Last week in the Growing Faith series, I wrote about the need for patience regarding your spiritual growth, especially as a new Christian. Sometimes it can be overwhelming when it seems like there is a checklist to complete. Thankfully all we need to remember is daily surrender and working toward loving God, ourselves, and others with everything that comes from our hear, mouth, and mind. (Matthew 22:37-38). Each day is a new day to love God and one another a little bit better.
I also wrote about prayer and the importance of talking with God to develop a relationship with Him. This is the foundation of the Christian faith, relationship not rules. Prayer is one way we can get to know our Creator.
Another part of walking in the Christian faith is to be aware of the need for boundaries. I don’t know what your life was like before you gave your life to Christ, but there may be people or situations that would not support your faith. Sometimes we have to be aware of the things in our life that influence us the most. While I am certainly not saying you should only maintain relationships with those who believe the same as you, be aware of those who influence you the most and whether or not that influence is an encouragement to your faith.
In the Bible, Paul became a believer after being blinded and encountering Jesus. His former life was spent putting Christians in jail and often having them killed. After his conversion, he spent some time away from his former life (Galatians 1) before he became a missionary.
Determining your boundaries may be better understood through your time in prayer. God can definitely lead you to step away from people or circumstances that aren’t the best influence. Also, the more you surround yourself with people and opportunities that help you grow in your faith, the more you will see areas that need some boundaries.
As you continue your journey as a new Christian, regularly reading the Bible allows for you to gain a greater picture of the character of God. Opening the Bible can be very intimidating. What do you read? How do you understand? What is it all about anyway? Do I need to join a Bible study group? Again, be patient. No believer has a full understanding of the Bible or God. It is impossible in our lifetime. That’s one reason to look forward to heaven!
In 2 Chronicles 34, King Josiah was a strong leader who worked to bring his people back into a relationship with God. When the book of law (part of the Bible written by Moses) was discovered and read to him, he learned the history of God and his people. He brought back observances and customs that God had instructed them to follow in order the bring them in a closer relationship with Him.
There is an abundance of Bible studies and devotionals to help you begin your time in God’s Word. There are also online resources to help you understand what you read. Biblehub.com is one of my favorite resources. You can read different translations of the Bible as well as commentary to help explain what you read. A great place to begin reading is the New Testament. If you click on the link to the right, I wrote a Bible Study on the book of John, specifically for those who want to begin reading the Bible but need a basic structured path.
I hope this series is helpful to you as you continue your journey as a Christian or need a reawakening of your faith. Creating boundaries is important if you want to grow and be encouraged in your relationship with God. Reading the Bible allows you to gain a greater understanding of your Creator and His love for you.