So much has happened recently if you are beginning to read this:
- You have Accepted that you are a sinner according to Rom 3:23
- You thoroughly Believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who was sent to earth to die on the cross, paying the price for your sins. John 3:16-17
- You have Confessed with your mouth to Him and opened your heart to the Holy Spirit according to Rom 10:9-10
- You are either baptized, thinking about baptism, or scheduling your baptism to take that public, outward step of Faith confirming your love for Him. Acts 2:38
These steps have all been laid out and pretty easy, but now is the time when you start realizing a few things that maybe you weren’t expecting:
- The people you have previously surrounded yourself with may not be so open to your new found faith.
- Many of your old friends could become bitter, or even angry at the prospects that you will not be there partying or drinking with them.
- Your life will not all be sugar and roses just because you have found your salvation through Jesus Christ. Satan will begin his reign of circumstances upon you to get you to denounce this new found faith and he will use any weapon he sees fit-friends, family, boss etc
At this point it is essential that you do three things to stand firm in your faith.
- Surround yourself with your new bothers and sisters in Christ, so they can aid you with strength of conviction that you have not yet acquired
- Immerse yourself in God’s Word. I will discuss this more in the next post as it will be one of the most important things you can do in aiding your growth from babe to adult Christian
- Spend much time in prayer, in conversation with Jesus. This is not as hard as you think, as you will get to understand with the rest of this post.
1Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus to you
Simple and straightforward Rejoice always: Be glad in your salvation, Praise God for the blessing He gives you daily, rejoice even when things seem tough, for these times will hone your faith to become stronger (James 1:2-3 Count it all joy, my brethren, when ye fall into manifold temptations; knowing that the proving of your faith worketh patience.)
Pray without ceasing. Yes we all have lives, jobs, families, hobbies, but this is not saying that we should be down on our knees 24/7. We can be in a constant state of conversation with Him that grants us so much Grace and Mercy. Driving down the road, waiting on a bus, buying groceries, shopping, even times at work can be filled with a few lines of prayer. Lord Thank you for today, Lord things have been tough could you intercede today and lighten the load, Lord that spat I had with the wife/husband this morning allow my heart to soften and ask forgiveness for the things I said, Lord the roads are snow and ice covered I ask for your hand of protection that I get to the destination.
All of these are 10 second prayers that could/should go through your head as you go about your earthly business. They can be longer and more specific but the point being that quick, short conversations with Him will still be heard and He will be happy with you keeping the conversation to Him open.
1Thess 5:18 is one of most importance and we will talk about this at length in another post, but Thankfulness-Gratitude can bring you so much closer in your walk with the Savior. Thankful to Him for His Grace and Mercy. Thankful to Him for the blessings He has given, thankful to Him for the love and family in your life, thankful to Him for food, shelter, a job whatever it is be grateful to Him for it.
Gratitude will be a topic of another post as it is mentioned 71 times in the New Testament and 102 times in the Old Testament, so it must be pretty important. Its not just gratitude for Him but gratitude in general toward others that can make a huge impact on your life.
Although I have talked about a constant state of prayer, I do believe you should set aside at least 2 times a day for personal quiet prayer time. Try to start out with just 5-15 minutes in the morning and the evening. It can be more and probably will be eventually but this short time at first will seem like an almost impossible feat.
I would recommend a little notebook be carried with you throughout the day. As you go abouit your day and say those 10 second prayers, make note of ones that you need to expand on further-like the spat with your spouse, asking guidance and direction, along possibly with the holding of the tongue.
You may also hear things throughout the day that should require more prayer-an illness of a co-worker or friend, a death of a friend or acquaintance, a financial issue that came up, a job situation; these prayers may require some time, so jotting them down in a prayer journal would help you remember to specifically pray for those topics.
As your new journey begins, many things will begin to change in your life. You will find yourself changing over a very short period, pursuing more time to spend with Him in Prayer and in His Word. The more time you spend in fervent prayer, you will find the more time that He opens up for you to prayer and study. As your relationship with Him grows, an honest joy will fill your soul and the hours that you spend will seem like seconds.