CMAllianceU Team Blog
As the new year begins, and possibly a brand-new semester, cohort, or entirely new educational journey gets underway, there may be a superfluity of emotions that flow from within. Voices that discourage you from pressing on for the prize for which you know you have been called, voices from your past that remind you that you are unskilled, uneducated, and too weak to take on the task of going back to school. They remind you that you are too old and too busy to add something else to your plate even if you believe it’s how God wants you to bring glory to His name. Allow me to give you a piece of encouragement by telling you a story.
In 1919, five years after his decision to follow Christ, and without formal theological training, Tozer accepted an offer to pastor his first church in Nutter Fort, West Virginia. This began forty-four fruitful years of ministry with The Alliance, thirty of which he served as pastor of the Southside Alliance Church in Chicago (1928 to 1959). His final years were spent pastoring the Avenue Road (Alliance) Church in Toronto, Canada. Considered by many to be a modern-day prophet, Tozer felt that the church was on a dangerous course towards compromising with "worldly" concerns. In 1950, he was appointed the editor of the Alliance Weekly magazine, now Alliance Life, the official publication of The Alliance. In his first editorial, dated June 3, 1950, he wrote “It will cost something to walk slow in the parade of the ages, while excited men of time rush about confusing motion with progress. But it will pay in the long run, and the true Christian is not much interested in anything short of that.” Among the more than forty books Tozer authored, at least two are regarded as Christian classics: The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy. His writings impress on the reader the necessity to abandon worldly comforts in favor the deeper life that comes with following Christ. Living out this simple and non-materialistic lifestyle, Tozer and his wife, Ada Cecelia Pfautz, never owned a car, preferring bus and train travel. Even after becoming a well-known Christian author, he signed away much of his royalties to those who were in need.
Now, all that being said, I am not trying to discourage you from continuing on in your education. That is the last thing I would want to do. However, although we know, based on scripture, we are never enough, that is precisely why God sent His Son – Praise the Lord, He IS ENOUGH! With and through Him, you can do this program and will be able, one day, one week, and one cohort at a time to accomplish it. One principle that I have learned in my educational pursuits is that you can never look at your goals with your eyes always focused on the end, you will get overwhelmed. Look at each small task, bit by bit. Accomplish one task at a time. Remind yourself each day why you are doing what you are doing and for whom you are doing it.
Tozer once said, “what is most important about me is what I believe about God." I think he would agree that you could add to his statement "…and not what others believe about me." You have choices to make throughout your life, one of those is whether you press on based on what others are saying to you and about you. That includes what you think, say, and believe about yourself. I would add to Tozer's statement that, what is most important is not only what you think about God, but what God thinks about you. Yes, what you believe about God is eternally vital, but now that you are saved by grace, what are you going to do about God thinks about you and how are you going to serve Him? Who are you going to listen to? Others? Your fleshly desires? Or Him?
I’ll end with this:
Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant - not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Cor. 3:4-6, NIV)
- Written by Pamela Cubas, MA MFT
Program and Supersite Administrator