During my first semester at Heartland, chapel speakers repeatedly mentioned that the easiest place to backslide is at Bible college. Although it was hard to believe, I soon realized it was true. Bible college students are immersed in the Word from morning personal devotions to class memory verses, from chapel messages to evening dorm devotions. There is not a single day we go without hearing something from the Bible! If one is not careful, she may let the Word of God become "just another textbook."
Part of staying away from backsliding is keeping your priorities straight, and what better way than to keep God first on the list! That means starting each day with God. Even if you take just a few minutes to ask for His strength throughout the day, you are "putting your armor on" before the devil has time to attack you. Skipping this important first step is worse than a soldier running into the front lines with jeans and a t-shirt! If you knew giving God the first part of your day could help protect you from becoming lukewarm, why wouldn't you?
It's so easy to assume that just because you're constantly hearing God's Word being taught, you're close to God. This isn't necessarily true. Is your first priority of the day to get up at the crack of dawn to finish printing that paper, or is it to spend time with the Lord? I'm definitely not a morning person, but I've learned the hard way that if I don't put God first every morning, my whole day will go terrible. The paper will get jammed in the printer, I'll have to go to the campus library to print it out, I won't have enough nickels to pay for printing it, I'll end up being late for class, and the paper will be turned in late, resulting in a letter grade lower than I could have gotten.
And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
-Mark 10:41, 42
Mary had her priorities straight; Martha did not. While Martha had hundreds of things pulling her in every possible direction, Mary's constant focus was on Christ. College life is insane! There's classes, work, friends, ministries, visitation, activities, and for some, boyfriends! It's so easy to get wrapped up in everything and forget why you're there in the first place: to train to serve the Lord. Surrendering your day to the Lord as soon as you wake up works so well because that's when you're being the least pulled around from every angle. As the school year approaches (even if you're not a college student), make God your first priority every day by starting it with Him. Your day will go abundantly smoother when you get through it in His strength!