I heard a sermon recently that was very enlightening for me. This Preacher was talking about the four stages that a new Christian will go though.
The beginning of new life in Christ:
1. Salvation - trusting and believing in Jesus Christ as Saviour. Accepting Him into your heart and life.
Learning to walk in your new faith:
2. Obedience - baptism, studying His Word, praying, tithing, attending church services, working to further Godís Kingdom.
Reaping what you have sown:
3. Blessings - Realizing that every good thing comes from God. Being thankful in all that He has done for you, especially salvation. Experiencing the joy and peace that only God gives. Sometimes having wonderful experiences in family relations or monetary gains.
Then comes the fourth and hardest stage:
In this fourth stage God may be trying you - to see if you are real. To see what youíre made of. I think this stage is where many people crack. I know I almost did. All of a sudden it was like ďGod, what happened? Why are you leaving me alone at a time like this?ď My world seemed to be coming apart and God was hiding His face from me. I just could not understand. After all, I had been faithful. I loved Him more than life. I felt like I had given Him my all but still bad things were happening! What I did not realize was God was teaching me to grow. I had been on the milk long enough. He had held my hand long enough. Now it was time for me to walk by faith, not by sight or my good feelings.
I accepted Christ as my Saviour at the age of six at a Church camp. It was very real to me and I will never forget it. But a lot of things happened in my life as a teenager and I was drawn away from God for a very long time. I finally returned to Him only five years ago. I re-dedicated my life to Jesus Christ. So really, it was like I was a new Christian all over again.
When this testing came, had it not been for the grace of God and some wonderful Christian sisters in my Churchís bible study class, I would not be where I am today (still growing, by the way). I might be back out there in the darkness. Still struggling. Still harboring bitterness and resentment for the hand that life had dealt me. Donít get me wrong - I am by no means claiming to have attained. As the Apostle Paul said ďI press on toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.Ē (Philippians 3:14 KJV). But these ladies were there for me. They helped me to grow and to understand what was going on in my spiritual walk and I love them all dearly for it.
If you are going through a trial or testing from God himself, stay strong, stay faithful, donít ever give up on God. He is not giving up on you. He just wants you to grow. He is forming you into the image of His precious Son. Thatís how much He loves you. Let your seed be rooted firmly in Jesus. If you trust completely in Him, he will bring you through any trials a much stronger Christian. God bless you all.
Great anointed piece and testimony!!!
How true that there are so many stages in our growth as a Christian as we grow in the Grace and the Knoweledge of our Lord and Saviour!!!
Truly you are a Beautiful Testimony to the Grace of God and what He has done in your life and continues to do!!!
Continue to pen for the Glory of God!!!
I was Blessed and Greatly Encouraged!!!
With Jesus Love,
Julia, this is a beautiful testimony. God will indeed test our loyalty and devotion ....causing us to test our "wings of faith"
We,Christians do go through trials don't we!!?
But one thing we need to remember... the devil will test us also, to find out where our weaknesses are. He will strive to find our
"breaking" point, and if he finds it, he will certainly use it to his advantage.
Oh, Christians beware! Soar high on those wings of faith.
God bless. Bessie
Thank you so much for a beautiful article. Written very clearly and was simple to understand and digest. Thanks for bring to front the four stages we go through as Christians. Very well explained and illustrated in a way that one can easily remember. Stages 2 to 4, I believe will recur throughout our Christian walk. God bless
Julia, there is nothing that takes the place of a good personal testimony to share the truth and power of Jesus Christ with others. Your testimony is precious, first to you because it is your resume of Christian growth, second because it can lend a helping hand through written words to others who are experiencing "growing pains." Thank you for taking the time to share. Thomas