I can't get away from the fact that I'm still in school. God's school. I preached a sermon on this subject once, while taking 100 of my fellow college students on a cross country bus trip - down to street witness in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. It was about the "School of the Holy Spirit" and the ways in which God works on our hearts.
I sometimes wonder if God is more concerned about what he is teaching me and the heart tests He is taking me through than how great of things I can accomplish for him.
The Psalmist who understood what it was to be a man after God's own heart once sang, "For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried." -Psalm 66:10, ESV (also see Proverbs 17:3).
Being tested is a tried and true part of the Christian experience. It is part of the definition of what it means to be a child of God. (see Hebrews 12:4-13).
I've been realizing as of late, that I might as well get used to God's process. I really think that we cannot get away from this process. Even when we live our dreams and get to the place of fulfillment and destiny in our lives, we will walk through various trials and troubles of many kinds. The process will continue even then. Here's how the process plays out:
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (James 1:2-4; also see 2 Peter 1:3-11).
The repeating formula in our Christian journey then is:
Trials > Testing of our faith > Developing perseverance > Increasing maturity and wholeness > Start the process over