Not By My Might

Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6). 

Never have these words resonated with me more than at the Free Lutheran Bible College. Before I even thought of attending this place, my plan was just to take a gap year to work and save money. But somehow FLBC always worked itself into my daily conversations with people until I could no longer ignore the college as an option. However, I still doubted whether it would be worth my time, money, and effort to be at a two-year Bible college. Nonetheless, one day I was talking to Rebecca Moan, FLBC’s admissions coordinator, about why I should even consider attending here. She told me about the close-knit community and the strong biblical principles that last far beyond the two years of studying. In that moment, I realized that this is exactly what I was so desperately wanting in life: a solid Christian community and an understanding of my faith. 

This first year of Bible college has tested me in ways that have reshaped my faith. The first semester was a struggle for me emotionally, mentally, and spiritually because I relied solely on myself to fix things. It had its moments, but this energy was always dragging me down to despair. I was not a miserable person by any means, but there was no sense of lasting peace. During Christmas break, I finally realized that my work would never be enough to sustain me. My self-reliant attitude was harming me and my relationship with Christ, which, in turn, hurt my earthly relationships.  

So, when the second semester rolled around, I approached it with a mindset of reliance on God. By starting every morning with 15 minutes of prayer and reading a chapter of the Bible, I can honestly tell you that the Lord has helped me to pursue the day for Christ and not myself. I have this unexplainable peace even when the day has gone completely awry. When I forget to spend time in the Word in the morning, a sense of self-doubt creeps into my thoughts. The Lord has truly given me confidence in his plan, even on days of doubt.  

A recent prayer that I have been praying is that the Lord would remove things that would distract me from his will for my life. Let me tell you, he has been quick to remove some things from my life and slow with others. He has lifted financial burdens through a generous FLBC scholarship, which I rejoiced over. He has also recently removed friendships that have caused me much heartache. However, through these highs and lows, even when I cannot see his hand at work, I can see his heart behind these circumstances.  

Something that encouraged me was the passage Pastor Brent Olson mentioned in a recent chapel sermon. Exodus 14:14 states, “The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” The Lord has continuously shown me his love and mercy through his Scripture and the people surrounding me. 

Bailey Baird [FLBC first-year student] is from Champlin, Minn. 

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