The Hurdles Standing on Your Way to Graduation

Nod your head if you know that the devil works full-time and overtime in university! One of the main reasons for the existence of SSU ministry is to help Christian ladies realize the enemy’s schemes on university grounds and consequently, resist him. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”- Jer29:11. Well, one of Satan’s schemes is to frustrate God’s good plans for our lives by slowing down or even aborting our endeavors to graduate. I personally have witnessed this scheme unveil in my undergrad years and have also seen it in my friends’ journey. There are several hurdles that the devil uses to prevent us from achieving God’s plan for our lives including ourselves, our professors, classmates, friends, men, family members, and personal tragedy. It is essential to be more than conquerors over the devil in order to prosper. So, let’s expose each of these factors to see how we can resist the evil one.

Ourselves: Believe it or not, we can be our very own enemy. This usually takes place when we receive a bad grade or someone makes a comment about our inability to grasp a subject. We may, as a result, be tempted to feel like we are not smart enough and become unsure of ourselves. We go to classes with a defeated spirit and begin to prophesy failure for the entire semester. Soon enough, this will come to pass because we have opened the door for the enemy to operate. This can then escalate to taking longer to complete our coursework because we have to repeat classes or drop from school. The apostle Paul puts it this way: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”-2Cor10:5. As we all know, our weapons of warfare are not carnal, but through prayer, we need to capture this deceitful spirit in us and also memorize Bible verses to speak positivity into our lives. Verses like Heb13:5, Mat21:22, and Rom10:13 can be a blessing to us.

Professors: Professors, professors! A good professor can be such a blessing whereas a bad one can be a pain, especially if he/she also serves as a guidance counselor/dean. In my freshman and sophomore years in university, I had one guidance counselor who advised me to take unnecessary courses. I thought this was a great direction until I realized that not taking core courses would mean having to spend an extra year to complete my program! Satan can also use professors to teach heresy in class which may play with our theology, thus weaken our faith and give the devil a foothold if we’re not well grounded. Psalm 25:12,15 say: “Who are those who fear the Lord? He will show them the path they should choose…My eyes are always on the Lord, for He rescues me from the traps of my enemies.” The closer we are from the Lord, the more He speaks to us and reveals to us the things we do not know and that’s what we need to avoid the devil’s trap and conquer him.

Classmates: It’s easy to follow the trend in school, particularly us ladies. We like taking the same courses as our classmates in order to always be together. The only danger with this behavior is when our classmates are lazy or unproductive, we can easily follow their behaviors. If they want to complete their degree at a slower pace, we make excuses to also complete our degree at a slower pace. If they cheat and plagiarize, we also do the same. If they have the habit of dropping courses they don’t like, we also do the same. “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong”-Ex23:2. It is a grace to be able to attend university bearing in mind that many do not have this opportunity; so, let’s not waste this blessing of God by compromising with Satan’s lies. Discern the actions that go with God’s Word and follow them.

Friends: Thursdays were pub nights at my school. One thing that would frequently happen was groups of students going to the pub and coming back home the following morning drunk and exhausted when they had classes to attend. Obviously, they never had the strength to make it to class or even turn in homework. Peer pressure is a powerful tool that the enemy uses to mislead usfrom pursuing our degree successfully. Don’t we all want to fit in? I mean who enjoys being looked as an outcast? I like what Romans 12:1-2 say:”Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” If offering ourselves as a pleasant sacrifice to God means resisting peer pressure, then so be it! If offering ourselves as a pleasant sacrifice to God means not indulging in the sins of others, then so be it! If offering ourselves as a pleasant sacrifice to God means being rejected and mocked by our friends, then so be it! Because at judgment day, we’ll have to face God and not our friends.I know it’s easier said than done, but glory to God that it is not by might but His Spirit that we can accomplish all of these things (Zech4:6).

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Men: “They are the kind who work their way into people’s homes and win the confidence of vulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by various desires. Such women are forever following new tea- chings, but they are never able to understand the truth”-2Tim3:6-7 The devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom to devour. If he fails to trap us in one area, he will look for another to achieve his goal. And sadly the area of intimate relationships is usually one where a lot of us Christian women get trapped in. Satan knows the kind of men we would like to marry, so it’s not surprising that he will forge a man that appears to possess all the traits we like in order to work his way into our lives and shatter God’s plan for us including getting a degree. One important thing to note

in the above verse, the women entrapped by these men are described as vulnerable, burdened with guilt, controlled by various desires, and never able to understand the truth. Why would anyone find themselves in this state? This is because the emphasis of the Christian faith is not placed on Christ but self. When our lives become centered on our desires, our needs, and our wants, we tune out the voice of God. No matter how many times we listen to the Truth, we rationalize our actions by thinking that above all, God wants me to be happy!” Psalm 37:7 asks us to first of all delight ourselves in the Lord, then He will give us the desires of your heart. The closer we get to God, the further away we get from sin.

Family members: Family is such a great source of support in university, I know mine was. But, had my family been utilized by the devil when I was in school, things would have probably played out a lot differently. I am talking about those family members filled with jealousy or envy because they or their kids never went to or graduated from college.Those who advise us to slow down and not take school so seriously. Those who give us bad advices and create opportunities to pull us away from studying or attending classes, yeah, you know who I’m talking about, those ones! Like I said before, Satan is working full-time and overtime in university to make sure we do not succeed. So, if there is a family member that we respect the most, Satan will try to use him or her to lure in his trap. The same verse in Psalm 25:25 applies here too, we need to have our eyes on the Lord so that He (and not our family members) can direct our path.

Personal tragedy: This may include a family/friend loss, parents’ divorce, a sickness/disability incurred, and etc. Though these events are not always provoked by the devil, but at times, he can cause them to test our strength to carry on even in the midst of adversity. I know of a friend who during her junior year in college was diagnosed with uterine fibroids, her parents were separating, and she became jobless. It’s so hard in those situations to summon the courage to study or even work on assignments. “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”-2Cor12:9. Let’s not resolve to shut down but instead to open up to the Lord in prayer; He is our Rock and will provide us with supernatural strength to make it.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”-Jer29:13. May it be the desire of our hearts to hunger for God, to fellowship with Him, and stay as close to Him as possible. Then, only then, we can resist the devil’s scheme and jump over the hurdles standing on our way to graduation.

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