Well, let’s see. I am 23 years old and soon will be seeking a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies (starting with an Associates in Christian Ministries until I reach 60 credit hours, just 24 credits). After I get this degree, God willing, I will likely go to Seminary at a school God leads me to. I have no clue where that will be yet, but I know it will be the right school. After Seminary? I haven’t the slightest idea. God will lead me when the time is right. I do not know if I will be a pastor at a church, or a teacher at a school, or both. In short – I am just seeking God’s will for my life, and I feel that I am led to Seminary.
Let’s backtrack a few years. I went to a Catholic elementary school all the way up until 6th grade, when I went to public school after moving to a new neighborhood. In all that time, I never knew Jesus or God. I only knew of Him. And there is a remarkable difference between knowing Him and knowing of Him. Think of it this way – I know of Obama, but I know my father. I have never met Obama, and likely never will. I only know what people have told me. I know my father better than I know anyone else, I think. Do you see the difference?
I never knew Jesus, until a dear friend of mine moved in next to me. His family was missionaries, and were raising money to move to Russia (where they are now), to spread the gospel. Through them, I learned to know God. I had become a follower of Jesus my freshman year of highschool (2004?). I joined the Army National Guard in 2006. With all that, the life of highschool, or the cares of this world – my faith was choked out. Never entirely went away, but I had stopped praying, stopped studying, and really just stopped caring. I had stopped feeding my spirit. Think of a goldfish, and what happens when you don’t feed it for a few weeks. My faith had grown dim, had become weak, was on the verge of death.
And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. (John 6:39)
Here’s the way I look at it, and I could be wrong, but God had decided He wanted me back, He wanted my spirit to grow in Him again. So, through the lifestyle that my weakling spirit led to, God woke me up. I was in a car accident, after a hotel party, at 4 AM. My blood alcohol content was .0812. Barely over the legal limit (even though I was 19 at the time). I was speeding (so the police report tells me) and over corrected around a bend, spun my beautiful 1990 mustang into the corner of a steel wall – turning my car into a ‘v’ shaped mess of a mess. It took the EMTs 45 minutes to cut me out of the car. All the while, I was breathing 4 breaths a minute, and a brave soul was sitting in the passenger seat breathing for me. I was in ICU for 4 days, in a coma. I was then transferred to a rehabilitation hospital, where my level of consciousness continually fluctuated between conscious and not. After 2 weeks in this hospital, I was given a psych eval because the doctors didn’t know if I would have suffered tremendous brain damage, or not. Despite not remembering a month’s time surrounding the accident, I have no residual effects. I was cleared to start school full-time immediately following this. Some will call this luck, others will say the doctors fixed me (with pain medicine :/), but I say, “God woke me up.” This was a terrible time for me and my family, but I thank God for it. It shaped the rest of my life.
After this, I went to Master’s Commission, which is a 9 month discipleship program. This program laid a strong Biblical foundation for me. I unfortunately left it though very unsatisfied with what the other Christians were like. Overall, it was a wonderful time…I just didn’t enjoy it. Through life again (the scare of being deployed with the Army – 3 times, which never happened), I lost sight of God. I was so focused on going to school, working full-time, trying to deal with the antics of the Army, that I left my spirit in the midst of life again. You might notice a trend with that.
This time though, it was through opposition to my beliefs that led me back to feeding my spirit. While my spirit starved, my beliefs stayed the same. I worked nights at an alternate to prison at this time. Rough job, but it allowed many people to see the light of God, and ask me about it. Most of the people who asked me about it had opposing worldviews, and it always led to lively debates (in good humor). Through this, I kept my spirit alive by occasionally reading my Bible, and generally writing in a journal. Wasn’t much, but it allowed my faith to stay alive.
Something pretty cool happened at this point in my life – I met my future wife. I was working nights, and the residents (inmates) had gone to bed, so I was reading “Forgotten God” by Francis Chan, right before the time when I usually played my PSP. Sarah walked in with my friend Nate. Sarah and I started talking because she was reading the same book I was. Through time, a friendship began, then I proposed, and now we are getting married in a few short weeks! That’s exciting.
As for being led to Seminary, I had always thought it would be a cool thing to do. I now work in the IT field, and was going to school to further that career path. Again, through opposition to my beliefs, I decided that I had better sharpen the Sword I use. I had better learn how to use it. The reason is simply because of this – I inevitably get confronted by many people about what I believe in (mainly through the Army). What better way to do this, than going to Seminary? I have a strong Biblical foundation, but it could always be stronger. Also, being trained in leadership qualities would be an excellent idea as well. To further strengthen my belief that I am led to Seminary – the confrontation has followed me to this blog. I need to strengthen my knowledge of the Lord so I may stand firm against these assaults, without becoming angry and fighting with my flesh instead of with the spirit.
One thing I have learned through this blog is this – one needs the Holy Spirit to believe, and understand, the Bible. The Bible is written for believers, and not for the unbelievers who scoff at the Bible and its truth.
So, this is my story. Really, it is a story of struggle between my flesh and its desires, and the desires of the Spirit of God. I am not perfect, and I never will be perfect. However, I will continually seek God’s will for my life, and thereby defeating my flesh. God’s will be done in my life, and my family’s life. He is greater than all of us, and greatly to be praised. God is the rock upon which I stand, and it is a firm and solid rock. My faith will not be shaken, and my love for God will not diminish. Sarah and I, together, are seeking God’s will. Together, with God, we will not be defeated, but will stand victorious. For, a threefold cord is not swiftly broken :)
- My name is Jonah (eliezer40.com)