Growing as a new believer is not that much different than the growth process of a new born. When my children were born, they needed food, fresh air, exercise and diaper changes and engagement with family. So it is for a new creation in Christ Jesus.
What a new believer needs to grow:
- Time spent in the Word of God
- TIme in prayer/fellowship with God
- Exercising/walking in the biblical truths that one learns
- Engagement with the Body of Christ/commitment to a bible believing/walking church
Let’s consider food first. You must have nourishment to survive and to grow. Your nourishment will come from the Word of God. I encourage you to:
- Purchase a New Living Translation of the bible, if you don’t already have one.
- Begin with reading the Gospel of John which is the 4th book in the New Testament. This will introduce you to Jesus, and as you learn about Jesus, you will learn about your Heavenly Father.
- Proverbs in the Old Testament is a good introduction to walking with wisdom.
- Psalms is a window into the heart’s of men such as David who pursued God, and navigated hardships and missteps, and poured out their emotions before Him, then fixing their gaze on His goodness. The Passion Translation is an excellent paraphrase for the book of Psalms.
Along with food, you will need fresh air. This will come by spending time with and getting to know Holy Spirit, Jesus and the Father as you talk with them. Remember how you opened your heart to them when you were saved? You do the same thing now. Just talk to them. Thank them. Tell them how much you love them. Sit and wait, listen. You may receive a picture of sorts, or a sense/impression of what they are saying to you. Just hang out with them. Sing to them. Worship them.
We all know exercise is needed for optimum health and strength. Just as a baby begins to move, stretch, and grow stronger as they lift their weight, push, pull, etc., you will exercise as you apply the principles you learn in the Word. With increasing knowledge comes opportunity to put it into practice, where you will begin to see measured growth as you allow Holy Spirit to teach, encourage, correct and realign you. Continue practicing what you learn, until the new skills become a normal part of your Christian journey. As time goes on, revisit the foundational truths so you remain steady, always remembering, your walk with Him is based on relationship and your love for Him first and foremost. It will always come back to this. When intimacy is left behind, it becomes religion and all about you… not Him.
Yes, you will fall… just like a baby who is just beginning to walk. Just get up, laugh, and do it again. This just means you are learning. Learning is good! Before you know it, you won’t just be walking, but running, jumping and climbing. As Holy Spirit teaches you new things, or you receive revelation while reading the Word, you will begin the process of crawling, walking, falling, walking and running in that area. There is always more, so don’t compare yourself to someone else. They may be strong in one area, and just learning in another. Just concentrate on what the Holy Spirit is teaching you, and know that Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit are delighted in your process of growth. This is where you will come to know them intimately. This is where you will learn to take their hand and depend on them, ever listening for their quiet voice.
Diaper changes… the fun stuff. All babies need diaper changes, and new borns need them all the time. So, you will also encounter a mess, and need a mentor to come along side of you to give you a hand. This is just part of process. A spiritual mentor/father/mother can support you in your walk, give you insight in how to apply the Word to your life, and make what may seem like a crooked path straight by sharing personal experiences and wisdom gained during their journey.
We all need it, no matter the stage we are at. None of us are perfect. We are all learning. If you are eating, breathing and exercising, then you will be needing a diaper change. It means you are growing, and with growth comes occasional clean up. It’s all good, and if handled with humility and a good dose of laughter, you will be fine, and have stories to share with those you mentor in the future.
Lastly, you will need engagement with family. Find a church that states they believe the Word of God is final authority, and they do not deviate from teaching the entire counsel of God. This means they believe that Jesus is the Son of God, born of a virgin, shed His blood and died for our sins, was resurrected and now sits at the right hand of God Almighty. If the church believes the bible is true today, they will believe that all the things the early church walked in (baptism of the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues, healing, deliverance, prophecy, words of knowledge, words of wisdom… etc.) are all still in operation today. Consider sitting down with the pastor and asking him where he stands on these things.
Next, attend a few services. Do you feel comfortable? Do they worship freely? Are the people warm and inviting? Find out if they have smaller size groups that meet in homes or other locations for fellowship, prayer, the Word, and/or social gatherings. Does the church have any outreaches that you would like to participate in? If you have found a church you want to commit to, talk with the pastor. If you have not yet been water baptized, ask him about this. Ask where you can best help out, while learning and being supported/mentored by others in the church. Ask if they have someone who can take you under their wing and disciple you as you begin your Christian walk.
As a believer, your next step will be asking Jesus to baptize you with the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in tongues. You can read about this in Acts 2:1-4. I also have a resource page that gives information on this. This gift will empower you, taking your walk to a entirely new level. I encourage you to pursue this! 🙂