So I started looking into mission boards. I am filling out the initial application for one right now. This is exciting and fulfilling news. Hadn't God said, "Rest content here until this time, and then wait for me to open up the door"?
I look back over all that I learned in the past three years. Oh my goodness, it's incredible. I could never have been a missionary without all the lessons I have learned. I could never have been fruitful or effective for God the way I was. But He faithfully held me back until He had had a chance to work in my life all the good purposes that He knew needed to take place, and then He set me free.
The Master Professor kept me in His classroom and didn't let me leave until I had mastered the required curriculum. I love the fact that He allowed me to sit at His feet as He patiently and expertly taught me. I'm so grateful to Him that He sent me through "Heaven Univeristy's" courses.
To sum up, here are the lessons that stand out to me from my 3-year curriculum.
Open Up Your Mouth and Speak: When I encounter lost people, the Master Professor taught me to be willing to communicate the gospel to them. He not only convinced me that I should do it, He actually got me doing it! Now, instead of cowering in silence when my heart is pounding with the Spirit's promptings to witness, I make use of the opportunities God gives me to open up my mouth and speak.
Depend on God: My professor faithfully stripped away all of my own self-sufficiency. I look at missions with more of a dependence on God now. I have less of the cocky, sure-of-myself mentality. ("Of course I can succeed as a missionary! God should be really thankful to see someone as amazing as me signing up.") Best of all He stepped in and offered Himself as the source of my strength.
Pray: Without prayer, how could I have been an effective missionary? God actually got me praying. He is still teaching me; I know I have a long way to go. But He has put the power cord in my hand, showed me how to plug it in, and given me ample evidence of its effectiveness. I am dealing with the hearts of humankind here--who am I to think I can reach anyone's heart? Only God can, and He waits to do it until I ask Him.
Get Up Early: This is a valuable lesson on so many levels. It taught me the utter ineffectiveness of my flesh, it caused me to have to be disciplined, it made me have to fight for something, it led me to see what God was going to say about obedience, it caused me to have to cling to God by faith, and so much more.
Be Filled with the Holy Spirit: The Spirit of God is the one who can lead me into the exact niche that He has designed my life to occupy. I cannot lead myself there. Without the work of the Spirit of God alive and active in my life, I could never hope to bring forth fruit for the Kingdom of God.
Obey: The catch-all for future things God wants to teach me. My professor was wise enough to work on obedience in individual, manageable areas before He introduced the overarching requirement to apply it to all of life. He knew that it would have remained a theoretical concept in my brain indefinitely if He had not first achieved practical action steps.
Work: Not just "go to work," but work at whatever God has asked me to do. This means I'm not allowed to be lazy. It takes work to be obedient.
All of these are works in progress. However, the Master Professor has firmly planted my feet in the right path, and He has shown me how to walk in it, and He has succeeded in seeing that I take steps. Now, the fun begins. All of these areas will develop, strengthen, and mature in my life as I continue to follow the Lamb wherever He Leads.
Previous Post: The puzzle pieces fall into place
First Post: Tutored under the Master Professor