by Pine Cove Posted Jan 9, 2019
The class of 2019 Forge students are now halfway through their time in Pine Cove’s leadership training program. We can’t believe they’re already in their second semester, moving ahead with their classes and soon to embark on a study tour of Israel! We wanted to check in with one of these students and give you a chance to hear what they’ve been learning. The following was written by Xenia Miguel, and you won’t want to miss reading what the Lord has been revealing to her during her time in the Forge!
It amazes me what God can do in four short months. Since we began the Forge, He has turned a group of strangers into a family and shown us His splendor and majesty in many different places. He has used our brothers and sisters to speak truth into our identity and spiritual gifts, He has begun to uproot deep idols, and He has allowed us to process our stories and heal from hurts that we never knew existed. Praise the Lord that our God is one who is constantly working on our behalf. We can trust in His promise to bring to completion the good works He has begun in us!
What they say about the Forge is true. Lessons that we learn in a period of eight months, it takes others a lifetime to learn. The environment that we live in is conducive to rapid growth. What’s ironic is that although life in the Forge is fast-paced, the most important lesson that I’ve learned has nothing to do with haste, but everything to do with slowness. What I am learning is that the growth of a Christian comes not from rapid knowledge transfer, but day to day, repetitive obedience through spiritual disciplines.
An anvil speaker (guest speaker) that visited us this semester, gave us this definition of discipleship: “It is the lifelong pursuit of nearness and submission to Jesus our master, developing in myself Jesus’ character, values, and missions.” That task is mighty and seems daunting, but I am finding relief in knowing that a transformation of my habits and loves happens not overnight, but over a lifetime.
This semester we read “You are what you love” by James K.A. Smith. In his book he writes that discipleship is a recalibration of our loves. He says that training ourselves to love heavenly things and not earthly things is a slow process that happens through acclimating ourselves to a new way of life by learning a new language, forming new habits, and leaving old ones behind.
This truth is one that can be hard for millennials to grasp. We live in a world of instant gratification. We get things that we want with the touch of a button. But what Jesus has to offer us is so much better. In Jeremiah 29:13 He says “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart,” not a quarter of our hearts, not half of our hearts. Jesus wants all of our hearts and all of our devotion — learning to give that up takes time.
Our spiritual disciplines class has really helped me put this lesson into practice. As a class we practice the spiritual disciplines of prayer, scripture reading, fasting, worship, celebration, scripture memorization, and so many others. These disciplines are no longer tasks that I view as merely means to an end. They are not just items that I check off of a list. They mean so much more, because they point me to Christ. Through these disciplines, I am able to draw near to Jesus and practice His presence. They help me realize how desperately I need his presence. It truly is a gift and a joy that I am being equipped to pursue Christ moment after moment, day after day, for the rest of my life.
The Forge is now accepting applications for the class of 2020! If you’re between the ages of 21 and 27 and looking for a challenging year of growth, apply now.