By: Sherry Pryor
For those of us who are new in our walk with Jesus, may I say welcome to the beginning of a new, eternal life. (John 3:16; 10:10). Also, congratulations to all with open hearts, creating a gateway for Holy Spirit to work in us, through us, and for us. It is a journey I guarantee will be marred with growth pains of awkwardness, disappointments, and rejection. Our discipleship will be put to the test, as our well-intended, heartfelt, Holy Spirit driven messages fall on deaf ears. Our actions mirroring our Lord and Savior will go intentionally unnoticed by the blind. And those with a hardened heart will not feel the presence of God’s love being freely and uninhibitedly shared.
“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NLT
In all things, bring it to the Father in prayer. Let our prayers be unbridled and unreserved. God knows what is in our hearts. We need to ask Him to help us embrace all of the awkwardness and to bring power within us to endure the pain that comes from the rejections and disappointments of our futile attempts to reach a sinner. Please know and understand we are not accountable for who doesn’t listen and abide, we are only commanded and held accountable for spreading God’s words of truth.
Therefore, I know my awkwardness of not knowing how to pray out loud with a person and my newness with inviting a person to speak of their Jesus story will no doubt result in not being fully prepared for their potential fusillade of questions. However, it is written in Colossians 4:6 (NIV): “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
So, I continue to read and meditate on God’s Word, along with memorizing Scripture, to increase my understanding and give way for the Holy Spirit to impart more than just knowledge, but wisdom. Billy Graham said, “The Bible is authoritative, instructional, inspirational and infallible. As we grow in our walk we are renewed and refreshed. We are reminded daily through prayer and meditation that we have been redeemed, and daily we are to take up the cross and follow Jesus.”
Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.” Luke 9:23-24 NKJV
Being older in age, I think of all the days wasted in the darkness. I thought I knew all of what I needed to be a true disciple. There were years of not understanding the importance of having a relationship with our Father. I just went through the motions, but with none of the emotions I should have been feeling as I do today. I still at times feel shame that I didn’t do a better job of ensuring my children were immersed and well versed in God’s Word. I recognize and own that in my past life before I was transformed, I was a sinner. In reading Ephesians 4:23-24, “...and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness,” I now understand that I am moving away from being a sinner to a saint. This once sinner is now striving to sin less.
I am a NEW person. A fresh start has been bestowed on me by the grace of God through Jesus Christ. How wonderful it is to be awakened, though it was dilatory in its arrival, but not too late. Perhaps, it’s right on time; God’s time. So to all of you out there who are new at being a believer, or maybe like me, a believer newly awakened and brought out from the shadows, I pray you will never grow weary of exploring and exulting in the inexhaustible privilege of being “in Christ Jesus.”