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Remembering Our Creator in Our College Days

University and college life is a very wonderful opportunity coming to more and more young Christian men and women today. This is the period of our lives in which we really start making our own decisions. Many of the decisions that we must make bear directly upon the spiritual training that we have had before going away to school. There could hardly be another period in our lives in which our minds are challenged to function so nearly at their capacity than in our college years. We all are aware of this great challenge afforded us to learn. However, we sometimes overlook the even greater challenges that we meet when coming to college — the challenges to our spirit.

Much has been said about the “great evolutionists” of our modern colleges and universities and no doubt most of it is true. Most of us expected to find in college a great deal of skepticism and ridicule of spiritual things and to have actually found it has not been a great surprise. Things were no different in Paul’s day when by inspiration he wrote, “For seeing that in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom knew not God” (1 Corinthians 1:21). Understandably, this skepticism is lethal to those unsteady souls who, after swallowing a dose of unbelief, fail to take the antidote of reason. But it is not this blatant skepticism that is so very dangerous to young men and women in college. It is something subtler than that; for indeed it is the undermining of our spiritual character — our sense of discernment between right and wrong. The greatest danger, then, is from the lies and temptations of Satan as he seeks to destroy our spiritual discernment. For this reason, we must give diligence to consider the admonition of the Lord through Solomon as he wrote in Ecclesiastes, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them” (12:1).

There are many “conflicts” in college for the Christian. There are conflicts of interests, of recreation, and of time. For each of these conflicts there is a simple, but often difficult, “Yes I will put the Lord first” answer and there is the also simple, but tragic, “No I will do as I please” answer. For many the spirit is too weak to say “Yes” to the Lord and even less able to say “No” to Satan. The devil thus provides some seemingly compromise answers — “if,” “when,” and “maybe.” Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other: or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). From these words we can know that there can be no middle ground and our compromises become simply a way of appeasing our consciences in refusing to obey God’s will.

While we are away at school, it seems that Satan has many alluring temptations to draw us away. But with every temptation that comes upon us, God provides a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). We can find those ways of escape if we look for them. Then dear brother or sister, hear when Satan comes with temptations to dance, drink, and engage in reveling; when he tempts us to lie and cheat; when he would seduce us to commit fornication by the eye or in the flesh; when he seeks to prevent us from assembling with the saints; or when he comes with any other of his stock in store, let us remember then our Creator and His will for us and let us answer the devil with a determined and emphatic “No!” “Be subject unto God; but resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Having done these things we will be able to affirm with Paul as he wrote, “I can do all things in him that strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).

Ken Emory