You’ve made the decision to make Jesus Lord of your life. That’s amazing news! Now what? Well Jesus tells us, and he actually made it really simple. He told people to follow him. Over and over again in the Bible, Jesus called people to follow him.
- He told Andrew...follow me.
- He told Peter...follow me.
- He told Matthew the tax collector...follow me.
- He told all of his disciples, multiple times...follow me.
- He told the crowds who followed him...follow me.
Here’s the thing about following Jesus, it’s so much more than a moment. It’s the continual decision to keep following, trusting and believing in Jesus. It’s like a, you guessed it, a journey! And listen, when I say following Jesus, it isn’t like following someone on Instagram. This is all about learning from and being close to Jesus. It’s like having a new best friend. And as we follow Jesus, he begins to teach us all about who he is. This is where God starts to transform our hearts and we start to live more like Jesus did. We start to love and serve others like Jesus did.
This is why the Bible says, “....And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” 2 Corinthians 3:18b. This means as we spend time with the Lord through prayer, Bible reading, church attendance, small group involvement, we become more and more like him!
Now let’s talk about what you need for this journey. Think of this as your hiking bag. It’s the thing that holds all the stuff you will need to keep going on the journey. Here’s something you need in your spiritual journey and that is FAITH. Faith is what keeps you going in your relationship with God. It gives you what you need to climb the spiritual mountain, even when life is really hard. So where do you get more faith? Know this: Faith isn’t something you can find, but it is something you build. Just like muscles, they need to have resistance to actually become stronger. It’s the weight that builds your muscles.
The Bible says this, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4 NLT
You might be thinking, that doesn’t sound like fun! Well, honestly, sometimes it’s not in the moment. But! The result? Totally worth it. You’re building endurance for the journey ahead. It builds your faith muscle! Just like…Going to the gym…hitting your nutrition goals…Studying hard and getting that degree.
It’s through this same process that faith is built. It is when you continue to say yes to God—even when it’s hard— that your faith muscle begins to grow! When you trust, when things are confusing. You lean into God, when something disappointing happens rather than turning away from him. When your faith grows, not only do you have what you need for the journey ahead, but it also becomes easier to say yes to God the next time. You’ve watched how he helped you before and it gives you the faith for the next challenge ahead. You’re building a history with God!
Try this over the next 7 days: identify two challenges in your life that God could be using to build your faith muscle. It could be something at work or in your marriage or raising kids. Maybe you’re a student and it’s related to your school work. Maybe it’s something with your health or the health of a loved one. Maybe it’s a past event or a present addiction.
Each time you think of your challenge or are actively in the middle of it, say a prayer to God, asking for his help.
And, coming up in the next video, we’ll give two more faith builders to help you build an even stronger faith!