BY ANGELA KIM
Daniel Discipleship Training School (Daniel DTS). Many at ODPC have heard about Daniel DTS, while some have not. For those of us that have heard of it before, we know the following basics about it: (1) it’s a class, (2) it takes time, and (3) you learn about how God loves you.
As a current student, I can safely say that it’s far more than just a class, and it does more than simply expand your knowledge about God. Although it does take a few extra hours of time during my week, it’s most definitely the best thing in which I have ever invested my time. There has not been a week where I wasn’t excited to go to class. Every week, I receive new revelations about God, who I am in the eyes of God, and most importantly the love of God… how much He loves, how He loves, and why He loves.
You think you know, but you have no idea. Honestly, I won’t be able to properly testify as to the awesome-ness that is Daniel DTS, since I’m still taking it. So, I have asked two of our current DTS staff members, Kaitlin Chon and Melissa Lee, who have completed and sat through the class several times to explain. But, please be advised that we can sit here, explain, and testify until our faces turn blue, but you really won’t know unless you experience it for yourself.
Daniel DTS, which is modeled after Youth With A Mission (YWAM)’s 6-month program, was a wonderful school that taught me how to grow as a disciple of Jesus. I took it in the Spring of 2007 at Korean Central Presbyterian Church (KCPC) and it radically changed my faith life by teaching on such topics as the “Father Heart of God,” “Hearing God’s Voice,” “Lordship,” and “Meditation.”
Through the 12-week program, God used the solid teachings to confirm His deep love for me, which for me, at the time, was mostly just intellectual knowledge. I didn’t realize that I had not fully received the truth of God’s love.
I knew in my head that God loved me but, oftentimes, whether or not I felt loved was completely based on my emotions and on my circumstances.
After finishing Daniel DTS, I would say my knowledge of God’s love for me was no longer based on those fluctuations but on God’s truth. I AM LOVED, period.
Jesus’s work upon the cross is proof! And now, I no longer doubt it. They also taught me how I had been believing in lies, how to recognize the lies, and how to replace the lies with the truth of God’s word.
The truth of God’s word became experiential knowledge as I replaced the lies in my life (told to me by people, feelings, and circumstances) with God’s truth. You may think, “Oh, but that’s what we do on Sundays,” — but that is not enough to feed on. Sitting through a steady, weekly diet of DTS, in a context of a loving small group, gave me approximately 9 extra hours per week. When you give the Lord nine extra hours per week, you cannot help but be changed!
I took Daniel DTS three years ago, in the spring of 2013. Since then, I have gone back to staff the spring 2014 school, and again now for the current spring 2016 school. You may be wondering, “Why does she keep going back to this DTS thing? What’s it all about?”
For me, before taking Daniel DTS, I had only heard amazing things about it. The funny thing is, nobody would really tell me what it is they would do or much of what they learned. They just said things that sounded generic like, “You just learn about how much God loves you and how you are a child of God.” I was skeptical of its simplicity and couldn’t believe that this was the only information that they had learned.
What confused me even more was their passion to share and encourage others to take this class. It intrigued me. I wondered, “What could be so good about it that they would make so much effort to convince others? Even to the point of saying that they would pay for it because it was worth the investment? Maybe it is just clever propaganda. Or maybe, there is something real going on…something that involves experiencing God in a radical way?”
When people ask me now what I learned from taking Daniel DTS, I can’t help but share the same generic phrase that “God loves you,” because it’s true. One of the resounding themes throughout all the lectures is that we were created by God for relationship. A big part of starting that relationship with God is first examining how we relate to God.
One of the amazing things that DTS did for me was to unpack all my fears, doubts, insecurities, shame, guilt, anxieties, and pressures I felt and reveal to me how I had subconsciously placed those on God.
God is supposed to be all powerful and love perfectly and unconditionally, but I was placing conditions on his love and power. So I related to a God who I thought was sometimes, but not always, good. I related to a God who was powerful enough to move mountains, but not enough to move in certain areas of my life. Every single pain and suffering I felt in my life, and every single disappointment–it had added up to creating a God who was impersonal and uncaring. I had belief that God was real, but I realized I had no faith in Him.
One of the turning points of my DTS was when one of the speakers shared about the effects of sin on our lives. We can break down all of our life experiences into two categories: when others sin against us, or when we sin against others. Because of this, we can stray away from God’s perfect will for us. These experiences revealed the effects of sin as ultimately an attack on my identity.
I began to realize my brokenness, and I desperately wanted to be renewed and to claim my identity again as a child of God. Before repentance, I was enslaved to my sins, feeling ashamed, unworthy, and unclean. Before forgiveness of those who had sinned against me, I was plagued with feelings of inadequacies, bitterness, anger, depression, and anxiety.
The simple act of forgiveness gave me freedom from those things, and poured out God’s love for me. That was the first time that the knowledge that God loved me traveled down to my heart and became revelation. Since then, I’ve been on an exciting journey of uncovering the depth of God’s love for me as He continues to reveal himself to me and bring me to deeper waters.
Angela Kim is currently participating in this year’s Daniel DTS. Kaitlin Chon and Melissa Lee serve as DTS staff members.