So, it’s never been more obvious that I can do nothing apart from Christ. I can’t get out of bed well without His abiding presence. I can’t even do a good job speaking with someone, unless Christ indwells my everything. This time as an intern has simultaneously refined my character and fanned into flame the power of God’s Spirit.
It has become clear that my primary problem in daily living is a disposition tending towards anti-discipleship. It’s not necessarily rebellion, but indifference to the glory of God that leads me into sin. Yes, and this anti-discipleship is because of a desire to be satisfied while believing God is unable to fit the bill of my heart.
It has pleased the Lord to reveal this to me through trying to disciple young men. *Tom especially has been a difficulty, drawing me to submit again and again to God’s wisdom. With him I’ve gone through lies, confusion with CPS, fights at school, fits towards foster parents, and biological parents continually messing up. I’ve seen the end of my ability, and it is an empty abyss apart from the good hand of the Lord.
Thankfully, God has been faithful to his promises. Tom continues in faith, and excels in understanding the Lord more than anyone I know his age. It has been a delight to watch the same Holy Spirit in me also drawing Tom out of anger to draw and into peace. It is a miracle that anything this good happened through me this year.
This experience highlights the overarching theme of the past year: Carter is nothing, Jesus is everything, and Carter is in Christ. This strikes to the core source of my anti-discipleship attitude; if I’m an “all-in” disciple then there is nothing Christ cannot authoritatively ask of me. The reason I don’t offer my body as a living sacrifice, is that I have a nasty suspicion that he won’t maintain the prefix “living” with the suffix “sacrifice”. What will happen to my treasured dreams? My desperate desires? My guarded emotions? Even my simple pleasures? Is He to be trusted with all this, and more?
From our time in Nepal, there is one resounding sentence: the work and word of God are more than enough in the stead of all else. The moment I saw *Sujman stand up and proclaim the power of Christ, all my doubt received a crack at its very foundation. This has been etched into my memory and soul since then as the Lord graciously kept me through what seemed to be the darkest season of my walk with Him up to this point. For a month He was patient with me through depression, disobedience and distraction away from Him time and again until He once again raptured me up to my heavenly seat and upward calling in Christ.
It is especially appropriate that this can all be wrapped up with a recent experience at the nursing home. Walking in, a lady quickly approached and introduced herself to me, *Ann. She was quick to say to me, “I haven’t been to church for 30 years, ever since my husband was murdered. Something has just kept me from going like I used to. But you haven’t noticed that I am usually in the hallway listening to you preach. Even though you don’t see me, it’s like you are speaking directly to me across the table.” Praise God almighty! This has assured me of His word and work threefold… Tom being kept in the faith despite horrid situations, Sujman preaching 5 hours after he himself was first preached to, and Ann who has heard the voice of her Shepherd after 30 years of wandering outside the fold.
Going forward, there is no doubt in my mind that it is essential to remember the following as a disciple of Christ:
- Trust in the salvation of God, not the strategy of man;
- Friendship, true fellowship in the family of God, is the operating principle of fruitful ministry;
- Mighty ministry may just be mistakes made miracles; and,
- It is a miracle that anything good comes from me.
Carter Knight, CLDI Intern (Class of 2017)