The transition from high school to college can decide who you are, who you will become, and who you will follow. You must decide now, before you enter college, if you’re going to follow God in college.
With the start of the new semester, many women will leave home and move to a new place to begin their college years. I’m so excited for you all to begin this new journey! When you go to college, big parts of your life will change. You’ll experience more freedom than you had while living at home. With this freedom, you may be challenged in your faith.
In classes, you’ll experience a vast array of views, beliefs and religions that could entice you to walk away from your faith. At night, you’ll be so busy with clubs and homework that going to Bible study may not be a priority. In the morning, you could be so exhausted that you choose an extra half hour of sleep over spending time with God. And maybe on Sunday, you’ll skip church because that party last night kept you out way too late, and you would rather stay in bed.
These are all little things, but they add up and before you know it, you haven’t been to church or Bible study in weeks. You’ll ask yourself, “When was the last time I spent time with God? Last time I prayed? Where even is my Bible?”
College is busy. College is hard. College is the perfect distraction from Jesus.
Friends, this is why it is important to make the decision to follow Jesus in college before you even get to college.
Before you go to college, you have to make the choice – will you follow God in college?
I have a lot of friends who claimed to be Christians before college. They left for school and never pursued God; instead, they pursued the world. The world tells you to “enjoy” college and that to do college “correctly” you must follow certain rules – drink, party and sleep around. Anyone can easily fall into that temptation.
Why follow God in college? Because it is worth it.
When you decide to follow God, you will give up a lot. Sacrifices are a part of being a Christian. But you will also gain countless blessings from deciding to follow God. If you follow God in college, your college years will be some of the best years of your life. You will experience God’s love through his love letters written in Scripture. You will experience freedom, healing, redemption, grace and mercy. You will be able to show God’s love to your classmates. You will experience God’s love in Christian community in a group on campus and in your local church.
Before God created the world, before he ruled over the world, God was a father loving His son. Read what Jesus prays in John 17:24, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” (NIV). When you follow God in college, you will experience the fatherly love of God. In college, everyone is searching for love, mostly in the wrong places. But you, my friend, will not need to search for love.
You will have all the love you need. You will also have complete joy in Jesus.
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” – John 15:7-11 (NIV).
Don’t let the students around you convince you that something other than Jesus will bring you more joy, and don’t feel the need to fit into every group. Jesus didn’t belong in the world, and neither do believers. The Bible tells us that we will only experience unity with other believers and with the Trinity: Father, Son and Spirit (John 17:20-21). When you experience this “oneness” and unity, you will experience the love you’ve always desired.
Do you desire this love? I know I do. Every day I want to experience more and more of this love. When I entered college, I searched for this love in the wrong places (Read my full story here) and it left me broken. The best decision I ever made was to follow Jesus in college.
Will you follow Jesus in college?
As the new semester begins, millions of young women will head off to college. Do you know any young women just starting college? Send this blog post to them and open their eyes to the possibility of following God in college.
Remember, You are loved.