Hey, Mount Ararat!
As I write this to you, God is reminding me of what an incredible privilege it is to know you. To see how much grace you’ve shown me as I’ve grown up, and how you’ve stayed connected with me as I’ve been studying at NTBI. Man. I’m so thankful that you’re moving forward by faith, walking in Him (Colossians 2:6).
Well lately, my time at New Tribes has been distracted, to be honest.
As I’m in my senior semester, preparing to graduate in May, I find myself struggling to learn. I find my heart wandering from a focus on learning God’s Word from men trained to teach it. In honesty, I’ve struggled to listen. I’ve struggled to view these men accurately, with admiration and grace and honor that God views them with.
My heart is ugly.
In the midst of my time here, my fiance (Alec) and I have been planning our July wedding, and it has been hard. It’s hard to be motivated to take care of a long list of tasks; to not be discouraged when we close a loop and something loosens it back up; to spend money and make choices. It’s hard.
It’s hard to live life selfishly, isn’t it? Although from my words, it may not seem that I’m living selfishly. I’m planning my wedding, working part-time, going to premarital counseling, attending classes, fulfilling the role of an RA, and struggling to invest in friendships.
And yet, I’m not depending on God for these things.
Sure, when circumstances become more difficult than what has become normal, I talk with God about them. But I’m not actively depending on Him for the very things He’s entrusted to me as stewardships. I’m not seeing my weakness in light of reality- the reality of who I am and who He is.
I’m currently not aware of my vast need. Of the deep filth of my own heart. I’m not depending on God.
And yet, as I look at the Word (which reveals the thoughts and intentions of my heart, Heb. 4:12), I see that God deeply desires my dependence on Him. I see that as Paul prays for the believers he knows and loves, he prays for their walks with the Lord. And in turn, for their dependence on Him.
Paul doesn’t exhort his beloved brothers to depend on their personalities or their workloads or their services. He prays (he exercises dependence!) for them to know Christ (Eph. 3), to understand Him (Col. 2), and for their hearts to be directed to His love and steadfastness (1 Thess. 3). These prayers and desires flow out of a dependent walk with God, and will only come to fruition as these believers take responsibility for their walks with God as God draws them to Himself.
And this is for me, too. God will be faithful (and is faithful even now) to direct my wandering, selfish heart back to Him, and I have to choose to respond in dependence. I have a choice to walk with Him and depend on Him on the basis of His grace. Because we need Him badly.
So, if the Word is true, then as Paul received grace as described in 1 Timothy 1:14, then I can too. And so can you, Mount Ararat.
So, thank you. Thank you for loving me, supporting me, and partnering with me in prayer as I study the Word here. Your role as my home church is essential and so needed.
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” Phil. 1:3-5