I think the biggest thing to sum up the 3 weeks is the need for intimacy with Christ first and foremost. I feel like I have hit that "burnout" point of trying so hard to apply everything from lectures to my life, reflecting on what God is doing and teaching and change habits and start new disciplines etc etc....I'm tired and worn out. But something that really kept hitting me hard last week when talking about missions is God's desire to just be with us. We spent a lot of time looking at the gospels and studying how Jesus and his disciples lived. He spent three years just building relationship with his team of society misfits and dropouts. He hung out with them, He taught them and he revealed amazing insights to them, all in preparation for them to "go" and as our speaker put it, "bleed for the nations". He so impacted them, that they would do anything to see Him return...and it was a powerful testimony that we too, are called before we "go" to spend time with Jesus, build intimacy so we are compelled to "go" instead of going out of obligation or duty.
I have also been challenged and encouraged the past few weeks just in boldness. I find it funny (somewhat) how the devil tries to discourage you in one area and God just opens multiple doors for you to try again. A few weeks ago we talked about "the kingdom of God" and about what it means to bring God's kingdom down to earth and what that looked like for Jesus and his Disciples. We heard some crazy stories of people rising from the dead and healings etc and were really rocked in our thinking about the power of the holy spirit living in us and our role here on earth to see healing on all levels take place. so, at the end of the week, we were sent on a "Treasure hunt" in melbourne city to try and reach out to people. I was pretty excited and felt pretty optimistic about talking to people, but I didn't feel my group stepped out too much. We did get to talk to a few people and prayed for them, but I personally felt like I kept walking past opportunities b/c i was too afraid to freak someone out if i approached them. and it was hard not to compare and feel discouraged about my lack of boldness when we heard all the other groups talk about the great conversations they were able to have with people etc etc. And Unfortunately, I dwelled on this a little too much, but praise God, I am surrounded by encouraging and wise people, and a God who doesn't give up on us. He continued to speak to my heart and encourage me that He just wants to spend time with me, and the boldness in my weaker areas will come.....
And boldness comes in different forms, as He went on to affirm later in the week as I was given the chance to lead out in a prayer intercession time for one of our leaders. It was unlike any other prayer meeting I had ever been to, and as a DTS student and someone not used to all the warfare going on, I wasn't sure I was the right person for the job. But when the bible says the spirit will intercede for us when we dont' know what to pray-IT SPEAKS THE TRUTH! :) So, all I can really say is, God is good and He continues to use us amidst our inadequacies no matter how big or small.
so, if nothing else, the past few weeks have really challenged me to just keep my face in the word and let God show me new things about Himself, His love and plan for my life instead of me "trying" so hard. He and his disciples led some crazy lives and what's even crazier is how he left the same mandate for us in 2010. But above all, He promises to be with us every step of the way, and through every mistake or opportunity we miss, He is offering us a hand to stand and continue on.