As we endeavor to begin another semester of deep, theological study, it is worth mentioning something that most people have a tendency to overlook. Perhaps that’s unfair of me to say as a generalization and I should just say that I myself have this struggle, but I’d wager that by the time you’ve read what I’m about to say you’ll agree with me. And if my wager is wrong, catch me on campus during intensives and I’ll buy you coffee. And if this isn’t another semester for you and it’s perhaps your first go ‘round, then heed this concept I’m about to place at your feet, or rather in front of your face, as a warning.
We are not, catch me here friends, NOT studying God. The various ins and outs of seminary are to prepare us for a vocation in the business of God but it is 1000% not a substitute for your devotional time with the Lord. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that because you just spent hours on end studying this piece or that piece of theology that you can skip your time of prayer or your time reading scripture. Do not fall into that trap. It is by the grace of God alone that you and I are called into His service in this way but we are not elevated to a place of studying deeper things instead of the Word of God.
I know that it is hard to manage all of the reading you have to do. I know that you have mountains to climb in more than one class at a time each day. But I also know that studying for tests, quizzes, term papers, projects and the like is not at all the same as studying to deepen your relationship with Him. And so I submit to you in this brief opening entry to our blog space for the semester the following two ideas:
- Make a time in the day for God’s word and prayer at the beginning of the day before things get hectic. It will orient your heart towards God in a way that will empower the rest of the day in ways that nothing else can.
- Treat your studies as a secondary means of communing with the Lord. I committed myself to the concept of ignoring my grades completely and approaching every assignment as a way of better understanding God (essentially treating all of the seminary study like a giant commentary study on the bible). Not as a substitute for studying the Bible, but as an extension of my Bible study.
Those may not be revolutionary ideas, in fact the first one for sure is an idea that came about way before I typed it here, but they have done some revolutionary things to my stress levels, my faith, and my daily rhythm and I believe whole-heartedly that they would do the same for you. I pray that as you begin looking at all that God has for you, and all that your profs have for you in the coming semester you remember that what you are doing here is for Him and for His service and no matter what happens academically, that fact remains true. Trust in Him, lean not on your own understanding, and above all else, always remember to read Kerux weekly and share it with your friends and family.
(Ok maybe that last suggestion could be omitted and you’d still do fine, but you’ve already committed to reading all the way to the end of this article, why not come back and see what’s next, right?)
Adam Sculnick — Sinner, Saint, Servant. Executive Director of CIA Boys Club, loving husband, proud father of 3, author and YouTube apologist. Adam has a passion for the spreading of God’s word, the raising up of leaders young and old and an affinity for sharing all that he’s learned. Follow him on YouTube and instagram @TheSarcasticApologist