Exhortation from Campus!
What most young people really want – to get free of mum and dad!
University.... almost every young person's dream is to know that the limitation of freedom by the constraints of their parents has been lifted. As young people we almost become so skilled at doing things in secret, and making our parents or other adults feel as if they know us; so the luxury of leaving the home we live in, eases the extra methods we once used to hide things.
Another skill we begin to adopt is innately developed by us giving off the appearance to people at our home church that "all is well with our soul", we can articulate the church clichés so well but seem to forget that we don't spiritually live to please others but to please our creator. I believe the most dangerous period of time for prospective university students waiting to leave their nest is the time after exams and the wait for our results because during this time, the hidden areas of our heart begin to reveal the curiosity of different things that we may never share with others; almost anything that you may have struggled with while at home that you once conquered, if it was to arise during your time at university, would we allow Christ in us to be our defence? Or if we are to be honest with ourselves, did we always want to do that thing, or try that thing, or visit that place, or hang around with those people? God knows your heart.
What brought me to my senses was when I was in the very place and with the very people doing the very things I know I shouldn't be doing, the voice didn't shout "Thus saith the Lord" or "Judgement shall fall on you", it just simply said, "come on Andrew, of all people, what are YOU doing? Even you know what you're doing is silly; you're not even successfully able to do what others do at ease because you don't belong to them but you belong to me." Please believe that not everyone may not have the voice of God speak to them in such a gentle manner.
Shrinking boldness when the stakes are raised
Remember when you were first saved or received that fresh touch from the Lord, how enthusiastic you were and the zeal you once had, and how you weren't afraid to say 'I don't go there' or 'I don't do this' but now we've come to the stage where we are too embarrassed to live holy even at university because it means that we cannot fit in. So we're now struggling to fit in, not on the outward part of us because UNFORTUNATELY, some of us are good at doing what the world do so we will convince ourselves that if I'm good at this then it must be for me, but we ignore the struggle on the inward part of us, that knows the scripture that says "be not conformed to this world".
Sometimes we make mistakes, but it is so much better to learn from the testimonies or even the mistakes of others, and not even develop a taste for certain things in the first place because as young people we have taken this popular slogan 'YOLO' (you only live once) as an excuse to do all kinds of madness in our lives but not everyone is able to recover from the things they may have delved into and wonder why it's so much harder for them to not just feel the presence of God, but to even partake of it. Even after our deliverance from some things, we may still have to deal with its long term affects; may that not be our portion.
Being Holy at Uni – what it means
Holiness at university is not about the rules we are told to follow, it's about spiritual discipline, because if your life is not disciplined, the enemy can present things to you when you leave to go university and you succumb to them. Many of us have come from good stock, so to know better is to do better.
I have grown to realise that sometimes people who are not even saved, can be the people to keep us in line on our Christian journey whilst at university, it sounds weird but here is my reason. How is it that if ever there was a conversation concerning the Word of God within a group of people that we may be with at university and if something was ever said that we knew wasn't correct in the scriptures, that's when we wouldn't be ashamed to speak up and say hold on that's not right, but then when it comes to worldly socialising and we do what they are doing, the same companions could turn around and say "hold on, I thought you were a church boy/girl?" these type of sly comments would affect our inner man because we need to ask ourselves, do we want the world to be confused as to where our allegiance is pledged?
So some of us will go to the extreme of going to university and not even let people know our Godly standards from the very beginning just so that we can avoid all that trouble of having to hold up the blood-stained banner. That is a very big risk to take because we are breaking the heart of the God of the universe that gave you the intellect to even get into university in the first place, and to be honest, I wouldn't want to knock the doors of Heaven asking if I can come in and have the very person who created me to speak through the letter box and say 'I know you not'. There's no safety even standing outside the door, you're either in or you're out, so let's avoid being part- time Christians at university and go there with the mindset to spiritually cause trouble in the enemies camp. Now I am not saying that university belongs to the devil, but I'm saying the very environment of university can bring a lot of contention to what we stand for.
When you leave home you become a prime target for Satan
We are young Christians in an unholy environment and are still told to live holy, because then we would be worthy to secure our name in the Lambs Book of Life. In case you don't know how excited the enemy is when you leave your home to go to university, let's put it like this: the Bible describes Satan as a roaring lion, and if you were to look at the nature of how a lion catches its prey, they will wait patiently to catch the weak and vulnerable animal by itself away from the protection of stronger animals, so imagine if we were to go to university with the WHOLE (not some of) armour of God, then the devil will not be able to attack our weak areas of life because they'll be covered.
Get your own oil!
I once heard that we need to have our own drive. We all know you drive a car from inside the car and that you cannot drive a car from outside the car. Some of us have been towed from the outside for so long that we need our own inner drive to keep us going. When we leave to go university, that is when we realised that our flame can no longer be re-lit by the church we were brought up in, but we have to have our own oil on the inside of our spiritual lamps to keep the fire burning. What type of foolish person would swim against a current? I'll tell you; it's the person who acknowledges the drop at the end of the waterfall that many students will spiritually be falling down so the person would want to swim the opposite direction to a rock of safety; on the journey there, it will feel as if everyone and everything are opposing you but God has given us the skill to handle the currents because he's our very strength and also our safety is in him.
What's wrong with being different if the Bible says that we are a peculiar people. At university some people don't really know anything about Jesus so the only Jesus they know is the hope of glory that's in you, so people will be attracted to the difference in you.
Get on the front foot!
In closing, just to encourage those students who are reading this, seventeen year old David took up five smooth stones, but only used one to slay goliath, so my encouragement to you is to find at least four other young people in university that are willing to join you in upholding the blood-stained banner, because Samson slew a thousand philistines, so if two can put ten-thousand to flight and twelve disciples helped to spread the gospel around the whole world, then I'm sure that five can bring hope to a whole university.
Heaven Bless you and thank you for reading.