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  • Challenge Accepted

    In this entry David Weir, a maths student currently on a placement year, puts forward a challenge to live for Christ at university and dishes out some wisdom on the importance of maintaining a healthy relationship with God.

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    Photo by Gary Crawford

    Now, I’m sure we’ve all heard it before, the classic line, “University is one of the hardest places to be a Christian”. The line itself does hold some truth and I’m most certainly not saying Christian life at Uni is easy. However, if we are real with ourselves and with our faith, we will know that being a Christian is hard anywhere. The world we live in pushes against God, and where the world resists God, it resists us also. However, university life does present some individual challenges for Christians.

    For me, the reason university feels so difficult living as a Christian is because of the freedom everyone is thrown into. For many, it is the first real time they live on their own and live for themselves, and for a Christian, it can be the first time they make a big step in their faith. Living without parents, a church we’re used to and Christian friends to support us, is initially very hard, but it is also a great opportunity to rely fully on God.

    I came into Uni fairly confident and sure in myself, thinking, “I’ll cling to God, I won’t forget my faith” and this left my defences down. Now I didn’t do anything wildly outlandish, but for the first three months I was so wrapped up in all that was going on, that I completely neglected my personal time with God. Yes, I threw myself into CU and church, but I spent no time praying or reading my bible as an individual. This left me questioning why I felt slightly empty despite the time I spent with people around me. Getting involved with activities, societies and friends is so important at Uni but I cannot express the importance of continuing to meet with God on an individual, intimate level enough.

    The importance of standing close to God at a time like this becomes more prominent as people get to know you during your time at Uni. If you go to Uni living for God rather than yourself, you will make difficult choices and have beliefs different from others. This immediately makes you stand out and is very daunting, but be bold and confident knowing that you are standing out for God, the creator of the heavens and the earth!

    Coming from this, we face another challenge at university. Satan. We are so often told to look at our faith as a ‘Spiritual battle’, I feel that this is so often said, that we don’t take time to think of the reality of this statement. The enemy is very real and very active and is always looking for chances to trip us up. This can come in many forms and tends to be when we feel at our closest to God. If we are distant from God then all the enemy needs to do is give us a prod in the wrong direction and we will fall. This often comes in the form of things that appeal to us, distract us from what is really happening and can feel as if nothing bad is happening at all.

    When we are close to God or during a ‘spiritual high’ it is going to take something far greater to bring us down, however Satan is devious and will never cease to try and find a way to wear us down. So if you face big troubles, first of all pray and know that God is by your side every step of the way, but also take encouragement in the knowledge that while the enemy is trying to knock you down, you have a powerful saviour at your side. 

    Encouragement through Uni ultimately comes from God’s word, be bold in the gospel, know its ever changing power but understand that if you live truly by God’s word, you will face opposition. As I said before, the world opposes God, we can’t change God’s word to please the world. If you pick and choose with the bible you aren’t spreading the true word of God, something to be taken very seriously. We must be true to it and everything it has shown us in our lives, then the love of God will shine on those who are willing to accept its truth. The word of God holds all the encouragement, support and comfort we need.

    University can be a time where people embrace the world and slip further and further from God and for Christians, we can slowly sink into a life without God without even realising it. So be cautious! Always pray and be honest with yourself and honest with the way you are living your life.

    Is it for God or is it for you?

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