My name is Lisa Wycoff and I am from Colorado. I am the Professional Advisor for Undecided and Technical Students and teach University 101 (UNIV). I have been married for 28 years and have five stunning children. Blaine and Claire already graduated from Liberty, Olivia will graduate in December, and my twin boys, Cade and William, will attend Liberty this fall. I was a high school teacher and years later graduated with my Master’s in Pastoral Counseling and Life Coaching from Liberty.
After a bit of a rough start being born to two unsaved teenagers, I made it out alive as I jokingly tell my parents. For college, I began to pursue a degree at Colorado State University when I was first introduced to the Rescuer of my life. A friend from work invited me to Campus Crusade for Christ. There I met the Lord Jesus Christ. My untamed and hardened heart was ready to latch on to Him with everything I had because life without His influence was disappointing and empty.
My life and desires quickly and radically changed. I missed out on years of Biblical training not being raised in church. However, the Lord graciously allowed me to finish my degree at a Christian school called Bethel College in Minnesota.
I could not believe my teachers prayed before class and that I “had” to go to chapel. I absorbed every opportunity before me because this environment was so different then what I grew up with. Developing a growth mindset from the day I met the Lord was a large part of me because I never wanted to go backward. Romans 8:12-13 says, “Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live” (NIV).
In order to experience a flourishing Christ-centered life, there must be a daily, even hourly, awareness for the things hindering our relationship with Jesus. These are the things stunting our growth and Romans 7:6 instructs us to die to what once bound us.
It is a privilege to work at Liberty University. I am passionate about students’ growth and development spiritually, academically, mentally, emotionally, physically, and relationally. The Lord made us complex and we need a holistic approach to thrive. If one area is out of whack, it will likely produce a domino effect and eventually wreak havoc in other areas of our life. The Holy Spirit sounds the alarm bell if we are not properly aligned with the Lord. This is a gift as God’s kindness, tolerance, and patience lead us, even woos us, to repentance (Romans 2:4).
I want you to view your short time at Liberty University as a Greenhouse. It is temporary, purposeful, and offers optimal growing conditions so you can withstand the storms ahead. It is possible to leave Liberty strengthened and transformed when you are intentional and have a plan.
Spiritual practices are necessary tools to help remove the yuck from our life and accurately bear the image of Christ. We must personally engage in daily disciplines that will put to death the misdeeds of the body. These will free us from the stronghold of sin. Before Christ, we were free from the control of righteousness and we did not have to tell our flesh “no.” Once we surrender to Jesus, there is a war within your soul—a daily battle to conquer the flesh because it is STILL unruly. Can you feel it? “Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be mastered by anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12, CSB).
Does your present behavior enable you to get what you want now and will it take you in the direction you want to go? If the answer is “no”, then it is time to dig deep and “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1).
This is the time to remove distractions and identify the barriers to your growth. What didn’t work well last semester or last week? What hindrances and habits trap you, that aren’t sinful, but weaken you? We flourish when we are living by God’s design and our whole being submits to the great Lover of our soul. The condition of our hearts is of great importance to Jesus as it is the heart that governs all activity. If we wish to make any headway in flourishing, we must give attention to changing our heart. This directs how we live and affects our thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Thankfully, the Lord promises in Ezekiel 36:26, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Do not wait until you “feel” like reading the Bible, listening to worship music, joining a Bible study, seeking out a Godly mentor, or memorizing Scripture. These tools will chisel away the barriers lurking in your heart. “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I WILL be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore you from captivity” (Jeremiah 29:13-14a).
John Calvin says, “After redemption God treats us as a physician, not as a judge.” He is tender, attentive, and personal. Knowledge and cooperation with Christ will change your life forever. This is worth chasing if you want to live in a place of peace, courage, and freedom from strongholds!
College of Applied Studies & Academic Success