How to Thrive Spiritually this Summer

You’ve finished that last tough exam, packed your dorm room into your car (and also your parent’s car), and are driving down the highway towards home. With high hopes and months stretching endlessly ahead, you can’t wait to catch up on Netflix, re-connect with those high school buddies, and put the schoolbooks away for a while. 
 
But as you get closer to home, some nagging questions fill your mind. 
 
“How am I going to grow spiritually when I’m not at STP?” “What if my friends from home pull me back into that not-so-great lifestyle?” “Will God meet me here like he does at school?”

Well, college-student-home-goer, let me assure you, God has great things ahead! And its not a haphazard plan B! 
 
Acts 17:26-27 says that God “determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us.”
 
God has strategically mapped out where you live this summer. He has planned for you to glimpse him in different, clearer and greater ways so you can grow spiritually. In this, He is also near. He is near in that old childhood bedroom, in the midst of summer classes, and in your job at the local movie theatre. 
 
But how do you tap into this great summer plan? Psalm 90:12 says “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” 
 
If God is strategic, we can be strategic too! Here are some ways to begin in numbering your summer days rightly:
  1. Pray and Reflect: Now at home, take time to reflect on the semester. What areas has God been working in that you want to learn more about? Maybe it’s consistent time in the Bible. Maybe its a character issue, like pride. Maybe its a kingdom value, like God’s heart for the nations. Whatever it is, write down the ideas God reveals.
  2. Dream and Plan: Next, dream and plan about these topics. Ask your Nav leaders for books in the Bible that talk about these subjects. Invest in material written by Christian authors that address these areas.  Is there a sermon series that hits on these things?  Then, make a monthly goal. Put these goals in your phone or on a calendar. Even if you’re not a planner, this will help you stay the course.
  3. Connect and Share: What other friends headed home this summer? Ask them if they would want to talk weekly. In that time, share what God is teaching you. Pray together over struggles you face at home and the people you are reaching out to with the Gospel. Be accountable to a growing summer!
Above all else, seek God. Jesus is for you and excited for the summer He has planned with you!  May your summer be one of thriving, not just spiritually surviving.

Resources

Consider using one or both of the following two resources this summer.
  • Summer Ideas — a list of 21 actions you can take this summer related to the Word, prayer, fellowship, and evangelism (the four spokes of The Wheel illustration) to grow in your faith
  • Personal Summer Plan — asks four key questions on how you would like to grow spiritually this summer

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