Listen, all my friends who are new believers in the Lord, There is an old country song which says, “I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden.” God has promised you hundreds of things, eternal life, sins forgiven, His constant presence, every need supplied, the Holy Spirit, and many, many other things. But one thing he has not promised, that things down here would be easy. In fact, when you got saved, you made the devil mad. He can’t take your salvation away, but he will do all he can to keep you from being a good testimony and from enjoying your new life in Christ. Know your enemy!!!
I am going to briefly give you the 12 most common things that happen to believers to keep them from being successes in the Christian life.
Sure ways to fail in your Christian life…
1. Stay in the Pig Pen
I Cor 5:17 “If any man be in Christ…”
Know this, God loves you just the way you are, but He loves you too much to let you stay that way! You have been saved FROM something and TO something.
*From hell to heaven,
*from your sins to sanctification,
*from the pig pen to right living
Once you have been redeemed, it is time to leave the old life behind and seek to please Him. Otherwise, eventually, the lure of the old life will pull you back and will destroy you. Get out of the pigpen.
2. Ignore the Instruction Manual
2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
In this Book, God has given you all the answers for every question of life.
Immerse yourself in the Word of God and prayer. Develop a deep relationship with Him. You cannot grow in grace if you are not daily in the Word!
"This Book is the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding; its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's character. Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. Follow its precepts and it will lead you to Calvary, to the empty tomb, to a resurrected life in Christ; yes, to glory itself, for eternity.
The more you know God, the more you’ll love Him – and here is where you will meet Him every day.
3. Forsake the Family of God
Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
You NEED the church. It exists to instruct you, to provide fellowship and encouragement for you. You need your new spiritual family to lean on. This is your support group. When you aren’t around, they can’t help you.
By the way, it needs you too! Time to step up and get to work for God through the ministry of your church. God has given you spiritual gifts to use for His service. The ONLY way for you to be content is to do what God MADE you to do.
4. Duck Discipleship
Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
It is your responsibility to learn all you can about the faith. There are people and tools out there that can help you, but you have to take the initiative. Hang out with mature believers who will take you under their wing and bring you along in the faith. Attend Sunday school, attend Wed. night Bible study. Sunday is the Lord’s day, all day. Why not be where you can be growing in the Lord! Win souls, Invest in eternity with your tithes and offerings, be filled everyday with the Holy Spirit and rightly divide the Word of truth.
A religion that gives nothing, costs nothing, and suffers nothing, is worth nothing. M. Luther.
5. Use God as a Spare Tire
Many newbies try to live life on their own, but when trouble comes, they pull Him out of the trunk slap Him on the vehicle of life until they limp into the service station. When the flat is fixed, back He goes into the trunk until the next time He is needed.
6. Expect that God will be Your Personal Genie.
God does not exist to serve us. We were created (and recreated) to serve and honor Him. He did for us all He was compelled to do by giving His Son to die for us. He owes us nothing, we owe Him our everything.
7. Simply “ADD” Jesus to the Mix that is Your Life – John 14:6
Jesus is not a way, He is the way. He is not a fire escape from hell, He is your ticket to heaven and your Provider for an abundant life (Jn 10:10) He needs to be your all in all, your life, your breath, your everything. Not just a small part of your life.
8. Expect that Your New Life will now be Beautiful and Problem Free
1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 3 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
If anything, life is going to get harder now that you are saved. When you trusted Christ, you made the devil your worst enemy. He will never let up. The great thing is, now you will never walk alone. Jesus has equipped you with the Word, the church, but most of all, His presence and power by the Holy Spirit. Get filled with the Spirit of God every day for everything life and the devil are going to throw at you.
9. Figure that a “Little-Dab-Will-Do-Ya”
Nope, when it comes to Christianity, don’t do it in moderation. Go “all in” for the Lord. Don’t wade in the kiddie pool, get out and swim with the big boys. The more the better.
10. Trying to Be a Double Agent
Mat 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Don’t be living 2 lives, one on Sunday, another during the week, one at church, another at home or work. You are to be a Christian everywhere you go, whatever you do. Slay the flesh, say no to the devil, flee from sin and serve God with your whole heart.
11. Keep Your Eyes on Other Christians, Not on Jesus!
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him…
Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Christians are going to offend you. Sometimes inadvertently, sometimes on purpose! They are made of the same stuff you are, flesh. The flesh will fail every time. Preachers are not exempt from failure either. The devil knows that if he can get a preacher to fall, others will fall because they were looking to him.
Look to Christ as your leader and your example. Jesus will never fail you! Keep your eyes on Him and on Him only and you won’t be disappointed.
12. Finally, if a new believer is going to fail, When (not if) You Fall, Stay Down, Don’t Get Back Up! I Jn 1:9
Don’t think that you are any different than any other believer who ever got saved. These things are true for every child of God who ever entered the family. There are no shortcuts when it comes to these issues.