After deciding to try God, you need to read the Bible, pray, and attend a Christian church.  You should seek a church home that is based solely on the Bible and not on any other book or person.  Pray for guidance in the church you should attend.  Ask yourself these questions:  Is the Word of God their sole authority?  Did someone contact you soon after attending for the first time?  Do you feel loved and accepted?  If you can answer yes to these three questions, then you have likely found a Christian church functioning fairly well according to the Word of God.  Often, a small community church is a great place for a new Christian.  Be mindful that many large denominational churches don’t teach a personal relationship with Christ. 

     Most new Christians, probably including you, need to make some life changes, but changing takes time, so be patient with yourself.  It is important to remember that you actually cannot change yourself, so don’t expect that you can.  Your part in the change process is to desire change, and to do your best to follow God’s Word and guidance.  God will do the rest. There will be times, even many times, when you will make a mistake or sin when you are trying to work with God to make changes in your life.  When that happens, ask God to forgive you, help you, and then forgive yourself and go right back to working with God to make the needed changes in your life. You can relax, and rest in God while He changes you, but you need to cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He guides you.    

     I have experienced this sequence of events—praying and pressing towards the goal to change, and then being changed—too many times to count.  When at last God changed me in whatever problem I was praying about, I stood back, scratched my head, and asked myself, “How did that happen?”  God works in mysterious ways I cannot understand or explain.  All I know is after applying the above “formula” over many years, countless problems have disappeared.  God will miraculously use your efforts to bring you healing, wholeness, and a life more abundant than you’ve ever known, or can imagine.

AlwaysPray about every situation, and trust God to work it out.  No matter what—keep praying and pressing towards the goal, maintaining the mindset to never give up.  God will work out your problems according to His will and His way, which is always better than anything you could ever imagine, hope for, or achieve on your own.

      To bring balance here:  After prayer, sometimes my problem disappeared in a moment, and sometimes my problem disappeared in just a short time.  However, sometimes resolution took longer, and sometimes a really long time—but, nevertheless, I learned, and continue to learn, to persevere in prayer, trusting God to solve my problems.   Oh yes, some problems have not disappeared, but I keep trusting Him anyway.  Even though I don’t understand, God ultimately knows best; His ways are higher than man’s ways.  The key is to keep praying, and trust God, through Jesus Christ, to change your life in exciting, and unexpected, ways.     

     I remember a time, early in my walk with the Lord, I had to pray that He would give me the desire to change regarding one particular sin in my life, that I did not want to change, and—with time—He did!  Other times in my life, I have had to ask Him to help me want to do what I knew I should do.  The truth is, you cannot change yourself, or accomplish anything on your own, but God will guide you, and use your efforts to bring about the needed changes in your life.

On to Chapter 7