You wake up in the morning just to lie in bed. Twenty minutes before class you are finally able to muster the energy that it takes to get up. You get dressed, place your books into your bag, and start out the door. As you are walking across campus to your nine o’clock, you hope that whatever homework you might have had in that class is finished. After class, you go to chapel, because you need to get your credits. After chapel you make your way to your next class. Fifty more minutes until lunchtime! You finish lunch, head downstairs from the ARA, and check to see if you have any mail. You then proceed to your dorm-room, where you will spend the next few hours reading for class. This is especially true for those who are taking Western Civilization this semester. Your friend calls and asks if you would like to go out for dinner. You get back to your dorm at eleven o’clock just to realize that you still have some unfinished homework to do before the next day’s classes. You either decide to finish it very quickly or wait until the next morning. At the end of the day you get ready for bed and fall fast asleep.
Does your day look anything like this? As college students, we even spend much of our weekend finishing homework. Something we have to ask ourselves is, “Am I sinning in my pursuit of knowledge.” To receive an A on an exam may glorify God, but it might also be a disgrace to God. How do we know the Difference?
Zephaniah was a great prophet for the Lord. He warned the people of Judah of the judgment that would come upon them and the surrounding nations. He pleaded with them to come back to the Lord. He told them that they would be cleansed after judgment, and renewed to the Lord. Then, in chapter three of Zephaniah’s book, he tells about how the Lord’s attitude will be toward the people of Israel.
In Zephaniah 3:17, we see the words, “He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” We tend to overcrowd our day. This is not only true for the college student but also for the faculty. How do we expect to feel God if we will not take the time that will allow Him to quiet us with His love? What does that even feel like?
First we need to realize how we can get to that point. Just like it was with the people of Israel, there are many things holding us back from our relationship with the Lord. It may not be things like debauchery, drunkenness, murder, or prostitution, but we all know what it is like to lie every once and a while, or to cheat on schoolwork. Even something as small as burning music for a friend is acceptable. Does that make it right? In chapter two, Zephaniah calls the people of Judah to repentance. This is the first step for us as well. We need to do our best to realize what it is that we are doing wrong, and we need to ask God for forgiveness. This means that we do our absolute best not to fall into the same tendencies. We need to seek a pure heart, and let go of everything that is keeping us from advancing in our relationship with God.
Zephaniah is talking about Israel’s restoration in chapter three, verse seventeen. Now that everyone on Earth has a chance to be a child of the living God, we have a chance for the same type of restoration! After we seek forgiveness and make time to spend with God. We have the opportunity to experience these great moments! These are the moments when we are completely consumed in who God is. These are the moments we feel closest to Him. It is hard to find the words to pray. It is hard to say anything at all. All we can do is bathe in God’s presence. How comforting is that? How great is it that we can get so close to God in a given moment and feel Him embracing our spirit? How great is it that God will rejoice over us with singing?
Pursue those moments. They are truly the greatest moments we can possibly have here on Earth. If studying consumes so much of your day, that you do not have the time to spend with Christ, you may need to take a break from studying, but do not use God as an excuse not to study. Seek forgiveness, and in all things seek the face of God. We might be so blessed as to have the creator of the world sing over us.