By Natalie Fertig-USA
“Well this week has been probably the most intense to dateâ€¦ Dan Lake and Daniel Shannon taught this week, and the lectures were incredibly powerful. They talked about intimacy with God and fearing God, and I think that all of us have seen changes in our lives just in this week.
I know personally, it’s been so greatâ€¦ my idea of ‘quiet time with God’ has been COMPLETELY revolutionized. I’ve always kind of had a hard time just sitting down and reading the Bible for a certain length of timeâ€¦ it wasn’t that I didn’t like to read â€“ actually, I LOVE to read! It was more that I felt that I had “better things to do”. I could never stay focused long enough to really get something out of it. Well this week has changed my way of meeting with God completely. I realized that it wasn’t about reading my Bible or prayingâ€¦ those were good things, but the point was spending time with God. So I did that, without reading my Bible. I took a walk and took pictures in the forest, looking at God’s creation. I played the piano. I sang worship songs while I cleaned. And as I did more things with God OTHER than reading the Bible, I started to have a hunger for God’s word that I have never had before. It was radical! I didn’t even notice it until the end of the weekâ€¦ and then I realized how many times I had read my Bible that weekâ€¦ I realized that I was reading my Bible in the morning when I could, after lecture, sometimes in the afternoon, and then at night before I went to bed! It was at LEAST once, and sometimes up to FOUR times per day! I couldn’t believe what God didâ€¦
On a larger scale, I think God has given our entire team a new appreciation for what He did for usâ€¦ what He gave and sacrificed for US.
Often we think we deserve things in lifeâ€¦ a car, a house, a familyâ€¦ just basically a comfortable life. But then we have to stop and think â€“ do we really? What DO we deserve? What have we done that makes us deserve ANYTHING? Really, we deserve death. We deserve to go to hell. But Jesus paid the price for us â€“ he sacrificed everything that HE deserved so we could come and spend eternity with Him. So that bridge between God and us could be gaped â€“ so we could have a real relationship with Him. And let me tell you, it’s AWESOME! Growing in my relationship with God the past 4 weeks of DTS has been more than I imagined. But this week, realizing exactly what Jesus did for us, has caused me to grow SO much more. I have a new view of God – part of that came from the talks we had on fearing God – and I really do want to give all of my life to Godâ€¦ so he can use me in whatever way he wants to.
An example that was given this week that really took hold in my mind and heart came from Lord of the Rings. This might explain exactly how I felt this Friday, watching the Passion of the Christ and thinking about how I did NOT deserve Jesus to die for meâ€¦ It’s when Pippin, the little Hobbit, comes before Denethor, the ruler of the biggest country in middle-earth â€“ Gondor. Denethor’s son, the next in line for the throne, Boromir, sacrificed his life earlier in the story to save Pippin. So when Pippin comes before Denethor, he kneels before the ruler and pledges ALL his service, for life, to Denethor, since his son died for the hobbit.
This is how I feelâ€¦ now that I actually UNDERSTAND what God did for me, I want to pledge MY life to serve Him, forever.