When I decided to follow Jesus, I knew there was no turning back. In that moment of total surrender, I felt invincible. If God was for me, who could be against me, right?
The truth is, once I became a Christian, there was someone against me. The prince of darkness was, and still is, against me. He is the enemy of the soul, and he uses any means he can to make Christ-followers waver and turn back. In talking and praying with my friends, here are some things that we struggle with as we strive to follow Jesus without turning back…and here are some things that our God has equipped us with to keep us from turning.
Everyone’s temptation is different. But we all have them. Temptation threatens our walk with the Lord daily. I’ve learned in my weekly bible study with my church ladies that it affects our identity in Him. He says we are His chosen ones (1 Peter 2:9), but our sin clouds that identity in Him.
Here’s the awesome part, though. “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
He will provide a way out! That is so awesome! On my own, I am no match for temptation. But the God that I follow says that He will provide a way out for me.
I seem to daily add to my own level of busyness. I realized several months back that when I become too busy trying to be everything to everyone, there’s really nothing left of me…the me that God created me for.
God has shown me some ways to get rid of the busyness in my life in order to make room for Him. One way I’ve learned to de-clutter the “requirements” of my days is by learning to say no. Sometimes the things that I think are required of me aren’t really requirements. Saying no was hard at first, but it’s kind of like riding a bike. The first time’s a little shaky, but it gets easier after that! 🙂
The main way that I’ve gotten rid of my busyness is by making a determined, intentional, conscious effort to start my day off with quiet time with the Lord. When I am having a sincere time in His Word, speaking and listening to His voice, everything else in my life falls into place very easily.
What kind of fear am I talking about? Fear of the unknown, fear of rejection, fear of new things. These are personal fears of mine. I was born as an introvert. I was quiet as a baby, quiet as a child, and quiet as a teenager. I wanted to hide behind the crowd and the noise and just sort of…fade in. I remember actually not being able to breathe when I had to speak in front of people. This may sound strange since I’m now a teacher, singer, and oftentimes a speaker. I’ve questioned the path I’ve been led down several times, especially in moments of extreme fear and trembling. God, I can’t do this. The words are leaving my brain! I can’t speak in front of people…I don’t know these people. I don’t know what to say! God, I’m so shy. You made me like this, why do You want me of all people to go down this road? I’m not equipped!
Do you know what He says to my heart during these times? When I am buying into the label of being too shy, too scared, too awkward, too inadequate, He says that I may have been born like this, but I was made for more than this. I was made for more than hiding in the shadows. I was made for more than wishing I would’ve spoken up when I was given the opportunity. I was made for more. You were made for more.
And guess what? We’re not supposed to be equipped within our own strength. He is our voice. He is our words. He is our strength. He is our courage. I read some words that God spoke to Paul, and I knew that He was also speaking them to me. “Do not be afraid. Keep on speaking, do not be silent.” (Acts 18: 9)
Are these struggles your own, friends? When you become a Christian, the devil will throw all kinds of hurdles your way to make you leave your path. The great news is that God will equip you to follow Him through each struggle.
The road is not always easy. It’s rough on your feet sometimes. It gets steep and narrow, and there will be times that you think you are traveling alone. Other roads will come into view, and they will look so much better than your rocky little path…but keep on this high road. And when you can’t walk another step, your Father will carry you.
I Have Decided to Follow Jesus, Arranged and Adapted by Paige Givens, 2014