I believe in Jesus... so now what?
For the majority of my lifetime, I’ve lived in this, “Now what?” predicament. I have believed in Jesus for as long as I can remember, but I haven’t (until maybe a year or two ago) known what to do next. I even have lived in the trenches of questioning if I said the sinner’s prayer correctly, or if I did it ‘right’ in asking Jesus to be my Savior. I’ve asked Jesus again…. and again… and again to be my Savior- just so I’d be sure that He really was. Oh goodness, tell me I’m not alone in this?!
Here comes an over-generalization but, in my experience, I believe the Church does a great job of leading people to Jesus, but lacks in the area of giving the next steps that should come after that. This leaves people with questions like: What actions should I now take? How do I grow in faith? When will I start to see God working in my life? How do I have that transformation people talk about after being saved by Jesus? How do I begin to feel differently? Why don’t I desire to know Jesus more? How do I have a “relationship” with God? How do I even read the Bible without it boring me to death? Who is the Holy Spirit?
In other words; What. Do. I. Do. Now?
The thing of it is: God’s unending love and grace, and Jesus’ sacrifice extend so boldly to us that we truly don’t have to do anything past belief. When we believe that Jesus Christ is God’s son and that He died for our sins so that we could live, WE ARE SAVED from the punishment of death and hell. We go to heaven when we die, we rejoice with our loved ones who have also believed that have gone before us. However, if we truly truly truly believe, shouldn’t there be more devotion on our part than just that? Sure, going to heaven is an amazing future to look forward to—but if that’s it to this Christian thing, doesn’t that seem like just a ‘check-list’ item to do in life?
Get saved. Check! Have a great career. Check! Get married. Check!
Don’t get me wrong, we need to pass on the gospel. People NEED to be saved by Jesus Christ.
But once we are, there should be more to it than just that. However, not more because we need to earn anything or because we need to secure our own salvation. For we cannot earn our salvation one teeny tiny bit- God bestowed His power and humbled Himself to become a baby and live on this earth and die for us- He paid the ultimate price. Therefore, we cannot earn it at all. Subsequently, therefore, we cannot undermine Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice and somehow void it with mistakes we make in our life. Once we believe that Jesus’ blood covers our sins, our past sins, present sins, and future sins are all paid for by Him.
So, I get it Church, there is nothing more required for us to do. Jesus paid it all.
Alright, finally moving on. You want more.
What to do next is:
1. Let the truth of the gospel sink into your heart. Think about it. Dwell on it. Sit quietly before the presence of God and allow your emotions to get swept away in how amazing God’s salvation plan is. This absolute belief and realization about how important God really is in your life will draw the desire for the “What do I do next” question to take place. It’s so easy to just let your mind gloss over “Jesus died for you”- I do it ALL the time! Even as I type this, my mind glosses over these deep, life altering, this-is-the-reason-why-we-live truths. Taking time to still your heart and mind and just really think about these profound things does wonders to grow your love and desire for God.
2. Read the Bible. This one is obvious. But I could bet it is the one that we sweep under the rug the most. You guys, the Bible is the most vital part to what we need to do as believers. You may not understand it all at first, it may seem boring at first, you may have no desire whatsoever to read the Bible at first. The good thing is, this ‘at first’ stage won’t last long once you dive in. God will utterly, entirely, change your apathetic heart concerning His Word. You’ll find Him there. Jesus is the Word. (More on that phenomenon later). Moreover, the Holy Spirit will ‘translate’ the confusion to you and will teach you as you read. Ahhhhhhhh. The Bible. It’s SO good. (More posts on How to read the Bible, different methods to boost your understanding, how to find the right ‘way’ to get into the Word, how to not feel condemned if you don’t read the Bible; all coming soon.)
3. Pray. (Another ‘duh’ one) If we have direct connection to the Creator of everything through Jesus at all times, why do we talk to ourselves in our heads so often? Might as well carry on a two-way conversation with God, right? That seems a lot less crazy than me just talking to myself all day. Prayer can do wondrous things. God hears us. He knows what is best for us, and He will answer prayers according to His will. We have to talk to Him. Plain and simple.
4. Find more resources to saturate your life with knowing God more. I, personally, love podcasts, Christian worship music, Instagram stalking fellow believers, reading Christian books that complement understanding the Bible and foundational topics, etc. (Some of my favorites are on the resources tab up above.)
5. Find a local Church that you love. Seek fellowship with believers who are in similar stages of life as you are. Find mentors. Be a mentor. Ask questions that you have with people who can give you Biblical wisdom. Do life together.
6. Get baptized. Declare to others that you believe in Jesus. Don’t be ashamed of your faith.
I know that these all seem so easy. That you may have tried them before. That they didn’t ‘work’ for you back then. That there’s so much more to it than, ‘just read your Bible and pray’. Hang in here with me and I’ll try to give more tools, Bible references and Biblical ways to implement all these things. It’s a process. But wouldn’t it be boring life if it weren’t?! This really is just a preview of what to do next. I’m honored to help show you all how to do it. If the answer to this question were simple, I’d be able to contain it in just one post of these run-on sentences. Thanks be to God that there is so much to learn! Be encouraged and excited about it.
Friends, if you’re asking the “Now what?” question, God is most certainly doing something big in your life! Love Him for it. Ask GOD what to do next. For He will show you the steps to take 100 jillion percent better than I ever could.
All from Him and through Him and for Him,