Dressed in his usual bow tie and suit, President Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver preached on transitioning in different aspects of life Friday in chapel.
“How do we handle the transitions God brings in our lives?” Oliver said. “How do we handle transitions when God calls us to a new place or asks us to step up?”
Maybe it is the transition from high school to college or college into the real world or a new place of service. Oliver said God’s work continues no matter the situation. His work is always moving forward.
God had his heart set on Joshua before Joshua was even created, Oliver said. God knows everything we are going to do before we even think about doing it.
“Our identity should be this: I know the Lord and the Lord knows me,” Oliver said.
Knowing God will never leave, just as he didn’t leave or forsake Joshua in his times of need, should embolden Christians, he said.
“Joshua knew his limitations; he knew he wasn’t Moses. Still he knew that what Moses did was done through the presence and power of God,” Oliver said. “Joshua didn’t have the same gifts or talents as Moses. He didn’t have the same experiences as Moses, but he did have the same God as Moses.”
Oliver gave the analogy of when the search for new a new Union president was happening, he struggled with internal doubts about the position. But then he realized he should be strong and courageous in transition.
“When I am standing before judgement, I am not going to be asked ‘Why weren’t you more like [former university president] David Dockery?’ What I am going to be asked is ‘Why weren’t you more fully who I called you to be? Why weren’t you more fully who I created you to be?’” Oliver said.
God told Joshua to constantly be in God’s word; to meditate on it day and night. Oliver said he understands that students are busy; that teachers assign homework, they have jobs and leadership roles. That should always encourage them to rely more than ever on God’s word. No matter how busy, God’s word will sustain them.
“So how do we handle transitions? God’s work continues on, God’s power emboldens us, and God’s word sustains us,” Oliver said. “Be strong, be courageous; do not be frightened and do not be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”