My decision to enter seminary this fall has become very real in the last couple of days. I got the email this week that it’s time to register for classes. What? I’m not ready! But ready or not, the time has come. I have registered for Introduction to Christian Scriptures, Introduction to Theology and Beginner Greek. Gulp!
If you told me a year ago that I would be living in Waco, Texas, and registering for graduate school, I would have told you you were nuts. Well, after I picked myself up off the floor from laughing so hard, that is. A year ago, it had only been 3 weeks since my husband died and I was having trouble simply functioning on a day-to-day basis. It was a good day if I showered and ate. Most days were filled with grief, regret, anger, loneliness, and a lot of Netflix. But I was also solely reliant on God. I was no longer living in my own power. Granted, it was because I was powerless over my situation, but it allowed God to work in my life without me trying to circumvent His will. And that’s how I’ve ended up where I am: in Waco about to enter seminary. Had I not been fully relying on God, I’d probably still be back in Illinois, even more discontent than I was when I left.
The key to my victory this past year was my sole reliance on God. As I type those words, it seems ludicrous that I actually feel the need to type those words. I mean, Jesus told us that in order to be His disciples, we must pick up our cross and follow Him. Die daily. Fully surrender to his will.
I think that most of us believe that to be true. But often our actions betray that belief. Let’s face it. We’ve found ourselves working against God or running from Him at one point or other in our lives. It’s human nature to want to advance our own agenda. But you also know that’s when you get into trouble. I know that when my will takes over, my life gets uber-messy.
I went to a Crowder concert last night and wow. Just wow. If you haven’t been to one of his shows, you’re missing out on a preview of what it’s going to be like to worship in heaven. But it was one of his opening acts, Tim Timmons, that prompts my writing today. In 2001, Tim was diagnosed with incurable cancer and was given 5 years to live. He is still living fourteen years later, and has taken up the call to be a missionary to Christians, to spur mere believers of God into becoming true followers. He kept asking last night: What if we stopped simply believing in God and actually started acting like the same power that raised Jesus from the ever loving dead, actually lives inside of us? Listening to Tim speak, I really felt this is a man who has truly experienced this transforming power and is living as if it’s true.
I got to thinking, we, as Christians, tend to live defeated lives. By defeated, I mean we don’t fully rely on the power of God. Because anything less than the power of God is just less than. Right?
Our daily worries hold us captive and send us into self-reliance mode without a thought of leaning into the all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present Creator. A recent devotion brought me to 2 Corinthians 12:1-10. Paul is talking about a thorn in his flesh. We don’t know exactly what this thorn was, but we do know that he asked God three times to take it away. God’s response wasn’t to cure Paul. It was to remind him that it’s when we are weak that God’s power works the best. There are some versions that actually say God’s power is made perfect in our weakness.
So I have some questions for you:
Are you taking advantage the full power of the One who created you, or are you busy trying to fix things on your own? How would your life change if you fully abandoned to God’s transforming power and allowed God’s power to work through you?