to look at this from a spiritual perspective.
As we go along this walk with the Lord, we are given various assignments. This can range from being ministers of the Gospel within our homes, on our jobs, or various places of Worship. It can mean going out into the world as actual missionaries in places where God’s Word needs to be taught and heard. God places us where He has provided us gifts and talents to be used for His glory.
God will never entrust us with something that He knows we will fail at. So, we are definitely initially set up for success. But there are some things that we must do in order to make sure that we are aligning ourselves with the task at hand, so that in the end He can say, “Job well done. I am pleased.”
This evaluation occurs because He loves us and wants us to be like Him, in His image.
In Matthew 25:23 (NLT) Jesus states the following.
“The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
Jesus often spoke in parables to get His point across. It was a way for Him to use a story that had a spiritual meaning and lesson that He wanted those listening to learn and grow from and make the necessary steps to follow within their daily lives.
Within this parable found in Matthew the 25th chapter, a man was going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.
So, the three were given assignments to complete. All of the detailed instructions were not provided, but He trusted them to do what was best according to what they already knew and had learned. Hopefully they had paid attention to how this man operated and handled his business, and would be able to put into action the necessary steps that would lead to the intended result.
God expects us to know how He operates. Through reading His Word and praying to hear His voice when He places something into our hands to do, He is trusting that we have been paying attention; that we have obtained the wisdom and knowledge from Him that is necessary to handle whatever He places within our hands to handle.
The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money. The scripture goes on to say that after a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money.
This was their review time. “How well did you do with what I assigned to you? Did you grow? Did you move forward or did you stay stagnate and waste the opportunity that was given to you?” These could have very well been questions that their master was seeking responses to.
The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’ “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
“The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’ “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
“Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’ “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’ “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
How does God provide our mid-trial review?
When we first heard the call of God, He initially showed us which way He wanted us to go. He may not have provided all of the specific details of our assignment, but we were ready to walk with Jesus and to do the will of the Father. We woke up early and/or stayed up late focusing on the task at hand; studying the Word, praying and seeking His face for all that He had for us to do. We did not want to miss a step. We wanted to glorify God in all that we said and did.
However, somewhere along the way, perhaps we became comfortable. We started missing a day here and a day there of our quiet time with the Lord. We weren’t in such a hurry to do what we should be doing for the kingdom. Other things began to take priority.
But God says, “It’s time to check in with me. There needs to be some adjustments. You must hear my voice.”
The first thing we might try to do is prepare an explanation for why we are behind in our God-given assignment. We may ask for the additional resources that we need.
“Lord, I need more strength, more peace, more joy, more love in order to finish the process. Somehow, I’ve allowed a bit of discouragement and even laziness to set in and distractions have come and taken my focus off of You.”
Within that prayer should also be a repentant heart for the steps we have taken or perhaps haven’t taken that have steered us away from the original path that God had intended for us to walk.
“Lord forgive me for my missteps. Forgive me for not taking heed to the warnings that I encountered along the way. Forgive me for not turning to You for further direction and instruction before things became so obviously out of control or not in line with the will that You have for me.”
We may then, possibly, share our plan for catching up.
“Lord, I am ready to do Your will.”
O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
I have seen you in your sanctuary
and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise you!
I will praise you as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy.
I lie awake thinking of you,
meditating on you through the night.
Because you are my helper,
I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
your strong right hand holds me securely.
PSALMS 63:1-8 (NLT)
The Lord will forgive us and will provide us with the required feedback that will set us back on the right path to completing the process that leads to OVERWHELMING VICTORY through Christ Jesus
During or even before God has to get us back on the right track, we can recognize our own shortcomings and go directly to Him. We don’t have to wait to be “found out”; we can go to Him in prayer and say…
“Lord, I want to do Your will. What is it that I need to remove from my life in order to draw closer to You? How do I demonstrate my faith in You so that I can do Your will?”
Some things are obvious. We shouldn’t have to wait for the Lord to send fire down from heaven before we know that there are some things that need to be shifted back towards the Word of God.
The company we keep, the shows we watch, social media posts we read, relationships we are involved in, our thoughts and feelings are all things that we can self-evaluate against the Word of God.
Just like God does not set us up to fail, we also must, in our endeavors to follow the plans of God, not get ahead of Him. We must remember that God knows how much we can handle, so we should pray and ask Him for direction on a daily basis. Our prayer should not only be about direction, but also for guidance on the best timing for executing what He has assigned for us to do. He may show us what we are supposed to be doing, but we must not rush to the finish line, because everything is just that, a process. A process takes time and ordered steps according to the will and plan of God. We are not to set unrealistically high expectations and set our own selves up for failure?
Don’t take on more than you can handle during the present season of your life.
If things are falling apart, perhaps we need to reevaluate how we are going about doing what He has assigned. God provides in advance all that we need to accomplish the tasks at hand. It won’t always be an easy process, but we should see progress and the move of His presence in our lives. If His presence is missing and we are just making steps without His glory shining through, then changes need to be made.
For me, in doing what I believe God has placed in my hands to do, even with all of the frustrations and setbacks and tiredness that I often feel simply because life isn’t always easy, I have seen spiritual growth and a real connection with Him. My level of patience has increased, not because I specifically asked for that, but because the situations that I have had to face warranted becoming a patient person and waiting on God and His timing for my life. My ability to handle the various levels of frustration and bounce back from life’s setbacks has increased. The process has not always felt good, but the process has been deemed necessary in order for God to align me to His will. I don’t always get it right and I have to check back with God often and reach out to Him for renewed strength; however, the benefits will be worth the changes that have taken place and are still happening at this very moment. It’s a process and I’m sticking to it.
When we get to that final review, as we stand before the presence of the Lord, we want to receive the various crowns that He has for us. We want to know that we gave our all for Christ, because He gave His all for you and me.
Check-in with the Lord and let Him perform your mid-trial review. You may be further along in the process than you thought. You are more than enough because He is the God who is enough and He can use you. Don’t look back. Finish the process.
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Psalm 89:1 NLT
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