Last time I shared a little of my own story – how I came to faith and how it became my own. In the next two posts I want to share with you all some things that I did – and these are just some of the many things that you can do – that made my faith real to me. Just straight off the bat, there are some practices that I can list, but won’t go into detail about:
* Join a community group
* Serve in a ministry at church
* Go on a spiritual retreat
* Go to a conference or camp
* Get a mentor or spiritual director
* Rediscover some ancient Christian practices like meditation.
These are some of the practices that I have tried over the years and they’ve all been helpful, but what I want to share with you are some of the habits that I did at first these are the things that really kicked my faith off and got it going, that really helped to drive me closer to God in a very short amount of time.
If I’m honest with you – and why wouldn’t I be? – I kind of stumbled over these things in my journey towards God, and I think that they will really help you guys, and if you feel that your faith is your own already, they can just be some little bits of advice that you can use to help deepen that faith.
Here’s the first of 3 things that you can do to make sure that your faith is yours:
- The first thing I want to encourage each one of you to do, if you haven’t already, is to actually put your faith and trust in Jesus. This then is your own decision to follow Jesus. You know that you have made this choice and no one has made it for you, you haven’t done it just because your dad is a Christian, and you come from a ‘good’ family, so you should have done that a long time ago. You may have even prayed when you were younger, but you might want to pray again, to, as an adult, put your faith in Christ.
Why? This is the starting point for everyone who would seek to build a relationship with God through Jesus, which is, let’s be honest, the ONLY way to build a relationship with God. Jesus said that He is the way, the truth and the life, so if you are going to approach God in any way, it HAS to be through Him. The word that is used for this throughout the New Testament is repentance.
What happens when you ‘repent’?
Well, repentance is a fancy word for changing your direction, so what happens when you come to Jesus in repentance is that you give up your own way. Instead of making decisions based on what you think is best for you, you make a conscious decision to follow the way of Jesus, to switch your allegiance from you to Him. Scripture talks about this in many ways – being redeemed (Galatians 3:13), being saved (Acts 2:21, Romans 10:13, Ephesians 2:8), rescued, transferred from one kingdom to another (Colossians 1:13), and being born again (John 3).
This is the first place to start.
If you’ve already done this then that’s awesome! You can skip this step in the process, and go straight on to the next one!
If you haven’t then please, take a moment, and do this now, do it for real, put your heart in to in, make it a true decision, surrender yourself to the person of Jesus – all you have to do is say something as simple as “Jesus, I surrender to you.”
that’s it – he will take care of the rest, but it is an intentional turning of your face towards Him, and a looking to Him for what is next. Check back soon for the next tip that will help you to own your faith.
Question: Have you made this decision for yourself? Reflect on why you have/why you haven’t. What is it that allowed you to make this step? What is it that holds you back from asking Jesus to guide you?
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