This has been something I’ve been thinking about for some time now. This post is more of a devotional, but certainly applicable to our ministries to college aged people.
When we talk about “spiritual disciplines” we are referring to things such as bible study, prayer, meditation, fasting, etc. These are great disciplines to develop and I would even say are essential to our faith. They ought to be a natural outflow of our faith, but we do need to discipline ourselves in each of these areas.
But I think we need to add something else to this list. And especially for us Americans. I think we need to add, “living by faith” onto this list. Why? Because living by faith takes discipline and in the land of independent journeys of life, liberty and pursuits of personal happiness we are overwhelmed by a cultural influence of safety and security. We feel most comfortable with our bank accounts full and feeling like we are in control of today as well as what’s to come. Worded another way, we feel best when we are walking by site, not by faith and fully dependent on God.
God has always called His people to be dependent on Him and Him alone. This hasn’t changed and never will. Yet we find ourselves constantly searching for the most secure and safe ways to move forward in life. We can really see how far off we are by taking a look at our prayer life. In praying and seeking what God wants us to do next or in a particular situation we sift through the pros and cons of each potential direction. And, whichever choice has the most pro’s for us personally, is easiest, safest, most secure or has the least amount of obstacles to overcome….we see this as being obviously God’s will for us. This can be the case (God leading us down this type of path), but we don’t even consider another path being God’s will.
And college age people don’t either because many have never seen anyone truly living by faith. Trusting God no matter the obstacle or hardship. Trusting God will ALL their finances and actually believing Jesus when he says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
I believe leaders of college ministries around the country can be most effective if the discipline of living by faith is added to this list. It’s a discipline to consciously put ourselves in a position of faith and full dependence on God. It’s a conscious decision to discipline ourselves to think eternally and not earthly. Consciously giving away our finances rather than saving it for ourselves. If leaders can really begin to live like this I think the college ministry and the future of the church would be more impacting than ever before.
You might be saying, “Whoa…I understand what you’re saying Chuck, but we also need to be wise.”
I’d simply respond to you with the question, “Yes, but wise in who’s eyes?”