How can I grow in my relationship with God while in school?
When it comes to going to school, it can come with a lot of mixed emotions. It definitely can bring some failures, but also a whole lot of achievements. I have heard it from both sides that if you have a relationship with God and keep that consistent, you cannot maintain an educational career. But I am here to tell you that you can! It definitely takes skill and a lot of time management, but it is possible. God wants us to enjoy life and experience the world in a way that will honor and glorify Him.
"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17 (NIV)
I know from my own experience and from my friends that time management is very important in basically anything you do if you want to stay organized and be successful. But how do you maintain a consistent relationship with God when you’re worrying and juggling all that school work? The number one thing to do is, RELAX. God knows your heart behind you seeking to further your education, and you know that you would have not gotten this far in your schooling if it wasn’t because of His help and favor. Put everything in God’s hands, and you will see just how much God’s favor truly is over you. He will give you everything you need to earn that degree - His strength, wisdom, peace, and vision for the future. Always remember that He is with you and He is for you!
"Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield." Psalms 5:12 (NIV)
Start your day right
Making God a priority first thing in the morning really sets the tone for the rest of the day. This can be anything from saying a prayer to God for waking you up, for the opportunity to be in school, for your job, etc. It could be some quiet time to meditate in His presence, it could be reading scripture and journaling what you feel God is speaking to you, or it could be listening to worship music. Whatever the Holy Spirit is leading you to do, do it. It can be different for each person. God knows that school work does take a lot of time, and there are only a limited amount of hours in a day, but one thing I will tell myself is, "Where is your heart at?" God cares more about your heart than anything else.
I know from experience that when I start to neglect my time with God or my time just to talk to Him, that I begin to over-stress, overthink, and over-analyze everything in my life when I should be placing it in His hands. My recommendation is to set time first thing in the morning to spend time with God. It can be at noon, in the afternoon, or in the evening. The key thing is that we spend time with God on a daily basis so the enemy doesn’t have access into our lives.
Spend time with Him
One of the easiest ways to include God in your busy school work is during study time. Maybe listening to some worship music while you study can help include God into your busy schedule. Or if you’re one of those people who likes to watch videos while you study, maybe put on some live worship or a sermon on YouTube. Or if you’re like me and you don’t like listening to worship music for the fact that you don’t want to cry while you study because God is so great - I got you covered. There is such a thing as "vibey" Christian music. Artists like Cortes, Jonathan Ogden, CASS, KJ Scriven, Lord’s Child, kalley, Evan and Eris, etc. You can also listen to music that honors God while walking to and from class each day.
This I know for sure - the enemy can use anything to distract you from the One person who truly loves and cares for YOU. A love and care that you will never experience anywhere else. Yes, God does want us to enjoy this life and achieve our God-dreams. But let’s not lose our focus on what's most important - our relationship with Jesus. It is because of Him that we are here, growing to be better, mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc. So when you have those days that you feel like you want to give up or that it’s getting to be too much, look to your Father for help and guidance. It might not be immediate change, but He will meet you right where you are. He will sustain you, and He will see you through.
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
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