When friends and peers around us have so much impact on the direction of our day and life, how do we go off into a totally brand new social scene and keep what’s most important to us? (Our faith.)
First of all, you have been called, chosen, and set apart. Bought at price and designed with a special unique purpose in mind that only you can fulfill. Do not forget that. You are like special ops for God, sent out deciphering His daily mission for you. [read and repeat until you actually believe this.]
Regardless of your time in church, your family’s faith or the myriad of Bible study groups you have or have not been to by now, it doesn’t matter. God has already equipped you for the purpose He has for you, and this ‘away’ time is part of His big plan and design to bring along your next steps of faith as a believer. Keep on following Him! Don’t start acting like He’s not there anymore; live believing He has planned such great things for this phase of your life, you certainly can’t miss out on hearing what He has up His sleeve. Now is the time to lean in!
“But I’m all alone and there are no Christian groups here to meet with and find good friends.” You are not alone. Christ said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” The vanishing of Christian entities around you should not diminish your faith, in fact it should drive your to your knees to find out more about this faith you have and how to build it on a daily basis with God’s help. This is not the first or last time you will feel this way. This is the time, however, that you must decide…”when all Christian influence around me fails…what am I really made of?” You decide right now with every day of your life, what your faith actually means to you. Recognize that this is one of Satan’s most common strategies to distract and deceive you from walking with God; recognize it and start to formulate and build a strategy against it.
Create a “go-to” plan for whenever you feel this way so you have already determined (like young Daniel) what you will do in this kind of crisis. It may go something like this: “When I feel lonely, alone or completely devoid of support in my faith I will…” and insert your battle ready plan. While God reveals to you what that looks like for you, here is some advice:
3 Pieces of Advice
#1. Hold out and be super picky about who your “friends” are.
Do not resort to ‘just okay’ or bad for you friends just because you haven’t met a Christian yet. You are lowering your standards for whom you allow to speak into your life out of desperation and “need to belong.” You belong to Jesus. Please do not do this; take this need and concern to Him in prayer. He already knows it and wants you to grow by asking Him to fulfill it. So refuse those early offers that may seem tempting in a desert of “no one to hang out with” and continue walking forward in faith with Jesus only. You will see God do something simply amazing and you will treasure and hold that friend dear longer than you will know. Stay valuable and rise above. The cream always rises to the top and God will send relief your way as soon as you submit it to Him. Trust me.
#2. Start the kind of Bible study or Christian group you want to be in.
“But there’s no groups here for me to attend to grow.” Start one. You may be the only Jesus that campus will ever see or know. You may be sent to a school overrun by the enemy; a dark place where sin abounds. You willingness and light will shine brighter than ever and bring all He has called to Him through you. Even if you don’t know what to say, do or study. Just speak of your Christian meeting or Bible study confidently in faith knowing that God has already provided for it. Your figurative ‘ram’ is already caught in the bushes. So yes, I mean YOU. You start one. It will keep your walk accountable and blast open those doors of having a good reason to speak of the hope that lives in you, and other more weak, shy or timid Christians will come forth inspired by your strength. Yes, you may feel like the solo American sniper, so rise to the occasion, and see what God can do.
#3. Meet with your Commander every day in prayer over this mission.
You are on mission. And your task is to carry the light. You need to begin praying every day for yourself: the real, tangible things that you need. Things that hurt; things you want to see happen. Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to pray for every lost orphan in the world. Start close to home. Start with you. Get hooked on the reality of prayer by asking God clearly and repeatedly every day for your needs in life. He wants to hear you ask and He even more wants to give them! This will begin a good habit for you and allow you to see prayer answered more readily than ceasing war in the middle east. Once you and God are on daily talking terms He’s going to reveal a whole lot more to you. I won’t need to tell you when to break out the prayer journal to gather needs and requests of others, you will be a field warrior battling on your knees for your fellow troops in this fight between light and darkness.
If you follow these simple pieces of advice, God will see, hear and come to your rescue. In His own perfect time and way. You will keep yourself from being stained by the world (avoiding aligning with the peer pressure of those who do not revere Him); you will put works to your faith to keep it alive (faith without works is dead), and you will use the solitude and silence to grow your most powerful times alone with the Almighty. A bed-rock lesson of faith that you will thrive off of every day the rest of your life. You will see the power of the resurrection flow through your prayers and your efforts will begin to move mountains. God will reveal to the “Supernatural Super-Hero” you become when you let His strength flow through you where you are.