Tuesday, June 14, 2016

I Think I Might Need God in my Life: What Should I Do?

"Quest" via Wikipedia
"I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me." -Proverb 8:17

So maybe some wonder: "I see your posts, your Christian life, the proofs of God's existence, and I've realized that there's something to all that. And I want to take the next step. What do I do?"

First, understand that you are embarking on a journey that will transform your life.  Your about to begin a process of not beginning to practice a religion, but your beginning to seek God.  It's a relationship, beyond any relationship imaginable.  It's expressed not through conversation so much as through moments, through thoughts, and through the natural world.  The word of God and prayer are of course paramount to this journey.  The word is the guide book to existence, life, and everything.  Prayer is our communication toward God.  

"The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him." -Lamentations 3:25

Ultimately this journey will challenge the deepest foundations of who we are.  Our entire worldview will be upset, disassembled and transformed.  Our conduct will be challenged, our thoughts will be changed, and our entire manner of living will change.  It is the greatest journey imaginable.  And we must understand that it is a costly journey.  It will take all that we have.  It will cost us all that we have.  We may lose friends, family, we may lose everything we have.  When God calls us to Him, he leaves no room for our own ways to remain.  He comes for all of us, every little bit.  So the first thing you must do is count the cost.  Are you willing to go all in on this journey?  If not, there's the door.

What's nice is you can begin this journey gradually.  You don't have to dive in to all of that all at once.  Depending on where you are, you can simply make a beginning.  Begin to seek after God.  Watch for his fingerprints in your daily life.  It started that way with me. Eventually the heart follows, and later, the life itself.

"You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13

The next step is find a good church community in your area.  I know, I'm sorry.  No one likes this part.  I didn't either.  But I'm convinced it's quite necessary. Some people go back to the church they were raised in. I didn't do it that way. But you can google churches in your area and consider different options. You can ask people in your area if they'd recommend an institution.  I went to a church that I felt God was leading me to.  But I explored other churches in the area, I went to probably about 7 different services, getting a feel for what they were all like.

Why a church? It's a big deal to commune with other believers and engage in worship and bible study. We can try to do it by ourselves, but I think it tends to be a losing battle, and leaves us open to attack, isolated. 

The down side is a lot of churches get it wrong, and a church community can and often is very messy. It's tough. There's drama. And the teaching may not be right or not Spirit filled. So you may have to shop around for a while, and find a church that is certainly spirit filled.  But be careful here, don't leave a church because the teaching is hard.  We need hard teaching.  Don't leave a church because your being challenged to grow and change.  We need that!

Make your search in prayer. Purchase a good study Bible. Begin to pray on a daily basis. I try for 3 times a day. Many pray once in the morning and once at night.  Daily devotionals are great too, in the morning I do two. As you take those action steps, God will bless your journey and you'll start to grow close to Him.

Ultimately it's about reaching Jesus Christ of Nazareth.  He is the way to God.  We can't approach God any other way.  Our fallen ways separate us from God, but Jesus Christ is our way to God.  So seek after Jesus Christ.  Call out to Jesus.  Flee with your heart and mind into the arms of Jesus.  Literally call out to Him: Jesus help me. Jesus save me.  Jesus change me!

It all starts with an opening commitment. If there are accompanying struggles with alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, pornography, gambling, etc get involved with 12 step groups in your area. Or find a Celebrate Recovery, or see a counselor.  I purchased Christian books on struggles and topics such as those.  I purchased workbooks on depression, angry, anxiety, and other issues.  I began to work on myself, everyday. 

Take those action steps. Pray about it. It'll work out. If God is tugging at your heart, then do it!

"Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded." -James 4:8