If you were recently baptized in Jesus name and filled with the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the evidence (sign) of speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance, then you are considered a Born Again -- Baby in the Lord! So, what now? Where do you begin this new journey of life?
Just like a natural baby there will be a growing process that you will go through, and for you to become a full grown mature Christian will take some time and patience. This article has a few key things to remember in your growing process.
HAVE A DEEP RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
Mat 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
The first thing you must understand is that God loves you. He is gentle, caring, understanding and very patient. God is your Father and you are his new born baby. But just like a natural baby, you will stumble and fall trying to learn how to walk with God. God does understand your weaknesses and will gladly pick you up when you fall. He doesn't get impatient or give up on you very easily. He will help you mature into a full grown Christian; but give Him and yourself time... it doesn't happen overnight.
The most important part of your walk with God is going to be based on how much you love God. Having a born again experience is wonderful, but the "spiritual high" of that experience will taper off, and it will be that love for Him that will keep you walking by faith on a daily basis.
A relationship is different than an experience. A relationship is based on spending time with the one you love, communicating, listening and enduring tough times. As you learn about Jesus through scripture, you will see how He loves, heals, strengthens, encourages and most importantly; fellowships with you in the Spirit. A good relationship with God will always entail a deep longing for His presence and when you have these times, praying will be very easy!
READ YOUR BIBLE
1 Pet 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
Reading your Bible everyday will help you to understand God and His ways. Be consistant! If you have very little knowledge in the Bible, than it is suggested that you read the New Testament all the way through first, really focusing on the gospels (Mat, Mark, Luke, John) because that's where you get to know Jesus. Then, focus on the book of Acts because this is all about the first church in the New Testamant.
Your Bible is the greatest book you own. So when problems arise or you don't understand certain things then turn to the bible for all your answers. Some topics will require some studying, so, get a Strong's Concordnace for KJV for both Hebrew and Greek meanings.
When studying and interpeting the scriptures, always ask God for help to understand, because the Holy Ghost leads us and guides us into all truth. Some important things to remember when studying; consider the time period the text takes place; what was God doing or saying in the text; what was man's repsonse; what truth or command is being said; and how can we apply it today.
PRAYER & FASTING
Jude 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
Phil 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Mat 6:16-18 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. (17) But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; (18) That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
The most important thing you will ever do, is praying and fasting. Praying will help you grow. Prayer is not a duty, but a fellowship with God. You should start off praying no less than 15 minutes a day. This will help you build a consistant prayer habit. Then you can increase your prayer time as you grow in God. Prayer will establish a deep love and relationship with God. It will cause you to be sensitive to his voice. Here is a simple pattern that you can pray, in your own words.
1) Tell God how great and wonderful he is.
2) Thank him for all he has done and what he is going to do.
3) Tell God your sorry for any recent sins you have commited.
4) Forgive anybody that has wronged you.
5) Ask God to give you direction for your life.
6) Ask God To give direction to others.
7) Ask for your needs (spiritual and physical).
8) Ask for other peoples needs.
9) Read and pray the Bible.
10) Spend some quiet time listening for God
11) Thank God for hearing your prayers.
12) Tell him how great he is and how you love him.
Fasting is like a tool to sharpen an axe. Fasting helps you get closer to God by denying yourself for a period of time to spend time with Him. Fasting is also used to get answers to prayer, spiritual warfare or to cleanse yourself from sin or carnal ways. A typical fast is no food for 24 hours. It is a great idea to fast once a week and be consistant. Once you maintain this kind of fasting you will notice yourself being spiritually sharper.
ATTEND CHURCH REGULARLY
Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
One of the greatest benefits of growing in the Lord, is going to church. That is where you hear the word preached. And it's the Word that strengthens your faith and knowledge. You will also have the fellowship and encouragement from God's people. So you should attend as many services as you can.
Prov 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
As a baby in the Lord, you will sometimes make mistakes and fall. But, remember babies do not learn to walk without falling a few times. Here are some helpful hints to remember.
1) Remember you are not perfect. So do not expect perfection. You are a human being. Thats why we need God. Allow God to change you in His time.
2) Have patience with yourself, because God does.
3) You may at times feel like giving up but don't do it, because God needs you. God will see you through trials and struggles.
4) If you fall, ask for forgivness, then accept His forgiveness. Then continue to walk for God.
5) Sometimes the enemy will condemn and make you feel worthless. He will also bring up your past mistakes to get you to stop praying, do not stop praying. Worship God and remind the enemy that you have been forgiven.
6) Keep trying until you overcome the problem or temptation that troubles you.
Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Fellowship is an essential aspect of being a Christian. It bonds you to people that share and believe the same as you and the bible. You will make new friends in the church that can help you grow in God. Clean and holy friendship brings a peace and satisfaction to your mind. But, you must keep in mind that they are human too, and are not perfect. They have things to learn just as you do. The scriptures say that the saints are to comfort each other in their trials. So find yourself some strong saints in the church and fellowship them.
GIVING THINGS UP
Eph 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Holiness and righteouness comes from God. And we do not obtain it over night. But there may be times God will ask you to give something up spiritually or materially for God's kingdom. He usually does this to make us better. But when he asks for something he will give something back in return. He knows what is best for us. But, God won't force you. He gently asks for it. The rewards are awesome when we are obedient to him. Let God convict you, and do it because God convicted you.
WITNESSING TO OTHERS
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Now that you have the Holy Ghost you are going to see people in their lost state. The love you have in your heart is so wonderful that you will want to tell everyone about it. The greatest tool to tell others, is what God has done for you. Here is a few things to remember when witnessing.
1) Most Important: DO NOT push God down peoples throat, they will reject you.
2) Do not argue with anybody about God.
3) Just be a natural friend to them and be patient with them.
4) Tell them how great God is.
5) Do not condemn them and make them feel like a hopeless sinner. There is a proper way and time to tell people that they are sinners and could go to hell if that are not saved.
6) Do not tell people to give up things (cursing, smoking, drugs etc..) before they are even saved yet. Let them get the Holy Ghost and get established in the church first, because only God can deliver them anyways.
7) Use wisdom and love, to witness to people.