Where do I go
from here?
 
This page offers some tips for the road for new Christians. You have begun a whole new life, but you may well have very little idea what to do next. Even if you think you know what to do, you might pick up some useful information.

First of all, just be happy! You can't possibly realize the full implications of what just happened to you. You have passed from death unto life, and even more wondrous things await you in the days ahead, and then throughout eternity. So cultivate a habit of constant praise to the One who set you free.

At the same time, be mindful of the reality that you need to learn to lean on God every step of the way from now on. Don't trust in your own strength, but let Him lead you by the hand each and every moment. What is the danger? There is a red dot on your forehead. If you're an action-movie aficionado, you know that means someone has a laser sight trained on you, hoping to take you down with a bullet or two. Satan is that someone. You just escaped from his kingdom, and he wants you back. He knows his chances to get you are best when you're still feeling your way around the new land of light.

Determine you will never return to the realm of darkness. Don't listen to anything that suggests that you left something back there that you need to return for. It's a lie. You are on a spiritual battleground now. You may have been on one even for a time before your conversion, but the difference now is that you've been rescued by the good guys, and the bad guys want you back. So take note of your new standing and link arms with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, as well as with the angels and other believers, and stand your ground through the power of God within you.

How can you do that? Learn about prayer and do it often. Get a Bible and read it. Discipline yourself to set aside time to be alone with God every single day, without fail. This is extremely critical for your spiritual health. It's a good idea to do it both shortly after you awake in the morning and before you go to sleep at night. These devotional times will grow more and more meaningful to you as you go along. They will be a tremendous source of strength and a wall against the enemy of your soul.

Also, get involved in a church and get to know some mature Christians who you can learn from, pray with, and confide in. There is strength in numbers. Especially because one of Satan's favorite tricks will be to isolate you. If he can make you feel you are all alone, you are more likely to become discouraged, and in such a case you are very vulnerable to his attacks. Even Martin Luther, the great reformer, said he had his worst temptations when he was alone, and so learned to seek out the company of others when he was under fire from the devil.

Yes, you are going to be tempted. You are going to have spiritual trials, when your faith and determination to follow Christ will be tested. These are hard times, but they are good times also, because if you handle them right, you will grow stronger each time you go through one of them. Yes, God allows these times to refine us and temper us. Think of the process of making a high-quality knife. Not only does one need to start with the right metal, free from impurities, but also that metal must go through the annealing process to give it lasting strength. After that, it is put to the stone to give it a fine edge. In the same way, the difficult times we go through are meant to give us what we need to live and serve in the days ahead.

You are going to quickly discover that there are basically two different battlegrounds for the believer, the external one, and the internal one. Some people have most of their battles in one or the other, while others struggle more or less equally on both grounds. An example of the external would be persecution for your faith from a family member. A common internal battle would be dealing with problematic thoughts. Remember that nothing that comes against you on either front will be too much for you. God will give you overcoming strength at every turn of the road, if you will allow Him to do so. It is when we turn to our own strength that we get into trouble. God is the one who saves us, and takes us all the way through, not we ourselves.

A vitally important thing to keep in mind in your trials is to always focus on the eternal. When internal or external battles come, Satan will often attempt to get you to look only at the uncomfortable situation you are in and then tell you the way out is to give up your faith. It can be a compelling argument, of course, because in many cases, giving up would seem to be the best way to immediately get out of the trouble you're in. But giving up on eternal life to keep your family from persecuting you, for example, is a very, very cheap trade. Countless believers can tell wonderful stories of how they endured difficult times through the power of the indwelling Christ, and that because they did, others came to know the Lord also. Whatever the case, and whatever the situation, your eternal soul is always worth more than any short-term gain in this world.

Know that you are going to grow stronger and stronger each day as you keep putting one foot ahead of the other in your march toward Heaven. Take it one day at a time, and if necessary, one hour at a time. Don't worry about tomorrow's trials, just look for God's help for each moment, and you will find it. He will never, never, never let you down.