Moore instructs students to pray daily for God to grant them a “supernatural, otherwise unexplainable, love for Jesus.” The cultivation of this devoted love allows the Lord to drive people’s passions, ultimately giving them the courage to “follow Him anywhere” and “serve him valiantly” all the days of their lives. As his followers, we find ourselves pulled each day towards a place of surrender to God’s good plan and purpose.
Our prayer life is often neglected, yet it is so formative to our faith and manner of thinking. Students who may have had set prayer times with family or friends will go off to college and no longer be present to participate. But prayer can be incorporated into any part of our day where there can be just a few seconds of silence. With Beth Moore, I strongly encourage students to find windows of peace in their daily routine to pray boldly for “supernatural, otherwise unexplainable, love for Jesus.”
Derek Halvorson is the President of Covenant College, a Christian liberal arts institution in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. In conjunction with his position at Covenant, Halvorson also serves on the boards of both the Chalmers Center for Economic Development and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.
His words of wisdom were this: “Don’t buy the world’s definition of what constitutes success. God doesn’t need for us to do great things in order that he might be glorified. He calls us to be faithful, and to put our talents to work.”
This advice is critical for not just students, but Christians in all walks of life who feel the weight of this world’s preoccupation with success. Strive as we might, the bigger houses and better jobs aren’t enough to fill the hole in our empty, aching hearts—only God can do that. A successful Christian life is one that seeks first the kingdom of God and seeks to give glory to God in all that we do.
In most cases, students need help knowing what should be prioritized and how to honor that priority in their daily lives. There will always be things that end up taking more of our time and attention than they should, but we learn those lessons as we go. Now, don’t get me wrong, some priorities remain non-negotiable. After dropping off your bags and getting that dorm room decorated, finding a local church to plug into is critical to the spiritual formation of any student. Planning to attend each Sunday— regardless of workload, previous plans, or other excuses shouldn’t be a ‘maybe.’ It should be a must.
But let’s not forget—there are some things that you just can’t control. During those times, it is crucial to remember that God will never abandon you, even in the darkest of valleys.
College is a time to reach high, dream big, and imagine life outside the confines and familiarity of home. Our world tells students that no plans are lofty enough or ambition great enough; unless your life goal includes changing and reshaping the universe, chances are, you’re settling.
To all the students reading this: ambition for ambition’s sake is pointless. We live under the great umbrella of God’s good will. We should work hard and strive to do good for the kingdom, but not because we’re following our cultures call to ‘reach for the stars’ in ambiguity. Instead, we are seeking the kingdom of God.
Know this: God has a plan. He will pursue you. He will perfect and protect you. He will use you mightily—just seek him.