And I am so excited!!!
Back-story: In bible study we talked about furnaces in the context of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3). I recommend reading their amazing story! We all have furnaces in our lives that challenge us and stretch us. And if we are not in one now we will be in one in the future. This lesson was powerful for me. I had to ask myself, How ready am I for a furnace? And even more, how willing am I to enter into one with God? I didn't answer these questions but rather went on with my day. But God had no intention of letting me drop it there. Why? Because he is preparing me for a furnace. I don't know what it will look like, how hot the furnace will be, or how long it will last. But I do know I need to be prepared and should be prepared every day even if I don't know it is coming.
My Reaction: When God gave me confirmation of what is going on I was so excited! I know that any furnace will be hard and I don't doubt that I will be humbled. I expect to be broken and challenged but just thinking of what can come from that makes me so stoked! (for lack of a better word) Being one on one with the Lord in worship last week proves to me how blessed and sweet it can be. And God used that to impact others and bring glory to himself! That was huge for me and it showed me that God will use whatever happens in my life for his glory, even my preparation for whatever comes. That is a blessing in itself!
1. My classes this quarter have been really difficult. One in particular has been a spiritually dead environment. It has challenged me to present my faith intellectually and I have been forced to articulate my faith to people who don't beleive in God and when my faith is being attacked. It has been a growing experience and a furnace in itself.
2. With that same class I turned in an essay that explain my worldview as a Christian and my heart for the lost. I got a C. It wasn't intercultural enough.
3. We talked about furnaces in b-stud.
4. I have been challenged in my beliefs a lot this quarter and that has resulted in a lot of good things. I had un-scriptural beliefs on things like predestination, tongues, prophecy, etc. and I have had to do some serious studying of the bible to make sure I was founding my ideas on truth.
5. Worship last week made me fall in love with the Lord even more and be excited for potential trials.
6. I met with my boss the other day who used to be a Christian (or at least I think he was from what I have gathered) and is no longer walking with the Lord. He asked me if he could challenge me with books and questions that are different from what I believe. What better preparation is there? He is unknowingly and willingly giving me the chance to know my faith and defend it.
7. I was walking to class and I was handed a free book, "The Origin of Species" by Charles Darwin. Challenge much? This was a moment of huge confirmation that the Lord is preparing me for something. I felt God telling me that I need to be studying his word and really relying on him. The best part about this book was that it was handed to me by Christians (I found this out in class later). There is a 50 page introduction to Darwin's book by evangelist, Ray Comfort. I was not only handed opposing views but the rebuttal for them as well... all in one book. God handed me knowledge in front of Campus Market. Now that's epic. =)
Further Thoughts: I need to be seeking the Lord in this time. Some specifics of this are:
* I need to be in love with Lord. Not just because it feels good but because it is worth it. It comes down to making the decision to be filled with the Holy Spirit daily.
* I need to be educated in the word and knowledgeable about my faith.
* I need to be intelligent and able to articulate my beliefs in an educated way. I am calling it "College Level Christianity."
* I need to know why I beleive things and have scriptual basis for them.