Aug 01, 2015 | Corey Porter
They say, “Hindsight is 20/20”.
Whoever “they” are, when I think back to my first year at university I have to agree with them.
If that first September I had understood, and taken to heart, that God was on my campus before I even set foot there, things would have been different.
If I had known that God was active on my campus: orchestrating relationships, changing people’s lives, preparing resources for me, and conducting His world-changing business, I certainly would have been less intimidated. I wouldn’t have felt so unprotected in my faith or so lonely.
Had I known what God was working on campus I would have found my ‘people’ sooner. I would have avoided the intimidation of success and self-indulgence. Things would have gotten off to a much better start.
Since these now-learned lessons can’t help my first-year self I thought I would let you sit at my feet and consider the five ways God proved to me He is at work on campus.
Let the reality of God’s ever-working, never-sleeping power increase your trust in Him.
He is on your campus right now and He is getting ready for you to arrive.
1. God is building a community of Christians on your campus
I had no idea there were Christian groups on my campus dedicated to helping me grow my relationship with Jesus.
I wasn’t looking for them, they found me.
They offered their time to meet and encourage my growth in God’s love and forgiveness. I took them up on the offer. My new found friends in Power to Change helped me navigate my university experience. I had never experienced anyone reaching out to me like this before.
I was no longer alone in my faith on campus. God showed me that he had preserved many who had not bowed their knee to atheism and self-indulgence.
2. God is using Christians on your campus to change the university
Not only did these friends encourage me in my faith personally, they were taking steps of faith to reach the campus. They weren’t just trying to survive with their faith intact, they were trying to engage the campus with the gospel and change it.
These new friends had a strength of faith I had never seen before. God was at work in a way that I have never experienced as a young adult. People were sharing the gospel and praying for their friends. Some friends were even started a brand new relationship with Jesus!
The more people I met, the more I got a sense of the breadth of God’s community and his work on my campus. God had gone before me and called this ministry into existence, sustained it and was growing it.
Connect with P2C Students on your campus here.
3. God is transforming hearts on your campus
Peter, a Christian mate of mine, and Samuel had become friends. As they hung out Samuel’s curiosity about Jesus had begun to grow. Peter shared the life-changing message of Jesus with Samuel and Samuel often would join Peter at church.
But all this remained stuck at the “this is all very interesting” level. Samuel didn’t seem to feel any personal need for Jesus.
One evening the three of us were chatting in a dorm room. As things wrapped up, Samuel said goodnight and headed for the door. As he reached his hand out for the door handle he stopped. With a deep breath and a tremble in his voice he turned and cried out, “… I need Jesus!”
For the next two hours he confessed and cried. God had gotten a hold of his heart, opening his eyes to the reality of his broken life. He spoke with a new found conviction about who he was and how much he needed Jesus.
Samuel was transformed. A hunger for God’s Word was evident. Life that can only be Spirit-given permeated Samuel. It was amazing.
I never imagined that university would be a place where I would see the God of Heaven come down. The spiritually dead being brought into brand new life in Jesus is miraculous, and I was a witness and a participant. I can’t even describe it. Words fail me.
God is at work, right now, tugging, softening and preparing hearts to hear His message of new life. You are invited to participate. Will you?
4. God is preparing a life-changing curriculum of growth just for you
God is more concerned with your growth and development into a mature Jesus-look-alike than you are. The fact that you are wondering (or even worried) how university will shape you and looking for resources that will help you grow shows God is at work in your life.
He is the one giving you the desire to grow in character, in faith and in maturity.
Romans 8:29 tells us that God promises to transform us into the type of person who looks like Jesus. It says that for those who love Jesus God has “predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son”.
God wants to use your time in university to transform you so that you match, agree with, are like and measure up to Jesus; this is the definition of conform. I am so thankful that God was more committed to my transformation and growth than I was. He orchestrated each day of my university career so that I could become strong in the gospel and help others grow.
God has intellectual, spiritual, relational and practical resources available to you. The question is, will you take advantage of every opportunity this next season of life affords to your growth as a follower of Jesus?
Here is a list of the types of resources and experiences you could be on the look out for.
It is amazing the resources available today. If you or your friends are doubting certain aspects of faith you can research them and find well-thought through answers.
I would recommend using p2c.com/students, your local church and other thoughtful Christians on your campus.
I received some of the best training I had ever had in university:
- How to study and apply God’s Word.
- How to continually experience God’s love and forgiveness.
- How to pray for God’s kingdom to come.
- How to initiate spiritual conversation.
- How to share the message of Jesus with my friends.
- How to lead people.
Power to Change would love to share these (and more) resources with you.
Navigating the complexities of university with friends was the encouragement that helped me grow in my faith. Sharing a cause greater than ourselves brought camaraderie and purpose to my life daily. Early morning prayer established me in my faith and helped set the tone for the day.
I left university stronger in my faith than when I came because of the people that God brought into my life.
5. God wants to use you to change the world
Before finding Power to Change I never realized that God had been calling thousands of students nationwide to pray, study God’s Word and help others discover Jesus. Leaders were reaching leaders in a movement that sought to glorify God and change the campus and world.
Through on-campus evangelism, conferences, summer mission trips, and international internships I have personally witnessed thousands of Christian students with the vision and skill to reach their world.
What if every Christian entering university this September took the next four years to diligently and consistently seize every opportunity to grow in their knowledge of God, love for people and practical skills to help others discover Jesus?
Think of it as a four-year training program.
Four years to discover your God-given vision, to mature in your love for Jesus and develop the skills you need to impact eternity. Who wouldn’t want to sign up for that?!
It certainly changed my life and I humbly, yet confidently, can say God has been using me to change the world ever since my first year of university.