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BY DR. STEVE GREENE

Could God Be Leading You to Further Study?

Moving ahead on your life path may mean making the big decision to head back to school

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If you want to seek advice about your future, ask the person about their prayer life.

he Apostle Paul’s exhortation to Timothy to “study to show yourself approved” (1 Tim. 2:15) was most likely a call to study the Scriptures and grow from the manna of His Word. Allow me to take a little liberty with the passage and offer the thought that study is a lifestyle that positions us to receive all that God provides for us through His gifts. Many times in the Bible we read of wilderness experiences or a going away to a “desert place.” I believe that as we separate ourselves for the purpose of advancing our gifts given to us by God, we honor His gift and allow God’s plan for us to be walked out. As we “go away” to study, learn and experience advanced knowledge through graduate programs, we allow ourselves to be prepared with excellence for excellence. The graduate programs represented in this guide will hopefully open eyes to the possibilities of furthering the good work that began in us through undergraduate preparation. In my discussions with students throughout my 30 years of mentoring, I noticed frequent anxiety about the prospect of success in grad school. If you are doubting your abilities to press on to advanced work, consider the following: »»Is God leading you to further study? Since you are reading this article, it’s very likely God is drawing you through the process of counting costs, taking entrance exams and making a grad school selection. Please consider the notion that you are probably already being drawn through this process. »»Perhaps you didn’t perform as well as you know you could have in your undergraduate studies. Graduate admission counselors are aware that future stars sometimes don’t shine brightly in early years. If God intends for you to study at the school of your choice, what can

man do to stop you? Apply, pray and be diligent in your application process. »»Many of my former students had financial concerns about whether they could afford the cost of a graduate education. Contact the financial aid office of your college of choice and watch God work. When God gives a vision, He always offers provision. Be open to any method of payment. Financial counselors help students every day with the same concerns you may have. They are called and assigned to the divine appointment of helping you through the financial maze. Let them help you. »»Don’t give your ear to just anyone. Seek the counsel of godly men and women. If you want to seek advice about your future, ask the person about their prayer life. Only consider the advice of people who actively pray to hear God. Everyone has an opinion and most are willing to offer it. Those who speak to you may be wellintentioned but could also be uninformed. Seek counsel from those who seek God. »»The most difficult question I was often asked had to do with work and study. “Can I work full time and still earn an advanced degree?”The answer is a loud yes! Students who want to work full time while studying must first come to grips with the length of time required to complete their studies. It won’t be easy and it won’t be quick. But it can be done. Consider online education and various hybrid programs that allow online study and a few modular sessions. The best advice I offer on this topic is to start very slowly. The pace of graduate studies can be staggering. Perhaps start with one class and determine how much time you have available to do excellent work. I pray you will hear God’s voice as you make this important life decision. If you have any questions about graduate study, please write to me at drsteve.greene@charismamedia.com.

DR. STEVE GREENE is executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media. 6

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