"I like the Bible, I like the pages to wipe with."
"If you're a Christian, raise your hand. You wont be by the end of this class. I teach evolution and if you don't like it, you can get out."
These are direct quotes said by professors to me and my friends.
Hearing things like this from the Professor you look up to, is it any wonder that 85% of students who grow up in the church walk away from God when they go to college?
College is a battlefield. Here are 6 ways you to prepare (or help your kids or other students you know going away to college) and fight the battle well.
8 Ways to Prepare for the Spiritual Battle in College:
1. Prayer. We can do nothing of eternal significance apart from the Lord. We are desperately dependent on Him. Ephesians 6 talks about the things in this life that help us fight the battle against the enemy, the world and our flesh; the Word of God, truth, righteousness, the Gospel, readiness to share the Gospel and faith/confidence in what God says to be true. But right after Paul talks about these weapons, He underscores the importance of prayer. Prayer is the means the Lord provided for us to His to have access to His strength and ability.
2. Saturate you mind with God's Word. When we study what's true, it's much easier to recognize errors. If you go into college not having read the Bible for yourself and not knowing for yourself what it really says, chances are you will believe people when they tell you things it really doesn't say. For instance a professor said to a girl involved in our ministry this semester, "Jesus never said He was God." That's false but if you haven't spent much time in God's Word chances are you'd believe her since she speaks with such authority.
3. Find a strong community. Lies grow in the dark. It's important for your mental, spiritual and emotional health to have people in your life who you let know and love you. And people who can point you to truth and offer real hope and encouragement when you're discouraged. Perhaps one of the most important first things to do when getting to college is to find a group of believers who cling to God's Word and live out the mission. And you need to make it a point to get close to some people and share the things you're processing. When you share what doubts you're having you allow others to come along side you and speak truth. Warning: Be careful, there are sometimes more cults on campus than legit ministries. It is wise to look at a statement of faith on a website before getting involved.
4. Be active in speaking truth- Knowledge is meant to be shared. You're going to need to respectfully stand up for what's right in your classes. The Lord will provide many opportunities to share the gospel in your classes and you have to be determined ahead of time that you will be ready to seize the opportunity. "I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ." Philemon 6
5. Become skilled in asking questions and researching truth. Sometimes your work load will need to be twice as much. You will need to study what professor crazy has to say, but then you'll need to search great sites like this to find out what the real truth is.
6. Know why you are there. I can count on 1 hand after 11 years of college ministry students who knew why God made them, had a vision for their life and used their college years to invest in eternity. God created you for His glory. That basically means He created you to know Him and make Him known. Now is the time to see your gifts as ways to invest in eternity. Here's a great tool (and the video to go along with it) to helps you think through how to use what the Lord has given you to make Him known. Before you get to school, know how you can use your gifts, experiences and resources to make the invisible God visible to a lost and dying world.
7. Don't confuse respect for tolerance. Be respectful to professors and those you don't agree with, but don't get stuck in the trap thinking you have to agree in order to be tolerant. Don't succumb to the lie that what is right for them is right for them and what's right for you is right for you. God is the One who says what's right and wrong. If we created ourselves and created the universe I suppose we could have say in that. It's not even a rational thought anyway. If you punched them in face because you wanted to and it was right for you, I doubt they would say, "OK, well, what's right for you is right for you..."
8. Get Prepared to Defend Yourself. If you knew the exact weapons (lies) that would be used on you in battle, of course you would prepare to defend yourself against those weapons right? Here are excellent resources to help you be able to defend yourself in the battle.
Great articles, podcasts and videos of the most important things to know before going to college:
* The Top 12 Lies You'll Hear in College.
* Reasons to Believe-Amazing reasons to trust God and His Word in science, history, archaeology, fulfilled prophecy etc.
* Is that True?
* Creation or Evolution
* Where Does the Science Lead?
And here are a ton of other great resources to help you prepare.
Laura, the creator and host of Missional Women is married and has four kids, two of whom are adopted. Laura and her husband have been missionaries to college students for 11 years serving with Master Plan Ministries. Laura is the Staff Women's Development Coordinator and has discipled over 150 girls, led over 30 Bible studies and speaks 10-20 times a year. Laura is an award winning author of a 12 week Bible Study on First Samuel, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional, recently released Reach; How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God, and A Devotional Journey through Judges, a devotional to accompany the free online Bible study at TheBookofJudges.com. You can find her on facebook,twitter, pinterest and youtube.
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