A few weeks ago, a really good friend of mine (let’s call her A*) asked me via whatsapp to share with her more about my journey in spirituality; how it is and such. I decided that instead of simply sharing it to her via whatsapp, I should write a blog post about it, and share it with some of my friends here as well. I once did a blog post somewhat related to this, which you can read here , so this is more or less a part two of that.
I hope that you will gain a thing or two, and that you will love it 🙂 !
1. BEING A BELIEVER DOES NOT MEAN PERFECT.
There is this perception that being a believer means being perfectly free of sin and temptation. That’s not the case. Nobody is perfectly free of sin; that is exactly why Jesus Christ died for us. Truth is, even as a Christian, you find yourself falling into sin every now and then, but the difference is that; you don’t give up and you NEVER let sin win. I read a really nice statement saying (paraphrased); when Jesus Christ died on the cross for you, He knew how often you’d run back to them. So, even though you may not feel like it, you are worth it. However, this does not mean that you should mock God’s love for you and sin carelessly saying, ” Ah! God will forgive me.” No! That is not right, and God will not be mocked.
Believing in God means trying every single day to live a life worthy before Him, no matter how hard it gets, or how hopeless it seems / feels. It doesn’t mean that you have everything figured out; it means that however messy your life may be, you still trust that God will bring you through it.
2. YOU SHOULD NEVER COMPROMISE ON YOUR FAITH.
Your relationship with God should ALWAYS take first priority. Never commit your heart / entire self to a person who does not agree so; be it a very close friendship or a spouse. You may think that it doesn’t really matter, but it does. The compromise will start small; first you decide not to go to church because of him / her, then you decide to read the Bible / pray later so as to fit so-and-so in your schedule; small things will combine, and eventually, you will not recognize yourself as a believer anymore. It is not to say that you should treat other people badly, no! Be kind. All I mean is that, God should take first place in your heart, and nobody should change that.
Likewise, you should not do ANYTHING that questions your faith in God. Don’t try to fit in and end up losing your identity in Christ in the process. Trust me, nothing in this world is worth losing your faith for. Do not conform to its patterns/ways. Spiritual death happens one compromise at a time. However small it may seem to you, DO NOT COMPROMISE ON YOUR FAITH!
3. WATCH OUT FOR THE TEMPTATIONS OF THE WORLD.
I love watching movies and series, and never had I thought that I would reach the point in my life where I have to censor what I watch and read because it might corrupt / tempt me, hence lead me to sin. You may be reading this thinking, ” Great! Another ‘perfect’ believer who is about to give me a lecture on how to live my life!”, but I am not writing this as ‘another perfect believer’, nope! Quite the contrary actually. I am writing this as a person who has acknowledged that no matter how strong my desire to serve God is, if I continually expose myself to worldly temptation, I won’t win. It is acknowledging the fact that being a believer does not make you immune to wanting and wishing for worldly pleasures, or to facing temptation; it only makes it harder because you know deep inside that no matter how strong the temptation / worldly desire is, YOU MUST say no to it.
My point is that, every single day, the world is becoming more and more secular. People are justifying sin because other people who they idolize are doing it. Movies, series and novels / books are encouraging us to stray from the right path; the only thing that all these do is make it harder to steer clear and live a life that is right before God. Did you note that? I said HARDER and NOT IMPOSSIBLE. The walk with Christ is not easy; don’t make it harder for yourself by leading yourself to sin. Jesus Christ said to the disciples, ” The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”. Don’t expose yourself to temptation. Don’t allow the world or anything in it to corrupt you.
4. IT’S NOT ABOUT RELIGION / OUTWARD SHOW; IT’S ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
I am a Catholic, and I have been asked enough about the controversies that other Christians have concerning the Catholic church. I automatically lose a little respect for a person when he/she asks me about any of that, because I believe that we are at a time where we should all be building and strengthening one another as believers as we fight in the constant war between good and evil. It is disappointing when people choose to draw a tiny line of separation instead. One of my very good high-school friends, who is a Muslim, was extremely passionate about her relationship with God; very devoted and consistent. I kept thinking to myself that ‘I know that she will go to heaven’ (I still believe so); not because she is a Muslim, but because of the constant time and effort that she puts in to build her relationship with God, or in her case, Allah. Being a believer is not about religion; it’s about your personal relationship with God.
Likewise, being a believer is not about an outward show of faith. Your lifestyle should speak for itself without you having to rub all your rights and everyone’s wrongs in their faces. It should be more than just how you dress or what time you pray. It should be more than what is seen outside. Don’t be a Pharisee! Believing in God means investing time and energy in knowing God better, and learning how to live a life that is right, not before man, but before God.
Christianity has lost meaning, and that is why I am refraining from using the word ‘Christian’ (except when I began this point; that was intentional and you will understand why after this) and using the term ‘believer’ instead. The whole point of spirituality is to accept the Gospel / Good News, and share it with other people. Christianity fails to recognize this and focuses on other somewhat unnecessary ‘objectives’. It emphasizes too much on the outward laws, like the Pharisees did, and less on the part concerning individual personal relationships with Christ. Just keep in mind that, the entire point is to accept and spread the Good News, and to win more souls to Christ; that is the main goal.
5. DON’T BE A SECRET / PRIVATE BELIEVER.
“It’s not your pastor’s job to teach Bible Studies to people in your life! IT’S YOUR JOB! ~ David McGovern.”
If we were to carry out a survey to find out the actual number of believers that exist in today’s world, we would be very surprised. They are more than those who publicly acknowledge their faith. I have just been emphasized the previous point that being a believer is not about an outward show of faith; it’s about your personal relationship with God. I truly agree with that, but outward show of faith should not be confused with public declaration of faith. Many of the blogs that I follow here on wordpress are actually Christian blogs, and yesterday, I was reading one of these blogs. The blogger had been nominated for a tag and in nearly every question she answered, she managed to bring up God; not in the ‘I-am-saved-and-I-am-trying-to-give-an-outward-show-of-it’ way, but in a ‘I-would-be-nowhere-where-I-am-today-if-it-wasn’t-for-God’ way. That is not an obsessive outward show of faith, like that of the Pharisees or many Christians today. God is not meant to be confined only to your bedroom when you read the Bible or to the church when you are listening to a sermon, neither is He meant to be only confined to your heart. The point of being a believer is to receive the Good News and spread it to more people. That being said, you have to be a believer, even in public. People need to know it, and you need to try and win them to Christ. That is your mission as a believer.
6. GOD IS ALSO YOUR BEST FRIEND.
As believers, we all acknowledge that God is a Supreme Being deserving of massive respect. I am not about to contradict that. I just want to say that, while God is the big person we were told about as we grew up, He is also a best friend. There are times when you will have to talk to God as the Supreme Being that He is, but there are times that you should also talk to Him as your best friend. Tell Him how your day was, how annoyed that person made you, how much you missed Him; oh c’mon, even tell Him about your crush ( I tell God about each one of my crushes..haha!), tell Him your fears and your struggles, tell Him your secrets, tell Him everything because, think of it! Who better to tell? God is to be feared in a respectful way, but that does not make Him unapproachable. Faith in God is not meant to be or feel like a punishment; it is supposed to be exciting and to bring you joy. Your relationship and walk with God should be beautiful and you should love it, it should not be something you do ‘only because the Bible says so’. Make Him, not just your God, but your best friend too.
7. IT’S EITHER BLACK OR WHITE.
Being a believer is not a game. It is a serious matter, and as I write this right now, I realize how ‘grey’ I have been in terms of my faith. The Bible mentions that you are either hot or cold. There is no place for lukewarm believers in heaven. You either believe in God, or you don’t. You can’t win this little game of sitting on the fence, and you cannot fool the Lord; YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE A SIDE.
8. BEFORE YOU DENY GOD’S EXISTENCE, GIVE HIM A SHOT.
My friend, A*, also asked me, “Why do you believe in God?” I gave her a bit of a lengthy paragraph saying (paraphrased), ” Because nothing is possible without Him. The right question should be, ‘why not believe in God?’ There is absolutely no reason not to do so.” She further went on to say, “Well, there is science which has supportive evidence of other things like evolution theory and big bang theory.”, and I told her, ” Yeap! I find it interesting that people deny God’s existence yet some scientists have claimed the existence of certain objects earlier in time that could only have been put in place by a Supernatural Being.” The picture above further goes on to support this. The only thing that science is doing today is further supporting the existence of God. Science is no longer an excuse to not believe in God. Like a certain character in a certain series that I was watching said to a non-believer, who had refused to give faith in God a chance (paraphrased), ” You can’t explain some things that exist, or how they came into existence, or how they work. The easiest thing you can do is to try and believe that someone much bigger than all of us created it all. You may have many reasons to not believe so, but first give it a shot before you deny the existence of a higher power.”
You may read all of this and still think, “Ah well, I still don’t believe in God.” That’s fine. As a preacher I heard on the radio once said, God wants you to enter willingly into a relationship with Him, He does not want to force you into it. For that reason, nobody can force you to believe in God, it has to be a personal choice you make from the heart. There have been people who say that God does not exist because too many bad things happen, and if He does, He does not care. I will be honest with you, I too cannot explain why bad things happen, but I have experienced God’s love too much to know that HE DOES EXIST and HE DOES CARE. Like Billy Graham says, “I have never known a man who received Christ and ever regretted it.” Give it a shot, but if you still decide to not believe in God or in the Good News, it’s okay, just don’t make other people doubt there faith. Don’t be that person.
9. SEE GOD IN LITTLE MIRACLES.
Miracles do exist, every day we experience them; we just never realize it because we are waiting for the big ones to happen. Some people feel that, if they accept God into their lives, everything should be perfect; life should work out, they should always be happy and successful, etc. I am not here to say that, that is not the case; sometimes it will all work out just as we want it too, and we will be so successful or everything will be perfect. Sometimes, it just won’t and we will have to be a little more patient. It doesn’t make God’s love for us any less. See Him in even the most ‘basic’ victories or blessings; the gift of life, a family, a roof over your head, friendship, a job, access to education and more. See God in your ordinary activities, and that is when you will realize that the big miracles have been happening all along.
10. ALWAYS BE GRATEFUL.
I once saw a picture or message somewhere saying, “Every time you pray, start by thanking God for what you have before you even start asking for something else.” Just as I have said in the previous point, there is so much to be thankful for, and none of it would be possible without God. Take time to let Him know that you are thankful for all of it. Thank Him for His existence in your life. Everything that you refer to as ‘normal’ is actually a miracle in itself. Take time to be grateful to God.
That’s it for this post; I hope it inspired you in even the slightest way.
HEADS UP; tomorrow (rather, later today; because it’s already past midnight Kenyan time), I will be posting two blog posts under the category ‘YoungInspiration101’, so do keep an eye out for that.
As usual, don’t forget to:
Have a lovely week ahead 🙂 !