Master of Divinity

Lord-willing, I finish my Master of Divinity degree in one week.  That’s hard to believe.  I haven’t really reflected on the reality of it yet, but it’s a significant process that the Lord has brought me through.  My foremost concern going into seminary was that my heart would grow cold, I would learn to treat the Bible as a textbook, completing assignments and meeting deadlines would become my main motivations, and my personal passion for knowing Christ and advancing His kingdom would be stifled instead of stirred.  But I’ve loved my classes throughout, I’ve been excited to learn ’til the very end, I’ve been challenged in the Word and in spiritual discernment, and I sense that the Holy Spirit has kindled my heart with the fuel of truth.  I have more questions that I want to ask in class than I’ve had in years past, and I feel that God is refining my mind as I wrestle with a variety of issues that are presented.

I’m so thankful to God that He has hemmed me in and not allowed my heart to wander too far from His beauty and truth during these years.  I don’t want to sound like I’ve walked with God perfectly during my years in seminary — I haven’t, and that’s not my point.  I just want to publicly express my gratitude to God for watching over my heart during my time in seminary.  He is so good.

I hope my heart never grows cold, and I hope yours never does, either.  It can be difficult to be a zealous Christian in American Christian environments.  There is a very strange and almost-invisible set of temptations that fight against spiritual intensity and eternal focus.  I am slowly learning the enemy’s schemes in this regard, and when my spiritual vision is clearest, I am full of fear and trembling for my own soul and for the souls of those around me.  We are not as strong as we think we are.

But the Lord is faithful, and He stands by us always.  All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God, and His sheep know His voice.  May God be gracious to me, as He has been throughout my time in seminary, to bind me with the short leash of love so that His name might always be honored through me, and never profaned.

Surely God’s goodness can never be questioned, nor His faithfulness impugned.  If it were not for His vice-grip of covenant love, I would have long since wandered away and followed the desires of my heart off the cliff of selfish misery.

I have not mastered divinity.  Divinity is mastering me.  May it always be said of us that God was our Master, Christ our great love, the Spirit our sure guide, and the Word our treasure.  If that could be said of me, not in man’s estimation but in God’s eyes, I think that I could be happy in the saddest circumstances.

It is good to be graduating, but it is far better to have been held close to heart of God during spiritually perilous times.

“Oh, to grace, how great a debtor…”


5 thoughts on “Master of Divinity

  1. Congratulations on your graduation. I appreciate your concern of growing to treat the Bible like a text book….it is refreshing to read this from you after you have completed seminary.

    Also, congratulations on your new baby.

    erik

  2. Gun,
    well, the seminary has lost a solid guy who set a good example for students to follow. Your presence will be missed! Congrats on finishing. I must confess envy and jealousy, but I must endure one more semester.

    I’ve never liked the whole “master of divinity” thing, myself. it sounds like we’re training to become religious He-man guys. and the only thing that someone knows clearer at the end of experience is that we know nothing. I don’t feel like I should be walking across the stage where greater men have walked. I feel like I have coasted through and have not suffered enough (except NTI, i suffered plenty there). I don’t feel like i’m in the same league as a lot of the guys that we’ll be walking with. but from what I understand, this feeling is common, but I can’t help but feel otherwise

  3. Caleb: Thanks for your thoughts. As I mentioned in my post, my point is not that my affections have never wandered or strayed during seminary. My point is that the Lord has sustained and increased my love for Him during a time that was spiritually fearful for me. I’m raising the banner of His faithfulness, not making any proclamations of my own.

  4. Great post! I did not have the same experience as you did throughout ALL my seminary days. It was not the fault of TMS’ but my own. I did not (at all times) guard against the stuff you talked about. It is easy to grow in head knowledge, yet at the same time to grow cold in your heart (your religious affections).

    Your post is right on. The longer you are saved the more temptation their is to grow dull. We can see this take place in our human relationships (marriage, family, etc). You begin to take people/relationships for granted.

    I have found that a healthy dose of theology proper (books like KNOWING GOD, the Holiness of God, etc) have really helped. They remind me of how small I am and how awesome God is. They crush my pride and remind me of Christ’s servant-leadership example.

    Thanks for your post and CONGRATS on this wonderful accomplishment!!!

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