Long time no blog. Skipping the excuses. Here’s a quick look into my first few weeks at College and what the Lord has been teaching me.
During these first three weeks of college, I’ve really been focussing on what it means to be a genuine Christ-follower. I want to be authentic. I want to be real with people. I want to be filled with God’s love and Truth so that I may overflow into the lives of everyone I encounter. I want to be fully His.
As a result of this, I’ve recently found myself constantly reading Colossians 3:12-17 because I believe that these verses summarize the life of a genuine Christ-follower:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. and over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
As God’s chosen people, we are called to live differently than our human instincts and society tell us. We are called to use our blessings to bless others, to not reap our fields to the very edges but to share with those in need (Leviticus 23:22). God’s Word tells us that we need to die to self, which is so incredibly hard to do when we live in a world that exalts self. However, God calls us to die to self because we can’t fully experience the riches of life with Jesus when we are solely focussed on ourselves. If we set aside our misconception that happiness is reached when we have everything we want, then we’ll probably find it a whole lot easier to be happy. When you live for self, you’ll never be satisfied. At the end of the day, there will always be something missing. That’s because we weren’t made to glorify self, we were made to glorify God.
If we have chosen to live for Jesus, then we are called to be compassionate and kind. We are called to be humble, recognizing our insignificance in relation to God’s significance. And we are called to be gentle and patient with everyone we meet along the way. We are called to forgive, to put on love, to dwell in the peace of Christ, and to be thankful. We are called to be authentic, fully-devoted Christ-followers, not half-hearted followers.
These past three weeks at college have had a huge impact on my Spiritual life. God has been working in areas of my heart that are still somewhat a mystery to me. He’s been teaching me how to fully die to self in order to taste the richness of life with Him. And y’all, it’s hard. He’s pointed out my selfishness. He’s convicted me of my timidity. He’s pulled my sin into the light in order to show me how desperately I need to rely on Him and not myself.
Don’t get me wrong. He hasn’t left me in my sin. He pointed out my selfishness but He’s also teaching me how to die to self. He convicted me of my timidity, but He’s also reminding me that He has not given me a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). He’s pressing on my heart, asking me, “What reason can you possibly have for not trusting in the One who died so you can live?” He’s teaching me what it means to be authentic and firm in the midst of a corrupt and unsteady society.
And I’ve come to realize that authenticity is impossible without Jesus. I’m not capable of reaching a point where I die to self without the help of the Holy Spirit. To be authentic is to rely on Jesus and to recognize that it is by His power that I am transformed, not by my own.
I can honestly say that during this time of learning to live independently, I’ve been more dependent on my Savior than I’ve been in a long time. And that’s okay, because this is who I am. I am a child of a God who sees my sinful heart and loves me despite my sinfulness. I am a child of a God who recognizes my needs each day and fills me with joy, peace, hope, and strength accordingly. He is my shield, my protector, and my Savior. He is my firm foundation. A part from Him I can do no good thing. So I continue to rely on Jesus because independence is not something that I want to experience a part from Him.
Lord, I depend on You.