Going to Graduate School

Yesterday was Pentecost Sunday and witnessing the Holy Spirit poured out to multitudes of thirsty people was truly awesome, and the day I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was a day that I will never forget.  When Jesus ascended up to Heaven, He sent in His place, a comforter and helper; so why would I need a degree and not just the Holy Spirit to direct my understanding of the Bible?  God gave us the Holy Spirit to help, to strengthen, and to nurture us.  The Holy Spirit inspired all scripture and that means that all scripture is “God-breathed.”     (II Peter 1:20-21)  “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”  (II Timothy 3:16-17) “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” It is God who works in us, on us, and through us by way of the Holy Spirit.  When the Holy Spirit came upon me and filled me until my river overflowed, I had a new power and that power began to move me and bring to light a new plan and destiny for my life.  Living a life where I had a lasting regard for God’s word became my core desire.  I had to make God the standard in my life to which all other things would be balanced and measured.

I believe that the Holy Spirit is guiding and leading me in obtaining a Christian education.  To me, it is not just about getting another degree; I’ve been down the other road and went to a secular college and received a business degree.  This education would be fine if I only wanted to become an administrator in the church, but I want to become a pastor; I want to become more like Jesus and I want to feed, protect and rescue His sheep with the word of God.  Learning from men and women of God, I believe is at the center of what the Lord envisioned for our lives.  Presenting transparency and in-your-face life applications are needed in preparing us to heal and save a broken and lost world.   If one were not to use all the tools and resources available to them, the argument could be made that they were foolish.  The day we think that we have everything worked out and that we know everything we need to know will undoubtedly be the day that leads to our fall from grace.   When we believe we are above falling short in any area of sin, we are opening up ourselves to do exactly what we think we are above.   (Proverbs 16:18) “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before stumbling.”

 Just as God has given us doctors and medication for physical needs, I also believe He has given us teachers and pastors to help us in our need for God’s word and in our understanding of it.  (Ephesians 4:11) “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers.”  I love what Bob Deffinbaugh said, “It is the Holy Spirit Who in His sovereignty bestows gifts on men; it is the Lord Who directs men to their ministry; and it is God Who determines the success of a ministry.”  I believe that I am being called to ministry; while I am not certain what area the Lord is going to use me in to better His kingdom, I have faith that the Holy Spirit is going to continue to guide me as long as I submit myself to God and His will for my life.   To truly find out what we are good at, we must get in the game and be willing to work wherever we are needed.  The Holy Spirit is not limited to only working one way or another and may use a combination of the Word, teachers, and pastors to accomplish His will for our lives.  Donald Gee knew what he was talking about when he said, “An educated preacher is good; an inspired preacher is better; an inspired, educated preacher is best.”    To be an effective shepherd we must not only have knowledge of the Trinity, we must have a relationship with the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. It’s a horrible thing to say, but the people that I can relate to most used to be the last kind of people I wanted to be associated with.  God does not allow the pain we experience to go unused.   I could have read and learned about restoration and being made whole, but until I experienced it personally in my own life, I would not have known what I was talking about.  I would always be too concerned about the end result, while God was more concerned about the change occurring during the process.  To truly reach people, they need to be able to relate to us and to what we are saying.  Three verses and a poem are not enough; people need real-life application on what God can do in their life right now and the Holy Spirit enables us to do that.

  Parents don’t want their children to make the same mistakes they made because they know personally the pain it causes.  Our Lord also sees and feels the pain we feel.  The gospel is all about turning tragedy into triumph, but in order to do that we must dedicate ourselves to the Lord.  (Romans 12:2) “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”  Life’s lessons teach us many things, but more than anything I think that they teach us to comfort others and to not rely on ourselves. 

Even with the Holy Spirit’s presence in my life, my understanding of spiritual things is partial and imperfect.  The Holy Spirit reveals truth and in my own life it is the spiritual compass which keeps me on the path which brings the most glory to God.   It has the ability to convict as well as to lead.  While the Holy Spirit has many different roles, its biggest role is to prepare and to equip us in what God is calling us to do.  Though this is the role of the Spirit, there is still a choice that needs to be consciously made on our part.  In our calling, we must be sensitive, bold and courageous, but at the same time we must rely on the Holy Spirit to train us and be our interpreter of truth.  I had to overcome myself in order to do what God had destined me to do.  Many days in my early walk, I felt as though I was one mistake away from God giving up on me. I praise God that this thought never even entered His mind! 

The Holy Spirit teaches and guides us. (John 14:26) “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. “ The Holy Spirit also intercedes on our behalf. (Romans 8:26) “And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”  The Holy Spirit knows all things and can reveal things that we otherwise could not comprehend, (I Corinthians 2:10-11) “For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.  For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of a man, which is in him?  Even the thoughts of God, no one knows except the Spirit of God.”  The Holy Spirit, as a comforter, pleads our case and expresses our pain.  The Holy Spirit can also quicken our spirit and convict us.  (John 16:8) “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment.”  When we welcome the Spirit into our lives, He brings peace and comfort. 

The Holy Spirit gives us the power to witness and was instrumental even in Jesus’ ministry.  (Acts 10:38) “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power and how He went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil; for God was with Him.”   The Holy Spirit transforms us as it did when Saul became Paul.  The Holy Spirit knows all things and reveals God’s glory to us.  When we truly love the Lord, through the Holy Spirit, we witness first-hand things in which the eye has not seen, the ear has not heard, and things which have not entered to the heart of man.

After the Holy Spirit resides in us, He is the comforter who brings thought and language into our life.   The Holy Spirit continually teaches us things and will bring things to our memory even when we don’t know what to say or what to pray; the Spirit will speak through us.  I believe everything we will need to be effective in ministry, the Holy Spirit can provide.  He gave us His word that if there is anything special we ever need, He will bring those things to our memory as well.  (I John 2:27) “And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.”  The same anointing that is on me will teach me all things.  A scripture that I read last year will most likely have an entirely different meaning today.  That same scripture would probably have a different meaning to other people because of their life experiences, trials and obstacles.   I remember one of my instructors would always say, “Every revolution is a new revelation” and I firmly believe that.  Anything that I accomplish in my life is because of the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit operating through me.  To say that one can only learn by way of the Holy Spirit would limit God to only working in that way.  God has an infinite number of ways to facilitate our understanding of not only His word, but also how much we mean to Him.  We serve an omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient God and He alone knows the best way for us to learn and experience His grace.  His divine strategy in our lives can unfold on the highest mountaintop and it can happen in the most barren wilderness we can imagine.  For me, it has unfolded during my journey between the two.  My faith and trust in the Lord has given me a much deeper understanding of His Word.  If I have learned anything in my walk with Christ, it is in times when we feel completely stranded; He is working on us the most.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.