We have started an exciting blog series about our fantastic 2016 ENGAGE interns! We were filled to overflowing with anticipation for all that the Lord would do in and through them as they lived on the Precept campus for 10 weeks.
By far, the Lord gifted us more than we could have thought or asked for with this group of truly special people! Our purpose in sharing what God has done this summer with and in each of the ENGAGE interns is to:
— encourage your faith
— give you more insight into the ENGAGE internship
— spur you on to excitement for what God does to shape our hearts when we seek Him
— show you the transformation and life change the interns experienced through Scripture and community
There is so much hope in Stefan’s honesty that we just don’t want you to miss. It has been an honor to see him and the other interns walk well even in the midst of uncomfortable exposure and some high-stakes pressure throughout the internship.
“This may sound surprising when I say it but I’m not exactly sure of the date I came to fully rely on Jesus as my Savior,” Stefan honestly wrote in his testimony. If you missed the blog about Stefan’s story, you should definitely check it out; because it’s incredible to see what God has done to grow him into the man you’re going to read about.
I feel like this summer has been all about the Lord showing me my weaknesses. He did this – not for the sake of tearing me down, but for the sake of allowing me to see how His relationship with me is so alien from any other relationship out there. This relationship is alien not only in how distinct, separate, and other God is from the world but also in the fact that He, in His otherness, chose me, knowing my weaknesses.
Do you feel like it’s hard (or impossible) to have the same attitude towards your weaknesses being exposed? What does that say about how you view yourself? What does that say about how you think God views you?
Proverbs 3:5-7 commands us to “Trust the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.”
Those are really common verses, so common that many non-Christians have probably even heard some form of them. Because the verses and their concepts are so familiar, it’s easy to be the child that eye-rolls and sighs “I KNOW.” But do we know? With ALL our heart? In all our ways? Don’t we want to be wise in our own eyes? Listen to Stefan’s humility:
I am weak in my ability to measure success in interactions. I value things that I can see: good conversations, excitement, numbers, laughter, quick and easy connections. But I serve a God that can take silence and change a heart, a God that can take awkwardness and produce trust, a God that is not deterred when a conversation goes poorly by my standards. I serve a God that is perfectly able to take a heap of dust and make something in His image.
I am weak in my desire for the Lord. I do not always desire to pursue Him the way that I should. But the relationship I have with Him is not normal: it requires faith. Rather than allowing my laziness to paralyze me, He reminds me that He is a God that commands the lame to walk before they even know they can.
I am weak in allowing my weaknesses to be revealed. Rather than standing firmly on the gospel, I allow a fear of looking ignorant or unintellectual prohibit me. But I serve a God whose wisdom is contrary to that of the world’s, a God whose power is made perfect in weakness, a God who takes the things that are nothing in the world so that He can proclaim His greatness. I serve a God who saves people like me, even though there was someone better for the job. He saved me because He knew that, in proclaiming my weaknesses, the power of the gospel would be displayed.
That is some bold honesty on so many levels (Stefan with the Lord, Stefan with himself, Stefan with others).
We could just let him have a mic-drop and stop there, but Stefan wants you to know more than all the things God revealed to his heart. He wants you to know what he is taking away and striving to walk in right NOW as he is back at college.
In seeing my weaknesses, my areas of unbelief or lack of trust, I was reminded of how important it is to remember how “other” God is from the world: in wisdom, in strength, and in the way He works. In understanding God’s incomprehensible character, I have realized more deeply the importance of staying in His Word so that I will know the things that He does allow us to understand about Himself.
Not only do I need to be in the Word, but need to better trust in the fact that in so many ways God is beyond our comprehension; and rather than allowing that to cause me to doubt, it reminds me that I don’t choose to believe because it always makes sense. I believe because God has given me the faith, and from that faith I see Him and His wisdom so clearly. After this summer I see clearly my need to walk in Christ, filled with the Spirit of wisdom and of knowledge of God, knowing the power that is towards me.
In His Strength,
Stefan and the Transform Team