Why are you in the University? It is a most pertinent yet, most neglected question.
Why are you in Yaounde? Why are you not in Douala? Why are you not in Buea? Why have you not created some job, which you are doing? Why are you pursuing studies here? Many of you do not have an answer to this question. The answer to that question determines what will happen to you in the University in the next two semesters. The answer to it shows clearly what the University will be like for you. It will determine the price you will pay and the results you will obtain. You could be here by chance. There are six Universities in Cameroon, but why are you here? Why did you choose to come here?
Let’s turn to Jeremiah 29:11-14. It says, “‘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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.’” I know what I have purposed for you. God has a purpose for you. God has a destiny for you. God has a plan for each one of us. The question is: Do you know that? Do you know what God says about you? Do you know that God has plans for you? Do you believe that God has any plans for you? Yes, God has a plan for you. God has not created any human being without any clear destiny. Is your being in the University part of God’s destiny for you? Is being there the unfolding of God’s destiny for you? Does your being there fit into God’s destiny for you? Is that what God purposed from the beginning for you? Let’s first answer that question before we go on.
In Jeremiah 1:5, the Bible says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” Is that true only for Jeremiah, because he was to be a prophet? It is true for every human being. It is true for all believers. We are a chosen people. The Creator could not create without knowing Jeremiah. He knew him. He destined him to be a prophet. He said to the foetus in the womb, “You will be my prophet to the nations.” At twenty-five, do you know what God set you apart for? Is studying in the University a part in the plan of God? At twenty-five, what is your destiny? Not to know it now is to be ridiculous. Do you know it? In Isaiah 49:1-3, the Bible says, “Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name. He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver. He said to me, ‘You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendour.’ ” God gave him a personality equal to the task to which He was calling him. It is the same with us. All our parts and characteristics fit with what God’s purpose is for our lives. They fit with what God had when he was planning for you. Do you know it? Does it match with what God had when he was creating you? If you don’t know it, you have missed it. The same thing applies to the Apostle Paul. He writes to the Galatians, saying, “But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man”(Galatians. 1:15,16). Paul was set apart from his mother’s womb to preach the Gospel. At eighteen, what is your destiny? At twenty, do you know your destiny? At twenty-five, what is God’s purpose for your life? At thirty, what is that destiny? If you don’t know it, what a waste of life!
Someone has sung, saying, “I have a destiny I know I shall fulfil, for I know I was born for this. It is not an empty dream, for I know it was for a time like this.” Is part of your destiny to be in the University of Yaounde? If it is so, you will not negotiate it with any other place. You will not negotiate it with any other University. Do you say, “I have a purpose that I must fulfil and I must be in the University of Yaounde to accomplish it”? Or are you just drifting? If an airplane were to land here with free scholarships to study in a University in the United States, I guess all of you would mount and disappear. I would have no audience! Unless you know this destiny, you have failed already. Unless you know it, your success is uncertain. Your success depends on it.
For an unbeliever who is just drifting through life, drifting is permitted. But for believers and believers of your level of learning, it is not permitted. If you cannot say why you are here now, you have lost most of your life already. In Ephesians 1:3-10, Paul says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the one he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfilment – to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.” We have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. In Him we have redemption through His blood. Before the foundations of the world, God had planned my salvation. Before the foundations of the world, God had planned your salvation. He saw you and said, “You will be saved…” He did not only plan your salvation; He planned all of your life. He purposed that you should live a holy and blameless life. I am not the fruit of some accident. I am not the fruit of some circumstances. Before the sun, moon and stars were created, God had a plan for me. I must be at the University if it falls into this plan. I must know this plan and live by it. If you are going to be here, you must know it. If you are not possessed by that destiny, you will only drift through. Are you possessed by a sense of destiny? Unless we are possessed by this sense of destiny, we will not be delivered from the mediocrity that possesses many students.
If only you were possessed with that sense of destiny, you would stop being dispersed. The problem is that many are dispersed. Their mind is set on many things. When I was an unbeliever, I had a greater sense of destiny than many of you do. I told my parents, “If I had gone to the USA, you would never have seen me before the end of my studies. You would have seen me only when I would have had my degree and come to show you.” And for three years, I did not go to Bamenda. I did not know Yaounde. I knew my way to and from school. But many of you are very dispersed. Many of you go for Christmas, Easter and the New Year in the village. Anybody with a sense of destiny is not dispersed. In those days, we had the money to spend. We had transport requisition. You did not scratch your head in search of money to go on holiday. What are the distractions that must go? If you will not be a mediocre, write out the distractions that must go. If you are a student, you are a student. You owe it to God to produce good results. You owe it to your parents to give them good results. If you are supposed to be here for three years and you are here for five years, what happens to God’s destiny? It is tragic, because you did not concentrate. There is a sister who has had three days of classes, but has not had a single hour of personal study. She is dispersed. She does not know why she is in the University. Her mother is in Yaounde, so in the University she has all the time. And it could go on like this for three weeks, three months and three years.
You have an examination in March, but you allow yourself to be distracted. You lack a sense of destiny. It is most manifested in this lack of concentration. A sense of destiny comes with a commitment to concentrate. “For I know the plans I have for you… to give you a future … a hope.” God’s plan is not that you should come and fail and fail. You can just be there, hoping to get that certificate but failing. Is that welfare? Is that how God should give you a future and a hope? Many of you have lost hope. You allow every distraction to come into your life. Stick to that hope and reject every other distraction. A holiday is a must, but use it to catch up on your studies. Is what you want to do in the province absolutely needed? If not, do not go there. Don’t be distracted, brethren. The greatest of distractions are emotional. “My son, I send you to the University of Yaounde. My purpose is that you go and look for a girl there.” This is not the Lord speaking. Then you extort 50,000francs from your parents to pay there. If that is your purpose, forget it. Studies may be a distraction. Forget such distractions. Dissociate yourself from them. In our day, our own distraction was basketball. Every evening on the field in front of the dormitory, we watched basketball matches.
What are your distractions? Identify them and reject them. Everybody can pass. If you want to pass, concentrate. Some students go there without any intention to pass. There is a false belief here in the University of Yaounde that unless you bribe the lecturers (or sleep with them if you are a female student), you cannot pass the tests and exams. Are there some who pass in all credit units without a bribe? There are many. Why not you? You have come to the University to study. Give God the best results. If anything is to stop you from this, fight against it. God ordered my childhood. God also ordered my salvation. God has ordained that I should be in the University, and because the University is part of God’s plan for me, I must give God the best results. There are spiritual distractions, but they are distractions all the same. What is required from you, brethren, is a NORMAL CHRISTIAN WALK. Jeremiah says it, “… You will seek me and find me …” The normal Christian walk consists in seeking God daily. You must have the following:
- A rich and regular life of Meditation or Daily Dynamic Encounters with God. You cannot compromise that.
- A regular life of prayer.
- A life of daily systematic reading of the Word.
- A regular reading of books on the faith.
- A life of going on retreats from time to time.
- From these spiritual riches, you will be able to witness to others. Witness to others by word and by your life. Follow up those you witness to. In a study group, you share your life with others and win them to Christ. Every other thing is a distraction. If you have the above, you are okay. Are you in communion with God, and sharing your faith with others? That’s what God requires of you. Do not add religious distractions to it. From this, you will leave someone converted there. I say this because many of you say, “My Church programmes are so many. That is why I am failing in the normal Christian life.” If you would live a normal Christian life, throw away every distraction. A sense of destiny leads to a normal Christian walk, with distractions eliminated.