How to Grow Spiritually at Valley Forge

How to Grow Spiritually at Valley Forge

The University of Valley Forge is a fantastic setting for us as students to develop into the pastors, businessmen, social workers, photographers, etc. that God is calling us to be. Our staff and professors work hard to create opportunities for you to learn and work in your field and the leadership works hard to create an atmosphere of worship and reverence. It’s all laid out for you; all you have to do is reach out and take it.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “Life’s what you make it.” Hannah Montana would then implore you to “make it rock.” You, oh strong individual, have a choice every time you step into a room, turn a corner, move to a new place, and even breathe, for how you are going to handle yourself and the attitude that you will have in reaction to what is going on around you. Valley Forge has set the stage for you; you’ve just arrived back on campus, you’ve turned down the hall and settled yourself into your college dorm. Hopefully as you read this you are still breathing; now the ball is back in your court.

What are you going to do with what is handed to you? Are you going to steward your time, resources, opportunities and finances properly? Are you going to treat the people around you with respect and dignity? Are you going to strive everyday to be better, stronger, smarter, and more successful?

The prompt for this article can be seen in its title: How to Grow Spiritually at UVF. I stopped and thought nervously about how to write this properly since it’s a very serious subject. Then God, just as He always does, gently reminded me of the obvious. The only way to grow spiritually at the University of Valley Forge or anywhere is through HONESTY.

1. You need to be HONEST with yourself about how you are doing. 
Am I actually handing this grievance back to God? Have I been intentional about my relationship with Him? Am I actually being obedient when He tells me to do something or am I just praying and questioning? What is the root cause within me of this particular problem that I am facing? If you don’t ask yourself the “Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How?” questions and genuinely search yourself for the true answer, you’ll never move forward because you haven’t identified the problem or the solution.
2. You need to be HONEST with other people.
Do I have a secret sin that needs to be exposed so that I can have accountability with a trusted mentor/friend to get through? Have I shared the struggles I face in my personal life with someone who can be a support to me – my fears, my relationships, etc. I’m not suggesting that we go to other people instead of the Lord, but He didn’t intend for you to walk through life alone without allowing other people to come alongside you.
3. You need to be HONEST with God. 
He already knows your heart and thoughts anyway. Why hide from the One who loves unconditionally, handcrafted you exactly the way you are, and is waiting to strengthen and further equip you for the task at hand? Being raw with God is the most freeing and refreshing experience. Admitting that He is the one that you need builds your faith and pulls your heart back to His.

I’d encourage you to take the time to examine these three points with prayerful consideration.
Some questions to get you started might be:

  • Who do you need to go talk with? 
  • What should you hand back to God? 
  • Where do you need to grow?
  • When are you going to set aside time daily to seek Jesus Christ individually? 
  • Why haven’t I _____?
  • How are you going to hold yourself accountable to these spiritual disciplines? 

Honesty is the best policy – be raw with God, others, and yourself so you can move forward and become all that God has for you to be in your field after your time at Valley Forge is over. The stage is set now but soon it’ll be completely up to you.

Lord, 
I pray over each of the students who have taken the time to read this article. Open their ears and eyes to recognize what you have for them to change. Open their hearts and help them to be honest about where they need to do some spiritual rearranging. Strengthen them to be able to see these changes through. May you receive all the honor for all the growth and development they experience and for all the good that comes about because of that change. 
In Jesus’ name, 
AMEN