Someone once suggested that it would be great if there were a set of steps a person could take to become a real follower of Jesus. Let's see if we can figure it out.
Is this a true statement?
"The sinner may resist [God's] love, may refuse to be drawn to Christ; but if he does not resist he will be drawn to Jesus."
Sure, Jesus said the same thing. He just used different words:
"And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.”
The Bible also says:
"Submit yourselves therefore to God [do not resist Him]. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
So, if Jesus draws everyone of us to Himself, and if we have the freedom to choose between resisting or submitting to His love then it appears that there is only one step to take to to come to Jesus:
Choose not to resist God's love.
We have to be "OK" with God making the changes in us that are for our own good. You can call it a "Step" if you want to, but again, that's it. We just need to let God do what it is that is best for us. It's our choice to either resist God's love, or not to resist His love.
What does it mean to resist? Resisting is an attempt to prevent something from happening. Resisting is like putting the brakes on. It's something that we do.
Not resisting (submitting) is just the opposite of resisting. It's something that we don't do. When we submit to God we are choosing to accept or to comply with His ways.
We either choose to resist, put the brakes on and try to stop God's love from drawing us, or we choose not to resist His love and let Him draw us.
Jesus also said, "Without me you can do nothing..." John 15:5 and He literally means nothing. In fact, we cannot even make ourselves "willing", so if we do not resist God's love He will make us willing to submit to His drawing. Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly." John 10:10
This is what the Bible calls "God's Grace". This is "Grace" in action. It is life that we do not deserve, but the kind of life God wants us to have. It only makes sense then to submit to Someone who wants this kind of life for us and is able to deliver.
Please notice that after you let Jesus take your heart there's LOTS to do for Him. You will not be doing these things to gain salvation. Salvation is a free gift, but because you love Jesus you will obey. God will give you the strength and whatever else you need to do the things HE is asking you to do. Do not make the mistake of thinking that there is nothing to do once you have chosen not to resist God's love. Those who don't make any effort, those who just sit waiting for the Holy Spirit to force them to do what Jesus is lovingly asking them to do, are actually resisting His love and "will perish in darkness".
If you want to be a Christian then do not resist God when He prompts you to ask Him for help. Do not resist when He prompts you to admit that you are a sinner. Do not resist when He prompts you to repent and confess your sins. Do not resist the changes Jesus wants to make in your life. Do not resist His love! If you really want to be a Christian then you will not resist His love.
Here is a condensed list of what the grace of JESUS will do for you. (This is NOT "cheap grace"; "cheap grace" does not require you to do anything.) :
Jesus will bring you to the place where you will realize and admit the fact that you are a sinner, that you cannot remove your past sins and that you cannot change your own heart and make yourself holy. In fact, you cannot even give your heart to Jesus, but you can ask Him to take it. Do not resist.
Jesus will bring you to the place where you will ask for help. He wants you to say, "Lord, I believe, help me where I am having trouble believing" or to just say, "Lord, save me" like Peter did when he began to sink in the water. It must be your constant desire to be saved and changed, but He will even give you that desire. Ask! Do not resist.
Jesus will bring you to the place where you will believe in His love for you, in His desire for your happiness, in His death on the Cross. Do not resist.
Jesus will bring you to the place where you will want to be pure like Him and sorry for what you have done wrong. (This is called repentance.) Do not resist.
Jesus will bring you to the place where you not only feel sorry for what you have done, but you will ask Him to let you start over, to forgive your past mistakes. (This is called confessing.) Do not resist.
When Jesus forgives you He erases all of your mistakes and gives you a clean record. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole, but say, "I believe it; it is so, not because I feel it, but because God has promised." (This is called trust, and Jesus will even help you to trust Him.) Do not resist.
Jesus will bring you to the place where you will want to be baptized, because He asks you to. Do not resist.
Knowing that you are a forgiven sinner will make you so happy that you will not be able to keep it from being visible to others. People will want to know what made the difference in you and when they ask you about it then you will have the opportunity to share what Jesus has done in your life. You don't need to know everything about the Gospel of Jesus, just tell them what He has done for you. Do not resist.
Jesus will bring you to the place where you will really love God. (This is the First Great Commandment.) Do not resist.
Jesus will bring you to the place where you will actually love every person, not just the nice people. This will be a love that will give of self to help others. (This is the Second Great Commandment.) Do not resist.
Jesus will bring you to the place where you will want to keep His laws, all of them, because you love Him. (This is called obedience.) Do not resist.
When Jesus is ready, He will take you to live with Him and give you life, never ending life, abundant in good things. He will give you life so good you cannot even imagine it. All of this, just because He loves you and wants you to be HAPPY! Do not resist.
The fact that you are reading this right now is proof that Jesus is still drawing you, and that you have NOT committed the "unpardonable sin". So why not continue to get to know Him? Remember, "strength to resist evil is best gained by aggressive service …". Spend time everyday talking to Him and learning about Him. This is the most important "step" in not resisting Him. Jesus loves you very, very much and when you love someone you want the absolute best for them. So do not resist His love, just let Him make you into the person you really want to be anyway!
"… apart from me you can do nothing. " John 15:5 (NLT)
"Submit yourselves therefore to God [do not resist Him] . Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7 (KJV)
"In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone." 2 Peter 1:5-7 (NLT)
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter." Matthew 7:21 (NLT)
"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." Revelation 22:14 (KJV)
For further consideration:
- "When the mind dwells upon self, it is turned away from Christ, the source of strength and life. Hence it is Satan's constant effort to keep the attention diverted from the Savior and thus prevent the union and communion of the soul with Christ. The pleasures of the world, life's cares and perplexities and sorrows, the faults of others, or your own faults and imperfections--to any or all of these he will seek to divert the mind. Do not be misled by his devices."
- "We can no more repent without the Spirit of Christ to awaken the conscience than we can be pardoned without Christ."
- "It is impossible for us, of ourselves, to escape from the pit of sin in which we are sunken. Our hearts are evil, and we cannot change them."
- ... no man can empty himself of self. We can only consent for Christ to accomplish the work. Then the language of the soul will be, Lord, take my heart; for I cannot give it."
- "You are not able, of yourself, to bring your purposes and desires and inclinations into submission to the will of God; but if you are "willing to be made willing," God will accomplish the work for you, even 'casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.' 2 Corinthians 10:5."
- "...the more we know of God, the more intense will be our happiness."
- "strength to resist evil is best gained by aggressive service ..."
- "The Lord specifies no conditions except that you hunger for His mercy, desire His counsel, and long for His love. "Ask." The asking, makes it manifest that you realize your necessity; and if you ask in faith you will receive. The Lord has pledged His word, and it cannot fail."
- "The child cannot, by any anxiety or power of its own, add to its stature. No more can you, by anxiety or effort of yourself, secure spiritual growth."
- "Seek, and you shall find. God is seeking you, and the very desire you feel to come to Him is but the drawing of His Spirit. Yield to that drawing."
For an in-depth study of this subject be sure to read the little book, Steps to Christ.