What I Did This Summer Part 3

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I love reading leadership books whether they are about leadership in the spiritual or secular realm.  I find myself especially drawn to business literature for the simple fact they reflect bare bones reality; if you don’t produce something of benefit in a purposeful process, you cease to exist.  Ironically, I find many of these secular books employing biblical principles—though they don’t call them that—with more regularity than many of the volumes that fill the Christian store bookshelves.

This week’s article seeks to be equally honest in our own effectiveness of getting a vision for the homeschool journey.  I purposefully coordinated today’s writing with our monthly day of prayer and fasting for the simple fact that “unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain (Psalms 127:1.)  We use the right words, “I’m dependent upon God,” but do our actions follow suit?  How often do our children see us bend a physical knee before the Almighty God, beseeching Him to blow the breath of His Holy Spirit upon us and the labor of our homeschooling hands?  Can they observe from our actions—not merely our words—that we consistently seek God’s anointing in all our educational endeavors or do they perceive a spiritually stale but academically energized approach to their schooling?  What we do speaks so loudly about our priorities our children often can’t hear our words.  Do they perceive such a deep sense of desperation from within that calls us to eschew food without for a short season just to have a greater focus on our Creator and His will in our lives?

Ezekiel 37 is the well-known passage called the “valley of dry bones.”  As Ezekiel prophesied, piles of dried bones supernaturally knit together and the external structure of an army came forth; however, there was no movement.  They looked impressive but they couldn’t accomplish much without genuine life.  The prophet then called for the Spirit of God to blow life into the structure and an “exceedingly great army” manifested.

As each of us grapple with our vision for homeschooling, remember the promise of James 1

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.—James 1:5-6 (ESV)

While we need to pray for the right curriculum and the best activities for the next homeschool year, these things pale in comparison to realizing how much we need God’s wisdom and anointing in the mundane of the daily.  Much without God is little but little with God is more than enough.  Fasting is one way we demonstrate our dependency upon God.  It reminds us that though our spirit is ever so willing, our flesh is so incredibly weak.  Our sensuality is mirrored before our eyes when we drive by a one dimensional billboard advertising food.  The picture of grease-laden, artery clogging, preservative enriched fast food looks like a feast.   It’s times like this that I realize how much my flesh wants to be satisfied.  The physical often manifests the actual state of the spiritual.

I encourage you to take this month’s fast day and ask God how you should give daily application to the model of home discipleship.  I challenge you to ask for the real—not right—answers to the following questions:

  • If a stranger would observe our homeschooling day, how much energy would he say we spend on spiritual priorities versus those of solely intellectual pursuits?
  • Would the same individual say we give due diligence to character and conduct?
  • Would he say we are teaching our children the value of a minute, an hour and a day, redeeming this precious time knowing the evil that awaits our children in adulthood?
  • Are we motivated more by the fear of the Lord or by a fear of man and all the snares that come with it?
  • Do we allow our children to do their academic work as unto themselves or as unto God?  Do we expect age appropriate excellence or are we just checking off the list?
  • How precise is your vision?  Is your homeschool a generic journey, reflective of an imitation of the general populace or have you meditated on what each of your children presently needs?
  • Have you considered putting together an educational mission statement that flows into your family’s overall mission for life?

If God chastens you in any way, Praise God!  Chastening is sign of sonship!  If you aren’t chastened, Praise God!  You must be walking where He wants you to be walking.

I personally am praying for a genuine revival among the homeschool community.  In saying this, I mean that the Spirit of God will so fill the hearts of us Dads and Moms that it will overflow into the lives of our children.  We will not read the Bible to our children out of dead and religious obligation, desiring to look like good homeschooling parents but there will be such an excited and expectant motivation that will cause even our little ones to shout, “It’s time for devotions!”  You may want to mock at such an expectation and that may be part of the problem.  It all starts with your vision as the leader of your home.  Ask God to light your fire afresh and anew.

In addition to praying for genuine revival, please start praying for the ICHE Board as we meet together for our annual meeting next month.  (We want to lead by example!)  Please petition God on our behalf to give us creative, timely, unified foresight to faithfully guide this ship through the ever-changing waters of culture even as we remain committed to the founding values and vision.  We don’t want to simply survive; we want to thrive for His glory and the betterment of home education throughout the state.

Fasting is a reflection of the fear of the Lord in our lives.  Proverbs 14:26 says, “In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.”  In our fleshly weakness we can see the strength of our Savior and that will give us courage of conviction to see His will accomplished in the upcoming school year.

Kirk Smith
Executive Director, ICHE

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