What To Do Before You Turn Away From God
Do you ever wonder if God loves you? Do you assume that He does not?
Do you believe that your life was not meant for good, or that others were meant to have a better life than you?
Do you know when you’ve done wrong, but you believe that you’ll never be forgiven?
If you’ve ever believed any of these things, then know that you are not alone. Everyone has feelings of doubt. Everyone has done something that they regret. No one has gone through life without painful experiences. No one is perfect.
But the difference between a person whose life is filled with trouble and strife, and a person whose life appears to be care-free and successful is not the absence of pain or the presence of “good luck.”
The difference may be their relationship with God.
YOUR MOST IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP
Before you can have a relationship with someone, you must get to know them. And to have a relationship with God, you must get to know Him too. To start today to create a relationship with God:
- Know that God is good. The first thing to know about God is that He is good. God is love, His power is transformational. He has created the universe and everything in it. The second thing to know about God is that He created you, and He created you for good (1 Timothy 4:4). Knowing Him and developing a relationship with Him brings wisdom, peace, and goodness to your life (Jeremiah 29:11).
- Confess your wrongs. When we do wrong, we know it. And when we do, we may first seek comfort from, or seek shelter with, the presence of those who will condone or accept our bad behavior. But the most important step toward creating a relationship with God is admitting to Him that you’ve done wrong, asking His forgiveness, and changing your behavior. This fundamental, transformational change is called repentance (Psalm 51:10).
- Accept Jesus as your Savior. Being “saved” means accepting Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of your life. It means choosing the comprehensive knowledge and power of Christ above all others. Learning that God loves us, knows us, and wants us to live the best life possible, also means knowing Jesus. Holding onto Him, His power and His wisdom as the framework for and foundation of what we do in life is not succumbing to the power of men: it is submitting to the power of God (John 3:16).
- Join a church. Many people around us may want to continue to do what’s wrong, or at the very least, to not do their best. The purpose of finding a good church is not to surround ourselves with others who are perfect but to surround ourselves with others who are seeking God’s best for their lives too. Church helps us to learn about Jesus, to know more about Him by studying the Bible, to find our purpose on earth, to develop a Godly lifestyle that will grow, prosper, and increase you (Psalm 1).
- Meditate on His word. Praying to God and meditating on God’s word in the Bible makes His commands a part of us; inspiring our decisions and leading us down the right path in life.In Joshua 1:8 (NKJV), God tells us about the importance of the Bible and its benefits. He says that we should “meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
- Praise God. When we acknowledge God and all of His greatness, when we read His word and sing His praises, things start to shift in our soul, and in the atmosphere around us. From the music you listen to, to the positive words you read and speak, to the images you see and think about: focus on God; continually seek His greatness and watch Him change things! (Philippians 4:4-8)
- Do something good for someone else. Jesus says in Mark 12:30-31, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” There is someone who has a great need; a need which might only be fulfilled through the gift of love from you. This may seem like a strange action to take when you’re at your lowest, but it works miracles.
YOUR NEW LIFE STARTS TODAY
The list is only a start. But like anything else in life, the more we practice new actions and principles, the more they become a lifestyle. We have a choice. We can continue to live a life consumed by our emotions and negative feelings, which turn into unhealthy actions, choices, or habits. Or, we can focus on God’s goodness, and take a step today toward living a life of freedom, peace, praise, and holiness.
Start your day by reading the Bible. Meditate on God’s words, and take time to pray. Think about good things; surround yourself with that which is good and positive. Following Jesus doesn’t mean that life will no longer bring trials, doubts, or negative circumstances. It means that your growing relationship with Him gives you the wisdom, understanding, protection, strength, peace, and power to handle those trials when they arise. Choosing a relationship with Jesus is the best choice you’ll ever make for your life.
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: 1 Chronicles 16:23-31, Jeremiah 29:11, 31:3; Psalm 1, 22:3, 29, 42:11, 51:10, 119:68; Mark 12:30-31, Proverbs 8:17, 1 Timothy 4:4, Genesis 1:31, James 4:8, Acts 3:19, Ephesians 6:14-20, John 3:3, 3:16, 13:34-35; Hebrews 10:24, 2 Corinthians 6:14-15, 1 John 1:9, 4:7-8; Philippians 2:13, 4:4-8,13; Romans 8:37-39, 10:9, 12:2 (all NKJV).
THE NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE can be reached all day, every day at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
THE CRISIS TEXT LINE – Text 741741 from anywhere in the USA to text with a trained Crisis Counselor.
DID YOU KNOW THAT WEST ANGELES has a Counseling Center? The West Angeles Christian Counseling Center offers personal development programs, and classes on marriage, parenting, and more – regardless of your membership status. You don’t have to be a West Angeles member. Please contact (323) 737-7463 or 733-8300 ext. 2360. Please click here to learn more.
PLEASE JOIN US FOR “SISTERS” –Make June 10th the best day of your life. Join us for an uplifting evening of growth in Christ, sacred music by “Extension”, and lots of love from your sisters (and yes, our brothers are welcome too!). Sunday, June 10, 2018 at 7:00 PM at the WEST ANGELES NORTH CAMPUS SANCTUARY: and bring a friend! For maps and directions, please CLICK HERE.
Image: Derek Miles Taylor for Creation Swap