Isn’t it scary to come to church after years of neglecting it? This article might be atypical in showing the journey back into the Kingdom after being “lost” in sin for a few years; Covid only perpetuated it for some of us. But how do we transition or “choose” to transition into a new life with Christ, walk into the blessings he has for us, and say no to the temptations of our old lives? We’ll get to that shortly, but let me be transparent with you for a few minutes.
I was “born” and “grew up” in church, but never really had a relationship with God. I never really even knew what that meant till this past year. I had your typical moral compass growing up. I went to church every Sunday, watched the Christian VeggieTales kids show, and would crawl under the pews during service. However, something happened at the age of 18; the freedom of choice for what I can pursue in my daily life.
Living in sin
My choices were altered by temptations after leaving high school into college. It led to a life of sin partaking in poor choices such as cannabis, alcohol, fornication, etc. I won’t dive deep into my testimony here nor is there any glamor intended with my sharing. However, the truth that I want to share with you today is that there are many people who are in the “world”, or who don’t have a relationship with Christ, that tend to get lost in what we call false comforts. So what changed and led me back to the kingdom? Ultimately, it was one verse that I recall growing up that kept playing in my head over and over again:
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23)
As I reflect, “death” truly comes in many forms. There are many people in the “world” who may be at this borderline of “death” like I was. or be in the middle of it like I was, but I’m thankful today for God’s grace in my life.
A new life with Christ
So how does one transition from this life? A life that although looks glamorous to many in the “world”, is truly filled with emptiness, damnation, and false comfort. Well, a verse that I found myself stumbling upon a month ago was Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”. It was only by the grace and mercy of God that I was led back to the Kingdom, departing from my old ways. The self-reflection and wisdom God provides are what keep a lot of us from going back to our old lives. I hear it time and time again from many, reflection and introspection is key. If you’re on the borderline, ask yourself, is this really all that life has to offer? I want to remind somebody today of Jesus’ promise to us in Matthew 11:28-30, which states:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Believe me when I say that my life with Christ trumps all those years of “false comforts” in sin.
Walk into your blessings
Now I can’t tell you that everything is a cakewalk from here, it’s not. Truth is, we all go through struggles from all different walks of life, even in our relationship with Christ. No one is perfect or has a picture perfect life when they are with Christ. I have to clarify, God does not allow bad things to happen. We walk in the natural realm and there is carnality at play, which is evident in my life and for many other testimonies that I’ve heard. However, I’ve found it time and time again that these trials can shape us and help us grow in our faith with Christ. As Psalms 34:17-18 states:
“The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
I don’t know about you, but that gives me hope in any trials I face. My daily prayer consists of sharpening whether it be mentally, physically, spiritually, or financially. Guess what, I get tested in all these areas. Perseverance, consistency, and a deep relationship with Christ is what can and will allow breakthrough; speaking from my own testimony and many others I’ve heard. Of course, the Lord’s will ultimately shall be done.
A light reminder for us all:
“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” (Hebrews 10:36)
My brothers and sisters, I urge you to stay consistent in Christ.
Saying no to your old life
While in your walk, temptation comes in many forms to try and draw you away from God. The enemy knows the change you are experiencing and the blessings and peace that comes when you walk with God, even in the trials we may face. However, everything from your mind, past sins, and old “friends” may try to steer you away from serving God at a moment’s notice. You have to ask yourself in moments like this, what are you going to feed? Is it your flesh or are you going to abide by the spirit? A Scripture that sticks out to me in such moments is 1 Corinthians 10:13:
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
As hard as the walk may be for some, say no to such moments of temptation and rather feed your spirit with the word. Also, having support from your brothers and sisters in Christ can make the walk easier and ensure you are on the “narrow path” of righteousness.
The gift of grace
This entire journey of transitioning into the kingdom is best summarized to me with the following scriptures found in Ephesians 2:1, 8:
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins…For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”.
When you return and come to the kingdom just know you have received a precious gift, grace, one only God can grant. Take it and run with it in your new journey with Christ.