Please visit the first post (Part 1) before continuing. This is Part 2 of what I learned during my seminary days.
- God Provides Everything and He provides It Every Day.
What do I have that I did not received? I was given everything in seminary. The Lord gave me everything. I deserve no credit for providing for myself. Seminary was handed to me on a silver platter. God provided the food, God provided the gas, God provided school supplies, God provided the teachers, and God provided the ministry. He even provided the money (using both the church and my parents as instruments). I am forever I the debt of others, and I owe it all to the Lord. He provided the seminary education that I so eagerly sought. I was swimming in His provisions for the past 3½ years, and it was beautiful. But for the future, I don’t ever plan on getting out of the ocean of His grace. I wouldn’t ever want to leave.
- God Meets the Needs of Your Prayers.
Yes, it is sad that we do not pray as much as we should. It seems as though God brings difficulties into our lives in order to remind us to pray. As for me, when the troubles came it caused me to pray and to pray hard. These troubles were reminders of reliance upon God. Too often I tried so hard to depend on myself in seminary. It was a burden I could not carry on my own. It was only when I depended upon God that my burden was lifted. When I cried out to Him, He surely answered and cared for my soul.
- God Remains to be Faithful.
At the beginning of every semester, I would revert to the dreaded “syllabus shock.” The amount of homework, reading, and translation work seemed to be unbearable. With that came the unending needs of people in the local church and the great demands of ministry. Troubles came and troubles left. But, to my surprise, they were over before I even realized it. The same confusion and doubt had infiltrated my mind almost every semester. But despite my worries God had taken us through each and every time. So it seemed foolish to worry every semester like I did. As I reviewed the insurmountable tasks, I was so quick to forget God’s deliverance semester after semester. This experience in seminary will function as one of many Ebenezer stones in my heart to remind me that God will be faithful in the days to come. Instead of depending upon yourself as you take the easy road, it is better to depend upon God as He carries you through the hard one. I truly learned how faithful my God is.
- The Importance of the Original Languages
Studying the original languages was like viewing my God in High Definition. It is true that every believer can be sanctified through their English text (I agree with that entirely!). But there is a kind of precision and vividness that comes to the heart through a faithful study of the original Greek and Hebrew. Though it was rough going through the riggers of grammar and exegesis, I can see that the pay off was well worth it. Many place a false dichotomy between the study of the original languages and practical life and ministry. However, this could not be farther from the truth. The languages function as a superb supplement to preaching and teaching and can only enhance it when used correctly.
- The Importance of Bible Survey
Taking the Old and New Testament Studies classes really sharpened my broad understanding of the Bible. Seeing the Bible as a complete whole rather than 66 individual books is a product of Bible survey. All believers need to see how fundamental this is for every Christian, since our tendency during Bible reading is to be lost in the details and miss the forest for the trees. Bible survey gets us straight to the point and helps us to understand passages in their correct context and see how they fit in the big picture.
- The Importance of Organization
In seminary, I think much of the stress and anxiety came as a result of laziness. It came with excuses and complaints, and they were all unnecessary and a good amount of it could have been prevented. Time management, planning, punctuality is all part of seminary life. Men often go through panicking over the workload because they have no sense of discipline with their time. Everyone is busy. Everyone has responsibilities. Stress is reduced when there is good time management. This is a good reminder for me even in ministry.