*I find these things to be common happenings amongst many Christians…old and new. Although I am mainly speaking for myself… I feel as though I am speaking for many others in their walk with Christ.
When you become a Christian
A glow appears all over your body…like radiance. Like an outer-body experience. A new you. All things of this world you once desired, you no longer lust after. You actually become physically sick at the thought of it. Everyone around you will praise you for your decision to give your life over and encourage you in your walk. Tangible blessings will just be pouring left and right to the point where it may overwhelm you. Life.Is.Amazing.
But forreal… that’s what you would like to think right? Don’t work that way bruh. COMPLETE OPPOSITE!
The enemy starts to come with the heavy hitters. Blind-side you. Now that Christ is your foundation, pray for the Holy Spirit to give you strength to deny the enemy so that he will flee. When he arises to bring strife in your life, stand firm on His word and promises to know that all will work out for your good and you can endure. Sounds WAAAAAAY easier than it is..because it is easier said than done. But just like with anything else, practice makes perfect…or intentionally living for God makes the enemy’s attempt easier to deny.
Your past will always be brought up. People enjoy reminiscing in YOUR past. Constantly bringing up all the people you hooked up with after parties, all the times you blacked out from too many shots, how many white castle burgers you ate after smoking 5 blunts…. Whatever was your poison back in your worldly days. In the beginning you will even entertain the conversation, laugh, and then you start to reminisce and even wish you waited to “get saved.”
You’ll begin to raise your nose at people; even those close to you. Your worldly desires will fade but the people around you who still entertain those worldly desires will be looked at differently through your eyes. Some of the things you say may come off quite judgmental… intentional or not. You’ll think to yourself, “Why do they even do this. Do they not understand that God hates this!!) If it were that easy, you (as in you and I) would have lived right a LONG time ago. This can be very easy to do and not even realize it. PRAY! Pray that you keep a spirit of meekness and understanding when dealing with others who aren’t “saved” yet. Keep a constant reminder that you are still a sinner and was once among those who did everything God hated but He poured His grace and mercy over you. You need to carry that same grace over to those who need it just like you did. It is not your place to judge… just to pray.
Along with you raising your eyebrows at the people close to you… they will begin to do the same to you. They will begin to notice the changes in you and feel compelled to speak on it. Comments such as, “You too good to ______ now” or “Don’t judge me.” You may hear the latter one quite often. Things you used to entertain with people close to you, as soon as you decide to let go of those things and they are still participating in “said” activity; they will always feel like they are being judged by you. Granted, they may be. Keep watch for who is in your circle. Let go of the “loyalty” band and discern those necessary to keep around to not only encourage you to grow in Christ but you to encourage them as well. Friendships will change. Friendships will end. That is okay. Man has no say so in where your soul will rest… only God does. Can’t please both man and God. DISCERNMENT is key!!
I mentioned above about how sometimes we may even get to wishing that we had “waited a little while longer” before giving our lives over to Christ. One more party, one more partner, one more bottle, one more blunt…. Pick your poison. That’s real. Desires don’t fade as soon as you take your spiritual bath. That doesn’t even sound remotely possible. Baptism isn’t a transformation chamber…well.. in a sense it is but you know what I mean. The enemy knows your desires just as much as God does. The enemy knows the sinful things you enjoy and you will notice that those things will be presented to you more now than EVER!!! Alcohol will be cheaper if not free for you at your finger-tips; your crush that paid you no mind will be hitting you up out of no where; you will keep getting invited to events that you have no business being at because you will be tempted greatly. The enemy knows exactly what he’s doing… but God also provides an outlet for you. Will power to withstand backsliding cannot come from you. God knows the areas you are weak in. What you can and can’t handle. That’s why He provides the Holy Spirit within you to do those things that we cannot.
I feel as though you catch my drift. Before I get too long-winded, the moral of my story is that following Christ is everything but attractive and pleasurable. Just being honest. Man has been subdued to the very thought of what society says is “fun” or “cool” or simply “okay to do while you’re young.” And YES! All of it does seem fun and okay. I enjoyed myself at parties with glasses/bottles in my hand. I enjoyed random smoke sessions with friends from high school. I enjoyed intercourse with the guy I was dating at the time. Obviously, if I didn’t have an interest in those things or enjoy them… I wouldn’t have done them. I asked for heavy conviction and discernment and that’s exactly what I got. Each time I would partake in those things, by the end of it I felt guilty. The guilt grew more and more with each event until I couldn’t take the feeling anymore. I needed that. I was mentally aware of what all I was doing and how much I didn’t need to be doing it… that didn’t mean I felt like stopping. It was beyond my mere human power. I had to feel that guilt/embarrassment in order for Him to get my attention.
It’s not easy and its not pleasing. Just like apologizing to someone when you are wrong or offering to go out of your way for someone else. You may not feel like it and it may feel uncomfortable…. But it is NECESSARY! Being ostracized from friends because you don’t do what they do, having to endure seasons of “loneliness, forgiving people who have wronged you, doing favors for people who have wronged you, praying over those you want to punch in their face… etc. etc. It is not FUN! AT ALL! Sacrifice! Dying to self! At the end of the day… it is not about us. It is about God and our job to bring others closer to Him… or at least plant that seed.
With each test/trial comes a testimony/triumph. Each season is necessary and each growing pain is essential to growing in Christ. I’m thankful for His heavy pursuance and to know that He loves me so much to go all out to bring me to Him.
He loves you. He does not care about your past but wants to be in your future. As long as you have breath in your body that means there is still a chance to let Him in. It is not easy and if you are “waiting on the right time” or “getting your life together first”… that is never gone happen. The right time is NOW and you do not have the power to “get your life together.” If you did than your life would already be together… right? I digress….
I just want to encourage those who are on the fence or wanted a greater idea of what this Christian walk is like. I cannot reiterate how easy it is NOT but I embrace every moment. There are good times in this walk. The non-tangibles you gain, the blessings and favors that pour for obedience, the fellowship with other believers, the ability to finally be transparent and open, and to know that whatever you are going through He will fight your battles for you. He gives you peace beyond measure; wisdom; discernment; understanding. Once you lose yourself, trust me, you will gain everything else worth gaining. Just got to trust that He can lead you better than you can lead yourself.
I may not know you, but I’ll be praying for you.