Are you familiar with putting on a smile 24/7 as a fledgling Christian? Did you one time believe that being a Christian entailed endless joy and no struggles at all?
Maybe the church you went to had all the 'smiley face' doctrine. Maybe your church promoted the 'prosperity gospel,' which is just a happy name for 'pastors getting all the money and living lavishly.'
You ever felt empty with all of this hollow encouragement? You ever felt like you were missing something despite feeling so 'happy' in your church? You are not alone.
As a Christian, life can be really joyous and carefree sometimes. Yet, more often than not, it is a pit of temptation and suffering. Sometimes God lets you flourish the way you are, because your walk is decent with Him. Yet, sometimes you run into a roadblock while you think everything is fine. Maybe God is trying to prune something in your life. Ask Him in earnest about it. Your walk will never be perfect until you arrive at New Jerusalem.
Maybe you have attended a service where a doctrine a pastor proclaims seemed to good to be true. E.g. Bill Johnson… He promised that diamonds would appear in the houses of Bethel members. The 'glory cloud' appeared in his church. It's more than likely a fog machine anyway.
Maybe you finally had the urge to go into your Bible and find out how the Christian is supposed to live life. That, for one, is one of the best urges a new Christian could have. What would be the point of a conversion if the person didn't want to read the Bible? Maybe to merely get a ticket to the 'stairway to heaven?' Sad to say, I know where most of those are going. It makes me think of AC/DC.
A 'ticket to heaven' conversion is no conversion at all. An 'I accept You into my heart, Jesus, then I'll sin the rest of my life' person will be petrified at his unbecoming fate. It takes a lot of gut to lay yourself before Christ. It takes a lot of humility to say, 'Christ, I'm Yours,' and truly mean it. Also, you must repent in order for it to be valid, because living the Christian life is a walk of constant and unrelenting repentance of your sin nature.
Ask the LORD to give you a discerning mind. Ask the LORD for a mindset of constant repentance. For the littlest mistakes, and for the big ones too…
Being a Christian is not about sitting around listening to the newest Hillsong track and being like 'being a Christian is fun.' Sure, there might be some exciting times in your life as a Christian. Yet, more often than not, it will be a constant swim against the rushing river of sin. Be the fish that struggles for its life, instead of being the dead fish that flows down the river. Ask God to show you the narrow way.
Be audacious. Don't settle for lesser doctrine for the sake of wearing a million smiles. Be a Berean. Read the Scriptures and apply the doctrine within to your life. Don't assume that what your pastor says is right. He may be right, he may be wrong, we will never know, unless we test it against the Word of God.
I can guarantee that you won't be liked. Being a tried and true Christian will result in many that considered you a friend to leave. Yet it will attract those who are open to the truth. For those, teach them the true Gospel and let them decide to come to Christ.
The point of Christianity is to love Jesus before anyone else, by letting God speak to you through His Word. Don't expect an audible voice. Just let His Spirit comfort you with the words of Scripture.
Exercising a true Christian lifestyle will result in selflessness. People will see that you are inherently different. If someone needs any help, be glad to offer any help you can give. Don't afraid to be different in this ever-further conforming world. Be the last one if you are.
"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." (Hebrews 13:2)
Seriously, you might just have entertained an angel. I truly believe that. Don't think I am crazy.
We are called to live a Godly life. My words will stop here and I will end this with a passage in scripture from 2 Timothy.
"But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:10-17)
God bless you. Stay strong, dear reader.