First Steps with God

You have discovered God is real. In whatever way it happened, slowly or suddenly, you have found God. To your surprise, you actually FEEL God there. A reverent hush inside you, perhaps a tingling sensation around your body. An awareness of an unseen presence, a sweet realization of a frayed self being made whole again.

Overwhelming relief, serenity, feeling clean again, maybe a tearful knowledge of being loved in spite of your past. A sense of feeling small, which is oddly comforting, with a certainty everything is going to turn out all right. Life suddenly makes a whole lot more sense.

You have stepped into the kingdom of God. You are NO LONGER under the authority of the devil and in the realm of darkness, but you have come into the light of God.

Jesus Christ has come into your life and is now your Lord, your Savior, your Teacher, your Protector, your Comforter, your Provider, your Healer, your Guide, your Wisdom, your Righteousness, your Holiness, your Forgiver, and your Master.

He will NOT let you go. You can count on him. He will not change his mind about you later on. His choice of you is irrevocable. You are SAFE in God now, tomorrow, and forever.

The primary teaching of Jesus Christ is that the life of the kingdom of God is available NOW, not just after death in heaven. We receive and absorb this LIFE as we learn to trust and obey Jesus.

This kingdom-life is imparted to us by the Holy Spirit, who is the invisible presence of Jesus on earth. The end-result of learning to trust and obey Jesus Christ is that we become the kind of persons who are permeated with divine LOVE. Divine love, in turn, produces the righteous kind of life God desires and that is best for us.

Religious laws and commandments cannot produce this kind of righteousness. Only the power and life of the Holy Spirit, working by faith in Jesus Christ, through divine love, can do so.

So, what do you do?

It is important to read in your Bible daily (I suggest you start with the Gospel of Luke, then read the rest of the New Testament).

Set-aside time in each day to be alone with God in prayer. A good pattern for prayer is what is known as “The Lord’s Prayer.” This is the prayer Jesus taught his first disciples. You will find this prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. Take each phrase of the prayer as an outline and pray through it, adapting it to your own situation.

As you have opportunity, tell others that you have found God and invite them also to accept Jesus Christ.

But having given you these suggestions, I must stress that now that you have found God, you must not substitute religious activity for the LOVE and ENJOYMENT of God.

FOCUS ON JESUS. Learn to TRUST Jesus with everything. Do not try right now to change what you are doing in your day. Instead, begin to invite Jesus INTO everything you are doing in your day. What you used to do for your personal use or pleasure, now do it for Jesus.

LISTEN inside for the gentle whisper of his voice. You will gradually begin to notice the needs of others. Whenever some GOOD and HELPFUL and NECESSARY idea for service occurs to you to do, trust that the idea is from God, step out in faith, and do it.

It will be a GREAT help for you to join with a small group of fellow believers. You can learn from them, find encouragement, and learn to pray and worship along with them.

PLEASE NOTE. Before long the serene and happy feelings you are now experiencing will begin to diminish. Do not worry. Nothing is wrong. God is teaching you to live by FAITH in him, not by your feelings.

Your faith in God will be tested. Some of the tests you will fail. When you fail, you will learn to appreciate God’s mercy. You will learn to keep “short accounts” with God and thank God that he forgives you because of Jesus. Remember what the Bible says:

“God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, NOT counting men’s sins against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19).

We live by faith, not feelings. So, after you have failed, pick up the pieces and continue trusting and following Jesus. The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

It is of great importance that you come to learn how to interact with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the presence of Jesus invisibly with you. Ask Jesus Christ to baptize you with the power of the Holy Spirit. Ask Jesus to give you the spiritual gifts he has for you to use as you serve him and his people.

Evil spirits will attempt to discourage you. They will resist your efforts to pray, to read the Bible, and to tell others about Jesus. When you experience that kind of oppression, continue to abide in the presence of Jesus, cry out to God for help, and TAKE AUTHORITY.

You have the right, because you now belong to Jesus, to command evil spirits to leave you, in the name of Jesus. Do this OUT LOUD, with confident authority. Persist in this. The Bible says, “Resist the devil and he will flee” (James 4:7).

Begin each day offering yourself and your day to God. Ask God to fill you afresh to OVERFLOWING with the light, life, and power of the Holy Spirit. Ask God to teach you how to walk with the Holy Spirit.

Finally, learn to give and receive forgiveness. Take some time alone with God and ask him to bring to your remembrance everyone from your past you need to forgive – and those whose forgiveness you also need.

If practical, contact those individuals and ask them to forgive you. They may or may not, but you will have done what God wants you to do. The Holy Spirit will lead you in this. Some things are better left just between you and God, but if some kind of restoration is called for, do that as well.

In the course of this life, God will have been training you to reign with Jesus Christ. He will use everything, your victories as well as your defeats, for this purpose. Jesus Christ will keep you safe in his care until the end. He will never leave you or forsake you.

Jesus promised, “I give my sheep eternal life and they shall never perish. No one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one” (John 10:29-30).

You can look forward to that day, when as the Bible says, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

And so, you and I and all of us who love Jesus will be with the Lord forever!

There are also some articles and videos on my Facebook page you may also find helpful.

https://www.facebook.com/PastorScottHilborn

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