How do Some Believers Serve God Faithfully Yet Excel Academically?

students studying

by Matthew Victor Balogun

You can serve God faithfully and still excel in your academics.

I know that might seem impossible, especially if you’ve been struggling to do both successfully. But I know it’s possible. That’s why I’ve written this article to answer some questions you may have on the subject, such as:

  • What does it mean to serve God?
  • Does God expect every believer to serve in their local church?
  • Does God care about my grades? and
  • How to balance service in church with your academics.

What does it mean to serve God?

When many hear the words ‘serving God’ or ‘service to God’, they immediately think of in-church activities. However, serving God includes service in the local church but also encompasses far more than that.

Romans 12:1 (KJV) says –

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present 
your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is 
your reasonable service.”

The TPT version puts it this way-

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary 
life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—
and place it before God as an offering.”

This verse reveals that we serve God by using our bodies to honour Him. It emphasizes the importance of ensuring that every action we take pleases Him, regardless of how insignificant they may seem.

Does God expect every believer to serve in their local church?

Firstly, you have to understand that the local church is God’s provision for the believer’s spiritual growth, protection and preservation (Hebrews 10:25; 13:17). This is why when a person gets saved, the next step is to find a local church where the word is taught in all of its simplicity and accuracy.

However, since the Bible teaches that the greatest of Jesus’ disciples will be a servant (Matthew 23:11) and that we all have been uniquely gifted to serve (1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4:7-16), we can say that God expects every believer to actively serve in the local church.

God expects us to serve with our time, money, energy, commitment, and skills. He has given us these resources not just for our enjoyment (1 Timothy 6:17) but for the work of ministry which includes ministering to the saints (2 Corinthians 9:1-2).

But now you may be wondering…

Does God care about my grades?

Oftentimes, we think that God is concerned about our spiritual life alone. That is not true. God is concerned about every sphere of our lives, including our academics (3 John 1:2).

God is an excellent God and all His works are perfect (Deuteronomy 32:4)

Failure is never in His plan for His children (Deuteronomy 28:13). However, we must learn to balance our service in the church and our academics so that neither of these commitments suffers.

...whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

1 Corinthians 10:21(KJV)

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving”

Colossians 3:23-24(ESV)

How to balance your service in the church and your academics.

1. Have a schedule or timetable for your activities:

There’s a popular saying:

He who fails to plan is planning to fail.

Hence, the best way to get started is to make good use of your time.

In the 1st semester of my 2nd year, I struggled with my academics and attributed it to insufficient time to study. However, when I did an honest personal review, I realized I spent too much time watching movies.

On noticing this, I made a personal reading timetable and stuck with it.

It was difficult at first but with time, I learnt to be more consistent with my reading hours. To the glory of God, even with increased responsibilities as a church worker, I aced all of my courses simply because I decided to use my time wisely.

2. Pay attention to your association:

“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”
Proverbs 13:20 (NIV)

“Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”
Proverbs 27:17 (KJV)

If you want to improve in any area of your life, find people who already excel in that area and learn from them.

Surround yourself with fellow believers who are passionate about serving God and are excelling in their academics; people that will challenge you and ensure you don’t slack. I tell you; these kinds of friends will help you improve spiritually, physically, academically and in all other areas.

3. Ask and trust the Holy Spirit to help you:

Haven made the aforementioned plans, ask the Holy Spirit to help you stay consistent with them.

The Holy Spirit is your teacher, counsellor, and helper (John 14:26AMP). He lives inside of you (2 Corinthians 1:22) and that means you can excel in every sphere of life. Continually ask Him to help and strengthen you in all you have set your heart to do.

He will surely help you.

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