Enjoy, mark, and remember the day you received Christ as your savior because it is where began you and your Savior started on a new path together. It will be a path of many ups and downs but the outcome will always draw you closer to Christ if you seek Him above all. I have been a believer since I was 8 years old and now I am 65. I can say with confidence that the Lord has never ever forsaken me but has loved me even when I couldn’t love myself. He has pulled me out of trying times many of which were of my own making and put me back onto solid ground without condemnation. (Ps 37:25) I could never thank Him enough or love and cherish Him more for His faithfulness then I do right now. We all have to find our own way through this Christian life. However, I have prayed that you will remain strong in Him no matter what the cost and that at the end your walk with Him you will stand before His throne a strong and mighty warrior.
As I prayed about what to say, the more I felt the Lord tell me to give you some practical wisdom from my years of service. This is wisdom I wished I had learned earlier in my walk with Christ. Much of it I had to learn the hard way because I was stubborn. Now with experienced, I am less argumentative and more obedient when the Lord ‘comes a calling’. We never stop growing. Even with the many years of experience, I still feel as though I’ve only just begun to learn how to walk this glorious walk. And...that’s ok.
I will list some of these special nuggets here and pray that you will be able to grasp the depth of their meaning. They are in no special order. Please don’t feel overwhelmed by the number or that you have to achieve anyone of them quickly because most may take a while to master. This is just the heart of one sister helping the walk of another succeed and avoid suffering through as much as I did. (Titus 2:3-5)
Always be honest with God because he already knows anyway. He is Omniscient. A big word that simply means He knows everything inside and out. Nothing is hidden from Him no matter how hard we try. He knows you better than you know yourself. That is why He is the best one to help you through life. We may not understand or agree with His choices for us but we will grow to understand He always has our best interest at heart. I have learned after each experience His ways were much better and thank Him for not doing it my way.
It is important to memorize scripture. I wish I were better at it. However, even when I don’t have an exact verse memorized, I have memorized the principle, it is living in my heart and I can still follow its direction at anytime.
Give God at least 15 minutes of time each day to be just with God. It doesn’t matter what time of day so much as just being consistent. Read a passage of scripture, a meaningful devotional, affirm who and whose you are, and so on. You can talk to Him and He will talk to you if you calm your mind and take time to listen. I highly recommend you journal what you hear, what you are learning, how you are doing so when the enemy attacks you, you will have something to go back to to affirm your walk and relationship with Him. Your memory of His Presence may fail you when the enemy attacks your mind.
To maintain and thrive, let him become ‘a bestie’ that you talk to throughout your day. Nothing is too big or too small to ask or talk to Him about. If it is important to you, it is important to Him. You will be surprised at how helpful He can be as you open up and talk to Him and ask His opinion about all kinds of things. Then ask the Holy Spirit to open up your eyes and ears to His answers when they come. Sometimes God answers quickly, sometimes He says wait a moment, and sometimes He says persevere in faith until the appointed time. Just remember, it takes time and effort to learn to communicate so what may seem silly at first will become your greatest asset. (Hebrews 11:6)
Let forgiveness always always always be your goal. Forgiveness is a choice we make to free ourselves, heal our heart and move forward. Some things are easy to forgive and others take effort and time. Remember unforgiveness in your heart can steal the place where your faith should be if you allow the offenses to stay. A wise old lady once told me, “Take no offense (from others actions) and God will defend you.” (make things turn for your good)(Romans 8:28) Believe me that remembering this one statement has kept me from allowing unforgiveness to build a fortress in my heart and mind many times. God has forgive us of all and He asks us to do the same for others. It’s hard but always doable.
Rarely is God early according to our standards but never is He late according to His. Trust His timing. He is faithful. This is a walk of faith and courage and it is rarely easy. God will push our faith to the limits to help us grow. However, the growth is worth the pressure in the long run if we persist.
We all make mistakes. Some have more costly consequences then others. In any case...Don’t beat yourself up with guilt and shame after you have sought and received God’s forgiveness. God loves you more then you will ever realize even when you blow it. But...DO evaluate and learn from each of them. If you don’t, you will face that mountain (problem) again and again. There is something about each mountain God wants you to learn to make your life better and make you more like Him. God never allows storms/problems to surface with the intent to destroy you but to show you how faithful He is. He will give you the wisdom you need to come through as an overcomer. The enemy on the other hand wants you to be destroyed piece by piece. (John 10:10) God wants to bring you abundant life and turn everything around for good if you seek Him and his guidance instead of your own. (Romans 8:28) Doesn’t matter who was at fault originally. God is always willing to turn it for your good. Again, God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6) That is one of the characteristics I love most about my Savior.
When you walk with Christ and seek Him, you walk as a victor not as a victim.
Always remember ‘the best is yet to come’ and that you are not strong enough to screw up His plans and destiny for your life. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Always remember your salvation is secure in Christ. Satan will try to steal your peace about it anytime he can. This usually happens when you have made one of those big mistakes I talked about earlier. At least, that is when he always tried to do it with me. He goal is to move you away from God and the knowledge of His love in order to isolate you from God. The isolation makes you ‘feel like’ you are not saved anymore. We can’t base what we believe on ‘our feelings’ but only on faith in what the word of God says. (2 Corinthians 5:7) So...don’t let him overcome you with his lies. This is when knowing, memorizing and believing scripture is so important. The Holy Spirit seals you until the day of salvation. (Ephesians 4:30) Studying these scriptures and asking Holy Spirit’s guidance will prove very valuable in the days ahead. Securing and maintaining this assurance of your salvation in the good times is much easier then trying to catch up in the bad.
God will never ask you to do something He has not already given you the ability to do. However, sometimes you will have to 'step out in faith' and start the job/journey first before you come to realize this. Those times for me were scary and that is when fear became my greatest hinderance. When you are in fear, you are believing the enemy's lies instead of God's Truth. But God can help you work through your fears when you turn to trust Him. Just keep searching and believing He can help you and it will happen. My case was bad so if it can turn around for me, it can turn around for you.
Grace is the power you will need to make the necessary changes. God says He has more than enough grace to see you through each needed change...and without condemnation. (2 Corinthians 12:9, Romans 8:1) Oh how I still clung to these two promises.
Surround yourself with godly people. Ultimately you become like those you hang around. And don’t allow bad influences in because you think you can witness to them. Satan can take your hand and lead you astray quickly before you realize what he is doing. Go for the godly advice from people you have learned to trust and allow those same godly people to speak correction into your life as well. It can save you a lot of heartache. It isn’t easy for them to speak up so give them a break. It isn’t easy for anyone to receive correction either but listen anyway. Remember...Pride comes right before a fall.
Renewing your mind/thought life with God’s word/principles is one of the most important things you will ever do as a Christian. (Romans12:2) I cannot stress this enough. It was my downfall for years because it allowed satan to trap my mind with his lies and bring me down. It can mean the difference between defeat and victory with your mental battles in life. You have to know and trust God’s word!!
What you tell yourself or think about yourself or ‘self talk’ can either build you up and strengthen you for what God is doing in your life or it can tear everything He is doing down and you may wonder why you can’t ever get ahead. I caution you from criticizing yourself, concentrating on what you can’t do instead of what you can, or rehearsing past failures. Stay positive about yourself!
Knowing and believing who you are in Christ is also vital to your walk. If you don’t know who you are in Christ and the authority you carry as a child of God then satan will be able to overcome you quickly. I don’t just read each attribute but I ask the Holy Spirit to impart the wisdom He wants me to see through them. I make notes on them. Over time and meditation about their meaning, they have become apart of who I am. They have gone from my head to my heart through the power of the Holy Spirit. And now...I believe what they say about me is true. It didn’t happen over night so it is not a quick fix but a daily determination to overcome a worldly mindset and become more like Christ with His kingdom values. (My list of who we are in Christ will be posted soon.)
And last but not least is...Develop attitudes of thankfulness, gratitude, and praise in all things. This will not only bring you closer and closer to God Himself, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit but it will also ultimately bring love, peace, joy, and contentment into your life as well. This is another part of renewing your mind to reflect Christ’s character.
Again these nuggets of wisdom are not here to overwhelm you but to give you a sense of direction as you begin your new life with Christ. I have never regretted my decision to follow Jesus even when it got quite hard. Once you get the hang of it, I know you will not look back either. One last scripture which is one of my favorites. Luke 12:32:
“Do not be afraid, little flock,
for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”