I have been on vacation visiting Canada again. It’s where I grew up, and I was really looking forward to it. While I have been here I’ve realized that something is different. While it is still home, it’s not the same home that it once was.
The saying goes that home is where the heart is. I have come to understand that if my heart is where God wants me to be, anywhere else feels wrong or odd. I’m not saying that my vacation home is wrong. It’s right and even necessary. However, God called me to School of Discipleship in Texas, so it doesn’t feel entirely right for me to be anywhere except School of Discipleship in Texas.
This is something that I need to really take to heart and remember. When God places me somewhere, anywhere else will be unsatisfactory. If my heart is totally dedicated to God’s will (and I pray that it is becoming more so day by day), then my heart will be where He wants it. I will not be at home anywhere else.
~ School of Discipleship Student
Gospel for Asia
School of Discipleship USA
School of Discipleship Canada
I haven’t yet figured out why girls go to the bathroom in pairs/groups, but I do know that we often go shopping in twos or more so that we can get a second (or third, or fourth) opinion on an outfit – to ask “Should I buy this?” Our friends often hold a place of an advisor.
The other day I saw a jacket that I really liked and was reasonably priced. Now, you must understand that I am not a fashion-conscious person at all and I hate clothes shopping, so if I see something I like that fits and is decently priced, I will buy it.
I wanted to get this jacket, but then I started thinking… do I really need it? No. But I really like it. The price is good. However, the money could be better used elsewhere. I would definitely wear it a lot and get the value’s worth of it. I went back and forth, and finally, I said, “God, should I get this?”
I’d never asked God for fashion advice before. (Not that I usually ask fashion advice much of anyone.) But I realized that this is what it means to seek God in … everything. Even in something that seemingly is as trivial as “Should I buy this jacket?”, if I ask God whether it honours Him, well, the question itself honours Him if I follow His (fashion) advice.
—School of Discipleship student
This past weekend I was able to go to a Women’s Conference. The theme of the conference was “Take your Jericho”. The Keynote speaker shared stories from her own experiences and testimony to demonstrate her points. The passage she shared from was Joshua 6-8; the Israelites had to keep walking and trusting God even when they were tired and wanted to give up. They wouldn’t have defeated Jericho after only six times around the wall, they had to walk the seventh time around. There are many times when I’ve wanted to give up the battle and go the easy way. How can we keep from the discouragement that causes us to give up?
The speaker shared three ways for us to fight our battle. The one I want to point out is the second one because it is the most important to me at this time. Self-confidence is a big way that causes us to lose our battles. In Joshua 7, Joshua is ready to fight another battle after watching God defeat Jericho before them. He doesn’t realize God isn’t with them anymore because of disobedience in their camp. They go up to battle against the smaller army of Ai and are defeated. Then Joshua falls on his knees and cries out to God.
Suddenly I realize I am like this so often. I go forward confident that I can do it and I will come through okay. Only to fall on my knees, moments later in complete defeat.
God commands Joshua to get up and cleanse the sin from their midst, only then will they have victory. It’s the areas where I am disobeying the command of God, that cause me to fall in defeat, but when I come before God asking Him to show me my sin and cleanse me from it, I then can go forward in His strength.
And the Israelites attacked again the city of Ai and this time they defeated it because they obeyed the command of God. It’s in obedience and humility that the toughest battles are won.
—School of Discipleship student
Today, as I was praying, God reminded me of a phrase that was once quite special to me. The phrase is “a man after God’s own heart.” In my early teens, I spent a lot of time reading the books of Samuel and Kings. At the time I was looking for insights about faith and how people were demonstrating faith. I didn’t really understand faith so I ended up reading these books over and over and I became very familiar with the stories. It was at this time that this phrase began meaning a lot to me.
In my early twenties God brought me to a place where I spent a lot of time in the gospels and the teachings of Jesus. This concept of being a man after God’s own heart was kind of placed on the back burner for a time. Now God is bringing the two concepts together for me.
In class we have been learning about having a radical Christian lifestyle. A lifestyle in which we renounce and hate everything, that would keep us from pursuing our Father with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. It is a lifestyle where we renounce everything as we pursue Christ.
What is it that enables us to do these things? How do we get from knowing that these are the right things to do to the place where we are able to do it? This is where I see being a man after God’s own heart fitting in. It is when we have that heart that we are able to pursue Christ radically without worrying about what others will think.
What does it mean to have a heart after God? I believe it means to be absolutely controlled by the Spirit of God. When we are totally yielded to His Spirit, we can live the radical life. The life and love of God will flow out of us. It will no longer be a standard that we are attempting to attain to but it will be a lifestyle that naturally flows out from the Spirit within us. This is having a heart after God. This is being a radical disciple. The life controlled by the Spirit is the life of True Discipleship.
—School of Discipleship student
What a journey of faith we are called to walk! My time here at Gospel for Asia School of Discipleship so far, has allowed me to realize, like never before, that I MUST KNOW GOD! That in him alone do I have any value, hope, or help. He is indeed my All whether I agree or not, and oh how I must die so that he might become My Life in a more powerful, intimate, and evident way!
Through great pains and triumphs alike, Jesus the Christ of God has revealed himself in the most loving and intimate ways possible. Never before have I felt like such a child in the care of my Heavenly Father… crying, giggling, and overflowing with laughter all at once, in His precious presence!
I recall my first week, feeling myself to be completely shattered by temptation and burden of soul, the Lord spoke to me through the entire chapter of Isaiah 40! Silenced before his HOLY POWERFUL PRESENCE, I could do nothing but think, WOW what a GOD! To know that the SOVEREIGN LORD of the universe would take interest in giving one such mortal as I life and strength… and beyond, that he would allow me to mount up like the eagle and soar in heights of Glory! Surely this God is worthy of POWER and RICHES and WISDOM and MIGHT and HONOR and GLORY and BLESSING! And of how wonderful to know that this God is pleased when we take pleasure in Him… What DIVINE LOVE!
—School of Discipleship Student