How do you know when you are truly following God?
How can you tell if Jesus is really living in your heart?
These are questions that often times filled my mind as I drifted off to sleep during my early years as a high school student. Sure, I went to church with my family on Sundays and believe me I tried super-duper hard not to use swears, but I still had to wonder, was an hour on Sunday mornings and trying not to cuss what following Jesus was all about?
During my sophomore year of high school, I began discipleship. By having someone join me and guide me on my walk with Christ I was able to learn and grow so much in my understanding of what having a relationship with Christ looked like. Here I am four years later, and I truly believe that discipleship is what Jesus wants us to do, how He wants us to pursue and know Him.
Discipleship, in my experience, was a small group of three ladies doing life together. We read books, learned more about Jesus and what it means to truly give Him everything. We prayed together, we leaned on each other, we were open and honest, and we grew together. It was through discipleship that I grew in my faith and my knowledge and most importantly in my ability to love others like Christ.
To answer my earlier questions, I believe that you can tell Jesus is really living in you when you are not who you used to be. When your friends and family can tell you have been made new. When you look back at who you were a year ago and that version of yourself is almost unrecognizable. From the experience I had, I can say that when looking back, I had clearly been reborn. Like it is said in 1 Peter 1:23 I was made in new in Christ! I had died to myself and my selfish desires and was living for Christ. Looking back everything about me changed. My values changed, the way I saw the world was through the eye of Christ and the way I loved people was not my own.
As I walked closer with Christ, a fire was lit under me. I wanted to know Him more, to give Him more of myself and my time and to love the people He created more like He does. I had this new image of who I was in His perfect picture. I began centering my life around Him and stopped letting my world revolve around me and what was best for me. Wherever I went and whatever I did, even the smallest things, I did to glorify the maker of the stars.
Looking back and reflecting, I don’t recall there ever being one big “Ah Ha” moment. There were never any booming voices or a moment where it all made sense. Instead it was a journey, a long and twisted and messy journey, where Christ met me where I was. A journey where Christ walked beside me and as I grew in my love and understanding of Him, I let go of my tight reigns and allowed Him to lead my life. I was reborn into a new identity as a daughter of Christ and so I gave Him my heart and my life so that others might know His perfect love too.