Why University Changes our Young People (Part 3)
Quality of life is important. But your definition of quality is even more important. I was rebuked by an unsaved person when I just got married for talking about having children and the need for money in the same sentence. This lady closed the office door and eyeballed me. She said "Don't you ever mention kids and money like that again. I've been trying for kids for years and can't have any. All they need is the devotion of parents, they'll be fine." Doh! I'm the Christian! That should have been my line.
I came to learn after losing my first child, when we were "ready to have our first child", that "we" were not actually in control. So under the guise of wisdom we make "practical decisions" in which we actually "play God", just to support a quality of life that we have imagined. Uncomfortable yet? I am. We don't know what we have prevented from coming into our lives, or what we have denied the world.
Sometimes I wonder did the Apostle Paul hazard his life, so I could have an easy one. Or was he setting an example for letting your life be spent for the gospel. Really... do I get more mental pleasure from imagining hundreds coming to Christ, or getting a nicer house, better car, better paying job. What brings us joy people of God? Is our heart in sync with the Lord's?
We work hard for what want
The notion of education is strongly tipped towards securing an economically viable future. The better the education or at least the more targeted the education the greater the chances of enjoying a better quality of life – right?
We are in a Christian environment that would have us feel we have done our part if we have turned up and given our hard earned cash for the "furtherance of the gospel". But has my heart been broken for souls?
I'm not going to lie to you: I've come to a realisation which I am still working to put in to practice completely. What is the most important thing? I think our lives should revolve around the most important thing. And I believe the most important thing is saving a soul from hell. The truth is that our lives do revolve around what we deem the most important things to be. The only problem is that the most important thing is mostly not a product of the renewed mind, for many believers.
I need Christ at work in me
Being a Christian has many facets. I will name three and emphasise one.
Accepting Christ's redemptive work and becoming his child thereby (John 1:12)
Making conscious decisions on a daily basis to include Christ centred activities (Luke 9:23)
Christ working in me to fulfil his purpose (Philippians 2:13)
Paul writing to the Philippians in 2:13 says it is God working in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure. There are two elements here for emphasis; first: the fact that the abiding Christ is fuel for motive and action. Second: motives and actions fuelled by Christ are to fulfil the pleasure of the Lord. We are so used to being asked: what do you want? What are your goals? What are your aspirations? What do you want to be? LORD – what do you want? What your goals for my life? What should I aspire to be?
Christ must be a living force within me, putting love in there (Romans 5:5), leading me like a son (Romans 8:14), to fulfil his divine purpose that I can have the quality of life that He wants for me.
So what is University for?
Well, it is not the place to lose your sense of direction because you should be going to:
Boldly assert your devotion God, the "Jesus Brand"
Be outstanding in love, discipline and word
See how God can get glory from both the journey to the degree and the degree itself.
If we go into university with a permeable character, i.e. one that can be penetrated and transformed because like everyone else we have a sense of trying to find ourselves, then we are in trouble. We should go to have an impact and not be impacted on. We should not seek to fit in but to make a point of being different so you can attract those who believe the same, or have a desire to be the same. I found out that the goths all hung out together.
We should never feel that there is any one experience that can define our future, beyond that of salvation itself. God's favour is more important than a degree, and what you learn about people along the way (because our business is people) can be more valuable than anything you get from the lecturer.
My most valuable experiences:
My friendship with a Muslim
Prayer with a Spirit-seeking Coptic Christian
Christian summer camp in Germany
Ministry from an Evangelical Pastor, Pete Woodcock
Elected Vice President of the African Diaspora Society
Prayer meetings with Believers Loveworld and the Christian Union
Fellowship with Brothers in North Carolina where I studied for 6 months
Mistakes that I made that help me give advice the way I do (some of which should have been avoided)
Remedy – a pure heart
University is a time of divine opportunity for the believer with a made up mind. For believers who still, in their hearts, look to the world as if it has something to offer – you will be offered and offered and offered again. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8). But James advises the double-minded to purify their hearts (James 4:8).
Top tips to parents:
Your child will be visited by a spirit to convince them to move as far away from home as possible.
Use what influence you have to kill that spirit dead.
Research what universities rank in the top five for their subject: that will frame a healthy debate whilst you work on killing the spirit.
You will be visited by a spirit to convince you that sending your child away is the best thing you can do for their personal development.
Don't think sending your child into a lion's den is a rite of passage: some of our kids will not make it out alive.
You want them to learn something about life, train them up, give them responsibilities at home. They work? Take 10% - do something!
You can't hope to start talking your child on an intimate level when they get to University, that has to start from when they start going to nursery!
Your child's silence will be a source of pain to you, when you can see that the very look in their eye has changed but you can't talk to them because your relationship is just not deep enough.
Home vs Campus: Let priority be on an arrangement where your child can live at HOME. Or hand over your children to a pastor and a church in the area where they go to University. Your children are still sheep. THEY NEED SHEPHERDING!
Top tips to Young People
Don't go into a room alone with the opposite sex, especially when there is a physical attraction. Don't go into a room alone with someone of the same if you or them need deliverance! (Watch out for upcoming article "Church goers secret – I'm not attracted to the opposite sex)
Okay, so you're too "hard-ears" and you're in the room. Don't sit on the bed for goodness sake!
If they start playing slow-jams run for your life.
If the door is locked – remember Jesus walked through a door...
Don't encourage flirtation.
Don't be flattered by the devil: he just wants to kill you and will tell you anything nice if it will lead to your death (Genesis 3:1). (The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy: John 10:10)
Avoid physical contact: we were raised learning about the senses being gates to the soul. I remember the year when hugging came in. Oh boy... not good. Physical contact can arouse attraction where physical attraction did not occur naturally. You don't have to say Amen to that!
Participate in or initiate godly activity on campus. Ask the Lord to give you good companions.
Don't put too much trust in people that say they are Christians – they can also be the unexpected source of your downfall – due to weakness in their flesh.
Do go into university understanding it for what it is – a battleground.
Go prepared for war. Conduct attacks on your adversary before he comes after you. Bind satanic attacks on your integrity, loose faith to boldly declare the goodness and greatness of the Lord.
Put on your war clothes when you leave the house. Too many don't treat it like a minefield and suffer significant loss.
Don't go to a lukewarm church: God will spit you out with them (Revelation 3:16). Better to go to a small church with praying mothers than a big Charismatic gathering were you have no accountability and can't be sure of the depth of what at best looks like a social enterprise.
Make a friend for each subject: when you're sick and can't make it in, you need to know someone who can make good notes!
Scriptures for guidance:
- My son if sinners entice thee consent thou not. (Proverbs 1:10).
- Give no place to the devil. (Ephesians 4:27) Other versions say give no opportunity or foothold...
This list is by no means exhaustive but 100% valid.
Our Surviving University Season continues with: "University: The Theme Park of Sin" - the diary of a Christian graduate. Don't Miss IT!