Disclaimer: Parental discretion is advised. I want to show you authenticity and stay true to who I am everyday. I spout the occasional curse word and have thoughts you may deem inappropriate.
So you made the decision to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and to follow in His footsteps? That's great news! You have been baptized, bought your very own Bible (version depending on your denomination), found a church, scheduled to attend a women's or men's group where you will learn the rules of a holy huddle and found a stable for your high horse? You're all set.
No, I'm kidding, really. I made all that up.
Seriously though, you've made the decision to follow Christ, are you wondering what to do next? I sure did. That's the million dollar question that nagged me for the first two years of my Christianhood.
Where are you calling me God? What is your will for me?
It became an obsession. Am I supposed to serve in a ministry? Start my own blogging ministry or Bible study group? Make disciples? Foster children? Serve the elderly? Thoughts like "I am not good enough, I'm not doing enough, not serving enough people" invaded my brain on the daily. I was exhausted and cranky about all the things that I thought were expected of me now that I'm a Christian. I am a recovering perfectionist and my high expectations made me feel terrible.
So what are you supposed to do after your sins were washed away by His precious blood? Here are a few ideas to get you going. This is not an exhaustive list but a few ideas for you to explore and a few habits to start.
Read the Scripture
You won't learn if your Bible's sitting on a bookshelf. Looking at Bible verses with pretty backgrounds on Pinterest doesn't count either. After I was baptized, I had no idea where to begin until my Dad suggested starting at Matthew and just reading through that chapter. Sometimes I'll sit in the mornings with my coffee and say a little prayer with my Bible on my lap. Something like,
"God as I open your Word, guide me to what You want to tell me today. I come to you with an open heart, willing and ready to receive your message. In Jesus' name, Amen."
Occasionally, I'll open my Bible, scan a few pages until something catches my attention. Sometimes I just flop it open to a page and start reading and I'll read a verse that's an answer to a question, prayer or it'll connect to something going on in my life. That amazes the crap out of me. You'll figure out your own way that works, just be patient.
¹Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light on my path.
Prayer works...when I remember to pray. I am not on a set schedule, although some Christians are and hey, that is fantastic. I've found that I love the stillness and quiet of morning after I eat breakfast and I'm finishing my coffee. However, I don't get the opportunity...wait, I don't create the opportunity every morning. Praying is like exercising. When I actually do it, I feel so much better and even if my day turns out to be one of the crappier days, praying makes it so much easier to get through. Seriously.
¹One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
Find a church
This can be a scary one, it was for us. Mr:D and I are both introverts who really had to push ourselves to step out of our comfort zones to attend churches where we didn't know a single person but we did it. What we found was an amazing church that God directed us to and the welcome basket was just icing on the cake.
²⁴And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, ²⁵not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Join a small group or befriend a Christian who can mentor you
If you attend a church already, finding a small group of people with similar interests as you or even one person that you jive with can be a super, great support system. Get together weekly, bi weekly, monthly, whatever works for y'all, to discuss scripture, complete a video series, or discuss a book of the Bible.
¹To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: ²Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; ³not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. ⁴And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. ⁵In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
1 Peter 5:1-5
Be Kind to Yourself
What I mean is, don't beat yourself up if you think you're not living up to your own or a church's expectations. I was, and still can be, my own worst enemy. Live up to His expectations. Read God's Word, pray, talk to Him and then be silent and listen for His guidance. Sounds so cliché, but LET GO and LET GOD. I know, I know. Letting go is hard but once you do… daggone, the peace is awesome.
⁸Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
If you have any concerns, questions or encouragement for a new believer, leave a comment below! As always, feel free to message me through the Contact page. God bless!