Congratulations! So you want to become a new or renewed Christian? Awesome!
If you have just accepted Jesus or want a renewed relationship with our Lord and Savior, then your life is about to change for the better! You will now experience and live for eternity with Jesus in Heaven when He calls you home. Exciting – I know right?!
The good news is, you are saved and now part of the Christian body as God’s child. The bad news is, Satan is not happy and will do everything he can to make your life miserable. He can’t touch your soul, but with God’s permission, Satan can test your new faith!
I wanted to be upfront and real about being a Christian. Not to discourage you, but to let you know what may lie ahead. Jesus said, we would suffer persecution because He suffered persecution (John 15:20). Your life will not be filled with roses every day, but Jesus promises it will be worth it!
Here’s the top 3 things, good and bad, about being a new or renewed Christian believer….
1) Reading God’s word. When you become a new Christian, the first thing to do is to read God’s word. The bible is where you learn how to become a Christian through stories of others who have lived and gone through what we will or may go through in this life. As you will discover, a lot of people in the bible experienced trauma, death and great loss. Some had to lose their family, friends and possessions in order to get close or follow God. Jesus even tells us in Luke 18:22 that we have to lose in order to gain, including our own lives.
Problem #1 – Satan also tries to keep us from reading God’s word. Some people have a hard time applying his word to their lives and give up from lack of understanding. There’s a number of books that are targeted as “self-help” to offer advice to better ourselves. Nothing wrong with these books, but they are not to be substitutes for what God says. If you don’t read God’s word, then you won’t know what He expects from your life. God says in Hosea 4:6, that his people are destroyed from the lack of knowledge.
Most importantly, God gives us stories about people in the bible who came through traumas. Ultimately they triumphed and overcame. Remember the story of David who fought Goliath? When he fully put his trust in God, his promises came true and David eventually became King. (1 Samuel, 2 Samuel)
2) Learning how to pray. In order to communicate with God, you must pray. Prayer is like speaking to your best friend or closest confidante every day. It’s a one on one conversation with someone you can tell your deepest, darkest secrets to, not worrying that it will be repeated. It’s great to have a God that you can fully trust and will speak back with you. You may wonder how does God speak back to me? Can you actually hear him? Yes, you can – if He chooses to. He can speak to you directly, meaning you hear his voice within. He can speak to you through other people. He can speak to you in his word. No matter what He chooses – He hears and answers prayer.
Problem #2 – Unfortunately, we get too busy for God and we don’t speak or include Him in our daily lives. Satan tries to keep our lives busy, tired, sleepy, busy or even angry to speak with God. He will also put blocks of distraction in our way, so when we want to speak with God, something or someone shows up. Satan will also tell you that you have to pray with elaborate words and you give up not knowing what to say.
I personally find that one of the best times to pray is when Satan is at his best – during chaos. When something bad is happening in the moment, it’s best to stop and pray, asking God to take the problem away that very moment! God wants to hear from us every day, all day – good and bad! He wants to be a part of our lives intimately. If you don’t develop a strong prayer life, then you won’t have a strong relationship with your best friend.
3) Sharing your faith with others. Accepting Jesus into your heart is an exciting time! Your new or renewed life will never be the same. You are welcomed into the body of Christ and the Holy Spirit lives within. Now you’re ready to live your life filled with great joy! Well – yes and no. It’s true that life as you knew it is over. When you asked Jesus into your heart, you wanted to stop sinning and start living for Him. You wanted to fill the void that you’ve been looking to fill with outside sources. You learned that you can’t do it all and need help! That’s all fine and good – but again Satan is on the prowl.
Problem #3 – Satan wants to catch you slipping back into your old ways. He wants to see what you do when life and old friends start hanging around. He wants to see your new life fail. He wants you to keep your faith to yourself – like a closet Christian.
This is the time to take what you’ve been through and currently will go through and testify to someone else that doesn’t know God. Our tests, trials and triumphs help others who have no hope – have hope. That’s what Jesus did and that’s what He commands of us (Mark 16:15). The best part about being a Christian is to recruit others!
These are the top 3 things that I believe a Christian should concentrate on as a new or renewed child of God. There are a number of good and bad situations that Christians experience that I didn’t cover here. You can fill in the blank as it pertains to you. Ultimately, we all have a life that should be pleasing to God. Once we accept Him into our lives, our lives are not our own and we now belong to Him!
Jesus never said that our lives would be easy. Again, he says that it will become harder because of Him. Don’t allow Satan to bully and sabotage your new-found faith! When you sin, ask for forgiveness and move on. Our God is so awesome that He’s willing to forget it forever! The word says in Romans 7:21 “So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.”
All I can say is – Jesus take the wheel! Amen.