It is easy to struggle with being a Christian on a secular campus. Caving to the peer pressure of what everyone else is doing often is the easiest way to fit in. It takes determination to keep your relationship with God dynamic and alive when people and things around you can distract and dilute your focus on him. This also can happen on Christian campuses where, though surrounded by believers, strengthening your personal relationship with God may be sidelined.
When we look at a dying fire, there may still be burning embers that, with tending, could revive the fire. With added fuel a blaze can flare up, creating warmth and light. Could our faith sometimes resemble those dying embers? Maybe it’s because our joy in Christ isn’t what it was when we were new believers. Or perhaps our faith never was a strong fire in the first place. How can we revive those dying embers of our spiritual life?
Jesus’ word picture in Luke 6 describes a faith that’s fired up versus one that’s dwindling.
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete” Luke 6:46-49, NIV.
God longs for a living relationship with you and with me. But our effort is necessary to build and strengthen it. We cannot coast along and expect faith to develop. Diligent prayer, absorbing God’s Word regularly, and reflecting on his truth and his character are the components that enable our faith to develop a well-built foundation as Jesus described.
As we approach challenges and decisions in life, we must reach out to God and his resources and refuse to give in to the temptation to rely on our own. We choose intentionally to live out his Word through our lives and allow the Holy Spirit to transform us. Don’t be influenced by the world. Reinforce and build on a foundation that is becoming more and more solid. Hear from him and respond—He is waiting to join you as you venture out on the life that he has planned for you.
--Author Diane Stegmeir, RN MACL, CDE, CCM, is a diabetes case manager with Kaiser Permanente in Salem, OR. She served as NCF Regional Staff in northern California and southern Oregon from 1995 to 2002.