1. Stand For What You Believe In and Give Thanks
It will be many times while you are in college that your faith will be tested. Whether it be friends, family, classes, or even yourself; everything will make you feel like your back is against the wall. These are the times that you must give God praise and understand who is in control of your situation. College can be one of the best but also, one of the hardest experiences for a young Christian to go through. There will always be something coming at you each day. Psalms 28:7-8 says, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give him thanks to him in song. The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one”. I believe that this Psalm explains the very essence of what our God is to us in anytime of trouble or in joy.
2. Feed Your Mind & Soul
As a young Christian you must understand you are under target from the devil. Every day you wake up the devil is looking for ways to get you off track. But there are ways to be prepared for anything that comes at you and one is feeding your mind and soul. For example, one of the ways I like to start my day is a method I learned from Pastor Carl Lentz called “The First 15”. It is said that what you do in the first 15 minutes of your morning sets the tone for you and how to handle the rest of your day.
So the first 5 minutes put on some worship music, anything you like, but let your worship be the first thing that you focus on. No matter how bad or good the day was before, give thanks to God because this is important to him as it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “ in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for your life.” The next 5 minutes read scripture, open your bible and dig into the word. Go online and look up recommended scriptures for whatever you are going through. Take notes on what you read and write what you took away from it. The last 5 minutes get into deep prayer. Your prayer is communication to God and he hears your joy and sees your tears. I believe that if you start each day doing this you will stay grounded, no matter what comes your way.
3. Surround Yourself With The Right People
Who you spend the most time with is who you will become just like. The old statement of “show me your closest friends and I will show you your future” is very true. You have to surround yourself with a support system of people that push you towards the things of God. You have to understand that if you know you will be tempted by something (drugs, drinking, and smoking) you have to stay far away from it. We are flesh, we can try our hardest to think we can control our urges and be around it but it is too hard for us. This is why the bible says, “flee” from these things.
Who do you have around you that will flee with you? Who’s going to come over and pray with you? You have to have these types of friends around you to stay guarded. If you don’t have any Christian friends, pray to God and ask him to send you just one person you can walk with in this battle. Growing up I literally had maybe one or two friends that I knew who even went to church at all, let alone talked about it at school. I almost was too scared to even mention church or God because it was so far from the normal conversations I was around. I was surrounded by the wrong crowd. I was not growing in the right way with the people I was with. You shouldn’t have one mindset at school and another when you leave school. Never waver from what you know to be true.
4. Set Goals For Yourself
During different periods of time set different goals for yourself. Lately I have been trying to read two chapters of the bible each day and write about it. Indirectly, I consistently develop a habit of reading in general but I also gain so much knowledge from the different lessons in the bible. Second, limit the amount of times you go to parties. I know this one seems like “why does that even matter,” but it truly does. If you are trying to stay as focused as people limiting what you surround yourself with is important. When you go to college parties, you open the door to so much temptation.
You don’t have to let it in; sometimes it just comes in. First, it’s just one drink, then that turns into you blacking out. Being around that guy or girl you know you shouldn’t be around and end up regretting what you did the night before. It all ties in together to staying focused. When God is working in your life, he cuts out distraction. He eliminates the people that shouldn’t be there, but never forget the devil is always working. The same way God can send a person to help you; the devil can send one to keep you bound down to temptation. Lastly try to find a local church to go to or even a bible study once a week. Living life in a community is how God wants us to be. He doesn’t want you to go through anything alone. Find a group in your area that meets up and plant yourself, grow. My Pastor Chad Veach always says…
"You can go through anything in life, as long as you have people to go through it with."
So try to make that a key foundation point when you are setting spiritual goals for yourself.
Written by Brandon Bobo
Bio: Brandon is a marketing major who loves serving my at his church ( Zoe LA Pastor Chad Veach). Brandon is a huge Laker's fan who, when not in school, loves shopping, cooking, and working out. It brings no greater joy than to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ!