University life presents its own set of unique challenges (and opportunities!) for the disciple of Jesus Christ.
The challenges can often be intimidating causing hearts to sink in fear and apprehension. One not only doesn’t know exactly what to expect, what these challenges in reality feel like but how to respond to them too. Add to that the fact that Christians have differing (and sometimes even opposing) views on the issues at hand and the matter is further compounded.
But no matter what the challenges are and the reality of their experience in real life, rest assured that you can be sufficiently prepped and adequately equipped to face them.
So says the Word. Not me.
Don’t head to Uni with a defeatist mentality when it comes to your faith and walk with the Lord. Do not go with an attitude of “just hanging in there” when it comes to matters of faith in the face of unrelenting secularist and hedonistic, not to mention atheistic, onslaught at University. Just as you are not called to scrape through this life to just about make it to the other, your calling is not to just hold on to your faith by the skin of your teeth but boldly reach out and impact your environment with it, your uni environment included. End of.
Your faith is not there to survive extinction but to serve God’s mission.
And it is not mission impossible.
However, for this mission to succeed, scripture identifies a few things (not many) that need to be in place in our lives. We are required to position ourselves correctly if we are to succeed in God’s mission for us. Let me explain.
“We are,” as Rev Celia Apeagyei-Collins likes to say, “not called to be clever but connected”. To God. Connectedness is key. Your connectedness with Christ and God will (re)write your entire university narrative – your whole life story for that matter.
Whatever the environment, however arid or hostile, it’s your connectedness to (or abiding in) Christ that makes this season of your life fruitful. It is your choice to remain vitally connected with Christ that guarantees your fruitfulness and not just your survival.
Far too many are content with just surviving university without loosing your faith. Would you say that the purpose of life is to safely arrive at death? No! Never! It is to thrive and even leave a legacy behind you. So too at university. Regarding your faith, your prime concern should be your Christian footprint in the lives of others. After all, Jesus has not only overcome the world but is incomparably greater than him who is in the world. 1 John 4:4
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
Abiding in Christ is essential. We in Him and Him in us – through His word.
When you disconnect from Christ, when you do not persevere in abiding in Him through His word and fellowship with others (the two things that need to be in place in the life of every disciple of Christ), your Christian life is deprived of the nourishment it needs leading to its malnutrition and making it difficult for you to even walk in it. It becomes an uphill struggle to live the Christian life let alone be the witness your calling demands of you. Our smug attitude and nonchalant neglect of these two fundamental, New Testament disciplines of discipleship lead to our inevitable demise. Many a sincere folk have sacrificed their faith on the altar of self-righteousness and neglect of these major disciplines when overcoming the world and its challenges is only possible as we abide in the word and in fellowship with others.
To recap then, the two things that must be in place in your life as a disciple of Christ if you are to succeed in God’s mission for your life are:
Your personal devotion: attending to your personal walk with the Lord through a daily quality time of connecting with Him through prayer and His word;
Belonging to a church community: Ensuring you’re committed to a vibrant and active church community where you’ll receive strength and encouragement as you actively share in the life of the Church.
Do not be a casualty. Ensure you are rightly positioned for success.