I am a teacher and in my many years of experience I have given thousands of tests. It might sound a bit simple, but I’ve deduced that the only thing that stands between my students and their success is whether or not they understand what is on the test!
You see, my students look to me to teach them what they need to know. They do so unwillingly for the most part, seeing school an institutional jail in most cases as opposed to the inspirational springboard to success that I see it as. But I digress. The means by which they grow in knowledge is whether I am willing (and capable) to share mine with them. Then, they are expected to put this knowledge into practice and prove their understanding of it. The more they practice, the better off they are.
Interestingly enough, our spirituality is the same. The only thing that stands between us and Heaven is knowledge. We are first unwillingly sent to Earth to learn this knowledge (which God sees as a inspirational springboard to success but we tend to see as a jail of sorts). Then, we look to God to share His knowledge with us (unless we think that by eating His apples we need not consult Him). Next, we are supposed to put this knowledge into practice and prove our understandings of them. The more we practice, the better off we are.
Our lives are a constant test that includes the (multiple) choices we make, the recognition of what is true (and false), the (fill in the) blank slates of forgiveness, and the (story) problems that we face every day. While I am sure that most of us are either barely passing or waiting until the last moment to study, the Teacher is instructing.
Listen to Him, and always be prepared for a (pop) quiz.