By Joshua Stines, Director of Spiritual Formation
Have you ever set out to accomplish something, only to come up short?
Maybe it was a Google search of yours that brought unrelated results. Perhaps the book you bought recently failed in its advertising when it promised to equip you to realize your potential. It could even be an unmet goal you made for yourself and your team this time last year at your end-of-year review.
Wherever it is that we fell short in, we often do so because we lack clarity of vision or the tools to get there. Think about it—how can we get to where we want to go if we don’t know what our goal looks like? Similarly, how can we get to our clearly defined goals if we don’t have the tools to get there?
Thankfully, God has given us His words through Scripture to provide us with not only the goal of the abundant Christian life but the tools to get there. This is where next year’s spiritual theme comes into sharp focus, and it is with great excitement that I share it with you:
“Seek God” from Psalm 27:4 (NIV), which reads:
One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
In this fairly short and compact verse, not only do we get the goal, but we get the steps to get there:
The first step in reaching our goal is to lay eyes on our destination. God and His presence is our intended destination. The first three months we will talk about gazing on God’s beauty (Psalm 27:4), God’s mercy (Psalm 27:7), and God’s faithfulness (Psalm 27:1).
Once we have laid eyes on our destination, the next step is to embark on a journey to seek after Him. Psalm 27 lays out a plan for us to seek Him with patience (Psalm 27:14), with guidance (Psalm 27:11), and with our whole heart (Psalm 27:8), which we will focus on during the middle of the school year.
Finally, once we have arrived at our destination, we will talk about what dwelling in God’s presence looks and feels like—dwelling in joy (Psalm 27:6), in security (Psalm 27:5), and in His goodness (Psalm 27:13). This will be our focus through the end of the school year.
Throughout the 2023-2024 school year, using Psalm 27 as our guide, our mission is to give our students the goal of the abundant Christian life and the tools to get there.
I look forward to making this journey with you!
Paul writes to the Galatians, “My little children, for whom I am again in the pain of childbirth until Christ is formed in you” (Gal. 4:19 NRSV, emphasis added). Spiritual formation is the process by which we partner with God’s grace to bring about Christlike virtue and character within us. It is simply Christ being formed in you and me. This process doesn’t just happen in one aspect of who we are. Christlike transformation happens in our heads, our hearts, and our hands—lived out in our actions.