Hillary writes on Godly Girls For God, a site to support teenage girls in their walk with Christ. She has some wonderful words to write about being a Christian.
In a matter of just a few days, I found a certain issue kept coming up among my friends and online community. “How do you know if you’re really saved?” One of my thoughts goes beyond the verses I use to back up the saying, “once saved, always saved,” and the regular fruit analogies (the Fruit of the Spirit, that is, Galatians 5:22-23). Although I will not claim that I know if someone has trusted Christ or not, I have always been very aware of people who appear to be Spirit led. Besides a willingness and interest in putting others’ needs first (which I fail to do so many times), I notice in others a changeable spirit and an unchangeable view of the truth.
A changeable spirit
When I look for friends, I look for people who constantly and consistently move toward their goals, even if their goals change over time; people who work on their faults, learn new things, accept advice; people who try to evaluate their words and actions to some degree. These people aren’t perfect, but they have a drive inside of them that makes them want to experience life to the fullest, and they are willing to put in the effort to make a difference in the world.
This should be true of Christians. All Christians should be changeable, and changing, no matter how many times we fail and how slow the changes are, because God doesn’t leave you where you are when you come to the cross. Yes, He accepts you where you are when you get there, fully. But if your clothes were filthy when you arrived at a friend’s house, say, your best friend, wouldn’t they give you new clothes? And you’d change into the clean clothes, because the dirty ones were unacceptable to wear inside. Your friend wouldn’t say, “Go home and come back when you’re cleaned up.” God welcomes you into His presence, and the things you get to change were never meant to be a part of you anyhow (you are NOT your clothes, you are so much more!).
An unchangeable view
Some people change in ways that contradict who they are, though, at every new idea that comes by. They think everything sounds like a great idea, and they are not consistent about their view on anything. (They aren’t even politicians…) People who don’t accept God’s Word as the truth resort to using their own thoughts as the basis of truth, or claiming a cultural system, other religion, or other system (this is what “real science” says, this is how the corporate world functions) as the decider of truth. (This reminds me of James 1:6.)
A Christian cannot and will not trade truth for lies because of convenience, acceptance, fear, situational circumstances, selfishness, pride, pain, peer pressure, guilt, or “the end result.” One of my favorite quotes is from Charles Stanley, “Obey God, and leave the consequences to Him.” It’s been on my bulletin board (or closet) for 12 years. The stand must be made, and it can be made in a loving manner, but it will not be a weak stance. See Ephesians starting at 6:10 to the end of the chapter.
How do you know if you’re a Christian? Because you long to know God more, trust Him more, and you are willing to make that your priority – you don’t let anything else get in the way of that. You want Him more than anything you might fear losing or missing out on.