I love the prayers of a new believer; they are so honest and pure. A new believer’s heart is wide open to praise God with all that they are, from a soul that has been set free. No one has to tell them what to say or how to pray, they know their Lord.
I remember those first few days and months of receiving the gift of salvation. How my heart leaped with joy of the truth, becoming alive in Christ. The craving for God’s Word was unbelievable, I couldn't put it down. I could not get a prayer off my lips before it was answered, and I could not stop talking about Jesus, telling everyone how he saved me. For the first time in my life, I knew what it was like to be fully loved and fully free. I heard clearly from God and I obeyed him without hesitation.
If this testimony sounds familiar, ever wonder why the new believer has a similar story of overwhelming love, gratitude, hunger and obedience? I think that we are never closer to God than we are when we are new born. That new life in the spirit is fresh and pure, coming from the darkness into the light.
It was not long before my faith was tested. This is where many new believers have trouble. Somehow, they believe that they have done something wrong or that somehow their deliverance was not real and begin to drift away. It was not until I came across this verse that my mind was eased.
Peter wrote “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials that you are going through. As if something strange were happening to you. Instead be very glad, because these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, and afterward you will have the wonderful joy of sharing his glory when it is displayed to all the world” (1 Peter 4:12-13 NLT)
When we begin to grow, that is when the real work begins. Nothing of any value is achieved without sacrifice; our commitment will cost us something. Jesus said, “If you love your father, mother, brother or sister more than me, you are not worthy of being mine” (Matthew 10:37 NLT). God’s love and commitment to us cost him the life’s blood of Jesus, so that we could know him and be in an eternal love relationship with him.
Growing to become like Jesus is not for the faint of heart. The Lord desires his children to be so secure in his love and his provision, that they never look anywhere else for their needs. That is the truth that challenges us every moment of everyday and causes us to choose righteousness over the flesh. When we choose according to God’s will, it shows our deep commitment to the One who has set us free. When we make a wrong choice it only shows that the Lord has more work to do in our thoughts and attitudes.
Learning to walk is a struggle and we will be tested in every area of our life so that there will be no thought, action or attitude that does not reflect Jesus Christ. The refining may cause us to pause, but keep your eyes upon Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, he will not disappoint you.
“As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness”
(2 Peter 1:3 NLT)
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