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Someone once told me that if you aren’t struggling with your Christian walk, then perhaps satan is leaving you alone because you are where he wants you to be. It is only when you are on the right path that things begin to unravel. This statement has never rang more true in my life than now. Recently, I feel like I have a huge target on my back. Everytime I turn around, satan is kicking me when I’m down and trying his best to get me off track.
About three months ago I moved over 500 miles away to attend Seminary. This was quite a change for me. I went from attending a public university of roughly 42,000 students to a private Christian school with about 500 students. It was definitely going to be an adjustment. Honestly, if it were up to me I probably would have stayed in Cincinnati. I had lived there for the last four years and to me, that was home. However, that was my dream, and I knew that God had a different plan in mind. He was calling me to ministry and after slight hesitance, I made the trek to Seminary.
Seminary, like any grad school, is not easy. There is endless amounts of reading and writing and many book reviews and research papers. Although there is a lot of work, Seminary is truly a great place to be. My professors are fantastic and the people that I’ve met are some of the most humble and genuine people that I have ever met.
But as always, when we radically take steps of faith to follow God and we surrender to His will, satan is always scheming to veer us off course. Recently, this battle has been raging frequently within my life. Satan is well aware that I am in Seminary to prepare for ministry and to multiply God’s kingdom, and he’s using every play in the book. Whether it was the test that I didn’t do so well on, me being over 500 miles away from my family and friends, missing the city, or just the fact that Virginia is not Ohio. I feel like I’ve been in the ring for an endless amount of matches, just waiting for my breaking point. But, this week God showed me that He’s always there to tag me out of the battle and to fight for me.
Every week the Seminary has chapel. There’s worship and a speaker delivers a message. This week’s chapel was one of those times when it feels like it’s just you and God and He’s telling you that everything is going to be ok. The message was about not looking at your successes, but rather look to Jesus. Well, that took away my worry about not doing well on a test. After the sermon there was an invitation and a friend prayed for me. There God was again, showing me that although I may miss my friends in Cincinnati, He has brought so many great new ones into my life.
That evening I was driving home as the sun was setting over the mountains. It was incredibly beautiful. Once again, it was as if God was sitting in the passenger seat telling me, “Look at this amazing beauty that I have blessed you with. But you still want to be someplace else.” God was slowly breaking down everything that caused my discontentment the past few weeks.
Despite my recent discontentment, I know that Seminary is exactly where God wants me to be and that He will bless my obedience, in due time. As James 1:12 states “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” My blessings are coming and as one of my dear friends stated, God is refining me right now. He knows that I will go nowhere if I keep my wants and desires in the back of my mind. Living surrendered to His plan, requires me to put mine behind me. My life may not be going the way that I planned it, but it’s going exactly how God planned it, and I can rest in that.
‘Til next time,