I was in college for two years before I grasped the importance of making my relationship with God my first priority. It took two years before I drank from the fountain of love, joy, and peace that comes from investing in a relationship with Him. Spending time with God is precious, foundational, and the most important way to spend your time, and I want you to have this as you begin college instead of having regrets as you leave.
Invest in Your Relationship with God
As a high school senior, I wanted to be as prepared for college as possible... so I examined my Pinterest feed for any advice about college it would give me. But I didn't open my Bible.
My spiritual life had become secondary to preparing for the academics, social life, and experiences I was ready to pour myself into once arriving at college. Investing in my relationship with God through a quiet time and meditating on scripture was falling off my daily checklist.
Three years later, I’ve realized the importance of making my relationship with God my first priority. Don't wait; don't make the same mistake.
Get Alone with God
How can you make your relationship with God a priority on a college campus? Get alone with God.
Separating yourself from others to spend time with God is so important; even more so in the age of distraction. Christian fellowship is vital, but the Christian life is not only communal. The Bible expresses the importance of secret communion with God in Psalm 63:5-6. Jesus himself delighted in retiring from communion with fellow believers. He was “led up by the Spirit into the wilderness (Matthew 4:1), “went out to a desolate place” (Mark 1:35; Luke 4:42), and “went up to the mountain by himself to pray… alone” (Matthew 14:23).
But what does this look like on a college campus overflowing with people, deadlines, and numerous other distractions? Get away. Leave your room, leave the noise, leave your friends, and find a place to be alone with God. I could be a bench beside a tree, a gazebo, a walking path, a window ledge. Get creative, and get alone with God.
Get in the Word of God
Secondly, make the word of God a priority in your life. Read it every day, meditate on what you read day and night. Paul, in Ephesians 6:11-17, talks about putting on the full armor of God.
How does one make time to read God’s word while still succeeding in academics? Start small; set a timer and read for 5-10 minutes. Find a Bible reading schedule and follow that. Start in the Psalms, start in the New Testament.
Just start by making time, and ask God to speak to you through his word. Make His word the substance of your day. Make it a priority, a priority to remember it, focus on it, and mature deeper into the complexities of the Scriptures as you read it.
Get Invested in a Church
Find a local church, attend it, and get invested in it. Author and pastor John Piper said, “The university is an institution created by man. The local church is an institution created by God.” No matter how busy you get in this part of your life, make church a priority.
Life only gets busier, and making church a priority now is crucial to your faith for the rest of your life. God designed corporate worship and community fellowship for you to maintain your faith with others, and taking a “break” from that in these crucial years of your life isn’t what God designed the church for.
Finding a ride, choosing a church for YOU and not for your friends, and getting to church every Sunday despite the exams, papers, assignments, and the longing for extra sleep can be tough.
But get there! Make it happen! Fellow students with cars are willing to give you a ride; upperclassmen would jump to drive you to their church. Some churches even have shuttles that will come to campus and bring you to worship every Sunday. It’s up to you to choose a church, put yourself out there, and get there. I promise you will not regret it.
Find Good Friends
Your friends matter. Surround yourself with other Christians seeking God alongside you, Christians who help you in your walk and point you back to Christ. God did not design man to fight battles alone.
Go to God in Prayer
Finally, your strongest ally in this crazy time of life (and all other times of life) is Christ. Go to Him in prayer every day, multiple times a day. Go to Him in worship and thanksgiving, trials and hardships. Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! (1 Chronicles 16:11)
Click below to read more about spiritual life for the students here at PHC!