We’ve all heard it said that University is the ‘make or break’ time for Christians. It’s a time when what we believe is challenged as we come into contact with many people who disagree with our faith and as we enter new social situations where we have a lot more freedom and independence. How do we make sure we continue to live for God in the midst of all this change and where we’re surrounded by many people who don’t? How do we make sure we’re the ones who ‘make it’ as Christians?
Start your day with God
Every day as Christians we have a choice to make when we wake up in the morning: will we live for God today or will we live for the world and our own pleasures? So choose to live for God and start your day with Him. Before lectures begin, spend time with Him; reading His Word and praying. We’ve heard it so many times that the our daily ‘quiet time’ is so crucial in growing in our walk with God, but why so often does it get pushed further down our priority list? If we want to stay faithful to God, we need to be faithful in spending time with Him, so guard that time. Before you hear from any other voice, spend time listening to His voice. We are so privileged to have a relationship with the Creator and University is the perfect place for that relationship to grow.
Study God’s Word
While it’s so important to get into a habit of spending time with God each day, often that time becomes just another thing on our ‘to do’ list. If you’re anything like me, all too often you’ll read a chapter or two of the Bible in the morning, close it and then get on with the rest of the day, forgetting what you read. I was listening to a podcast recently by John Piper on this topic and the following quote really challenged me:
Ten minutes a day in the Bible will not cut it in this world. This is the very Word of God. Read it. Meditate on it. Memorise large portions of it.1
In order to stay faithful to God we need to get stuck into His Word, study it and know what it says. University brings with it so many temptations and ‘grey’ areas, and as Christians the Bible should be our guideline on these things. So get to know the Bible and what it says on these issues. Don’t look to what others are doing, instead, look and see how God wants us to live and, above all, pray for the strength to obey.
Spend time with other Christians
We’ll never make it through the challenges of University life if we try to do it alone; we need Christian friends to support us. This doesn’t mean we should spend our time sitting in Christian bubbles, but it does mean that we should make an effort, through CU or Church, to meet other Christians and form godly relationships where we can read the Bible and pray together and be a support to one another. Being open and honest in these relationships about the struggles we face can be such a blessing and a huge help as we seek to stay faithful to God at University.
Although University can present challenges to us as Christians, it is also a wonderful opportunity to grow in our relationship with God and to be His light on campus to those around us. He is so faithful, even when we’re not, and has the power to use us for His glory when we commit to living for Him.
1. Desiring God, 2015. ‘Seven Tips For College Students’. Podcast. Ask Pastor John. http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/seven-tips-for-college-students.