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A New Believer’s Survival Guide

 
First the bad news… As a lion’s eye always locks onto the new-born calf in the herd, the strategy of Satan is to crush the life of God when it is still young and vulnerable. Satan tried to kill Jesus before he was two years old! The good news is that just like those little, long-legged calves, your first few steps may be a bit wobbly but when you get going you can run like the wind and pretty much out-sprint any predator!

Jesus has graciously given us insight into what dangers to watch out for in our journey with him as well as some of Satan’s most effective strategies for silencing young lambs.

Understanding
In Matthew 13 Jesus explains through a parable that the first calf-killer is ignorance. Unfortunately many ‘newbies’ come into the kingdom with a “know-it-all” attitude. Every time they have the opportunity to learn about what salvation is really all about, they end up doing all the talking themselves. This reminds me a bit of a time when someone was “following” me in my car to Clifton Beach because they didn’t know the way. Along the way they grew impatient with me and overtook me. As the N2 highway forked, the person (now ahead of me) saw my right turn indicator too late and realized they were in the wrong lane! As he swerved to cross into the right lane his wheel clipped the lane divider and his tire burst. Needless to say he never made it to watch the sunset at the beach…

Following Christ requires bucketloads of humility. Be quick to listen, slow to speak.

Conviction
Your expectation of what your first few years following Christ are going to be like could very well determine whether you keep all your limbs, or not… Jesus said that as a direct result of your decision to follow him you will experience trouble and persecution. Things will get harder before they get easier. You might experience backlash from friends, family, maybe even work. Expect it. Don’t be surprised when life gets hard. Take it as a compliment, Satan is terrified of what will happen when you get going…

Ray Comfort explains this best. We “put on” Christ, he is our salvation. If you think of Christ as a fashion accessory that is going to make your life cooler then you will ditch him when the going gets tough. If you think of him as a parachute in a plane that’s going down, you will be so grateful to have him and you will be willing to endure whatever discomfort may result from following him.

Vision
Satan operates like an experienced pick-pocket. He’ll grab your attention and get you looking in the wrong place and with his other hand he’ll rob you of the most valuable thing you possess – eternal life with Jesus. Faith is all about trusting and waiting patiently for the inheritance promised to us. Our focus is on our future with Christ, Satan will want to get you preoccupied with the here and now.

Jesus warns of “the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of wealth”. When I sit with new-believers I tell them I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you will soon have the opportunity to have the guy or girl of your dreams or the job you have been waiting for for so long. The bad news is that it will almost certainly be a distraction. We demonstrate what we love the most by our choices. If your time, your resources and your thoughts are invested in earthly treasures then your inheritance will be temporary pleasure here on earth rather than eternal treasures with Jesus.

I don’t know the exact numbers, but of the people that I have personally baptized I would say that less than half of them are still following in the footsteps of Christ. It breaks my heart. God wants to use you as a mighty warrior in his kingdom. He has not made you to be a victim, so don’t be one. Put Christ’s words into practice – seek first the King, pursue him and desire the things of him with all your heart. Make a lifelong commitment to live in his ways and to live a life that pleases him. He is the greatest treasure, so make him your inheritance. Go all in; no half measures. This is not an experiment. Resolve in your mind that if you leave this earth with nothing else but him, that would be reward enough; because he is worth it all.

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Luke is a follower of Christ, an elder in Joshua Generation Church, a husband of one wife – Zandi and a writer when he gets the time. He was a passionate school teacher for 6 years, but now takes care of God’s kids full time.


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