Congratulations and welcome to the kingdom. You heard the knock of God within your heart and answered his call (Matthew 7:7). Whether God did something for you, took you out a situation or you heard a message, you took that first step! Now what?
There are many misconceptions about what it means to be a follower of Christ. But let’s be clear; your life does not suddenly become easy nor does it drastically changes overnight. You know the saying that anything worth having takes time? Same concept applies here.
Back to the question, now what? Depending on your denomination you get baptized right away and some wait awhile before taking the plunge. Yet still, now what?
Ok, ok. Looking back this is what I wish had been in place for me when I got baptized but nonetheless. First, you need to have certain people in your life: a prayer partner, a Bible study partner and just a partner to go when you need advice or feel lost. They can be all the same person or each role is filled by a different person. The common denominator has to be trust between each other and a fervor to seek God. It makes sense to find this “mentorship” or partnership in someone who isn’t new to the faith like you. Find someone who will believe in you but also be honest with you, honest yet kind.
Being a Christian is tough, for many reasons. There are those who use the words of the Bible to push their own ungodly agendas. However, regardless of all the negative connotation, whatever you do as a Christian do it for the glory of God, not the praise of men.
If your passion is music, get with people who are involved in that ministry. If you’re into public speaking get with those individuals, whether ministers, evangelists, etc. Get involved! The journey is easier to bear when you’re surrounded by others with like mindedness.
Download the Bible app but also get your own physical Bible. Join a Bible study group or conduct it one on one. Learn how pray and act Christ like. Understand why you sing, why you pray and why it’s crucial to have a relationship with God. I used to ask myself, if God knows everything why should I pray? And I’ll answer this with a question. Is it possible to build a relationship without communication?
Even when you fall back into your old ways, turn to God. Even if the answer seems obvious, confirm with him. There’s this verse, again in the book Matthews that says “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
Pursue that relationship with him and nurture it. Just like you would in a relationship, you never stop learning about your partner. You want to make them happy, you want them at ease, you want to avoid trouble and drama by staying on the right route. Pray to him and listen to him, understand and obey his commands. It’s not all rainbows and sunshines, but in the end with Jesus returns, we want to be welcomed with open arms, not shunned because we wanted to just do whatever we wanted.
There’s a lot of ugliness in the world, and sometimes it’s bleak and downright depressing. Yet, we must hold on with hope that Jesus will intercede on our behalf and plead to God for us and see us through.