Been There Done That
I will tell you I did it ALL wrong. I am hoping that if you are heading to college or are already in and feeling a sense of disconnect from God, I can help you with these tips and how I learned the HARD way. You can also email me with questions or prayer requests under the contact page of this blog.
My child hood was not easy, and when I was at home I needed God to get through life, when I moved away to school I felt finally free from the animosity in my home and I didn’t spend as much time with God anymore as I had in High school. I was drinking for the first time and trying new things. I went from high school Christian girl to college party girl in a matter of a year as some people say I went from 100 to 0. I was so close to him then suddenly so far and questioning my faith. It took many to realize that I needed to get back on track and a few ROCK BOTTOMS to get back to God. Here are some tips for you.
1.) Do not stop praying!
I remember when youth leaders and pastors used to say this all the time, I used to think why would anyone stop praying. Well once you start to disobey the holy spirit, try new things and feel convicted it is hard to pray to God. Sin is a gateway to more sin and a gateway for the enemy to begin dark works in your life. When you want so bad to be accepted and have “fun” we begin to put God down notches on our priority list. Once it all comes crashing down God can strengthen you to resist temptation or get you out of a situation that is way over our heads. If you are not wanting to turn away from the world and sin because its fun, you are on a dangerous slope my friend, I used to ski on these slopes for many years.
2.) Keep reading!
Reading the Bible is very important, it is the love letter from God to us. It can help you in life and to keep you on track. During my College experience my bible stayed packed up in a box on the highest shelf in the closet. This seemed like a chore when you do not understand the power of the word. I didn’t understand this when I was younger, so it was not as important to me. Hang in there and truly seek God when reading and he will make moves.
3.) Find a church!
If you are going to College away from home it is very important to stay in church. Not because of religion but because of your relationship with God. If you have trouble staying in God’s word and praying this is an opportunity for God to reach out to you. Staying in the family church is ideal, you have other followers there who are perhaps your friends and if your parents are good at holding you accountable without being over bearing, that is a plus. Being in church gives you a chance to worship, fellowship and hear God’s word.
“For where two or three are gathered in my name [meeting together as my followers], I am there among them.” Matthew 18:20 AMP
4.) Birds of a feather flock together.
Surround yourself with GOOD influences. There are clubs, groups at church that have the same idea as you in mind. They want to keep God first in their lives and need friends like you too. You can still get a sense of fulfillment from these types of friends. Worldly friends do not stick around and when you find brothers and sisters in Christ who love like God you are in a good place. No matter how glamorous it may seem on Instagram and Snapchat it may seem to have a worldly lifestyle, it is not as glamorous and wonderful as our reward in heaven will be. This world is temporary and God is ETERNAL. Not everyone you see on IG and the internet is happy, and this can effect how we feel about ourselves. (Topic in future blog post to come)
5.) Date with marriage and God in mind.
Have you ever seen the sermon where your youth pastor would stand on a chair and ask someone to come up on stage? Well the pastor would stand on the chair and ask the volunteer to stand beside him or her on the floor. First the pastor would try to pull the person on the floor up, and it is impossible. Then the pastor would ask for that person to pull the pastor down on the floor and it was very simple. Relationships can be just like this.
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial ? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-16
Date with Marriage in mind, if you are interested in someone who is not a believer this can be dangerous to us. It doesn’t work, you would be compromising your faith and will make it difficult for this person to be a supporting role in your walk with God. Trust me, I did this and it leads to heart break. Christians are taught the fruits of the spirit, worldly men and women do not have this. Please seek God first and he will lead you to the perfect person.
6.) Keep God first!
If I had done this all along it would have been much easier for me to say no. I began to get selfish and want to do things that seemed fun, date who I wanted and do what I wanted. It is not the way God wants us to live, it never works out how we wanted even though in the moment we feel happy to please ourselves. Deep down your spirit will long for God, his presence your mind forgets, but your spirit will long for it. Listen to the Holy Spirit, if you feel something is not right or is telling you to say no, say no.
7.) Don’t forget you can return.
Just like the story of the prodigal son, God will welcome you with open arms. His love for you is never ending and unconditional. He sent his son to die on the cross for our sins so we can have the chance to spend eternity with him. After years of turning my back on him, he took me back. It was a beautiful reunion. God has been blessing me ever since. Once you feel his presence again after years of denying him first place in your life, you wonder how you could forget how much joy, peace and love he pours out upon us. God is waiting for you to return to him. He will always pull you out when you cannot get there yourself. He wants to spend eternity with you, let him bless your life.
I hope this can help
This article below by Summit is really good in explaining the Reasons WHY college students turn away from God.