The first thing to do is to talk to God. You need to admit before him that you have rebelled against him, that you deserve punishment, and that you’re asking for mercy on the basis of Jesus’ death in your place. You’ll also need to ask God to help you change from being a rebel to being someone who lives with Jesus as their ruler.
You could pray something like this:
I know that I am not worthy to be accepted by you. I don’t deserve your gift of eternal life. I am guilty of rebelling against you and ignoring you. I need forgiveness. I want the freedom that only you can give.
Thank you for sending your son Jesus to die for me so that I may be forgiven. Thank you that he rose from the dead to give me new life.
Please forgive me and change me, that I may live with Jesus as my ruler.
The first step, then, is to pray.
The second step is also fairly obvious. Having prayed the sort of prayer above, you will want to start putting it into practice — that is, actually submitting to Jesus. There will no doubt be all kinds of areas in your life in need of change.
You’ll need to get rid of old rebellious habits (like greed, anger, selfishness, and so on) and start some new ones that please God (like generosity, kindness, love and patience).
This second step will go on for the rest of your life, but God will be with you all the way. He’ll keep speaking to you (through your reading of the Bible); he’ll keep listening to you and helping you (as you pray to him); he’ll empower you to change and to live his way (by his Spirit who lives within you); and he’ll provide brothers and sisters to encourage you along the way (as you meet with other Christians).
The second step, then, is to submit to Jesus and start living with him as your ruler.
The third thing you have to do is also ongoing. You need to keep putting your trust in the right place. It’s only because of Jesus (and his death and resurrection) that you can be forgiven and put right with God. You’ll need to keep coming back to this again and again, because as you start to live God’s new way, you will still fail and do the wrong thing. We all do. We all need to keep looking back to the death of Jesus on the cross as the only grounds for our pardon. We must never stop relying on him — and him alone — as the means by which we are forgiven and granted eternal life.
If you know full well that you have not yet taken these steps, and that you are still an unforgiven rebel, then you need to do something about it. You are at a fork in the road. It’s the choice that we all face. There are only two ways to live.
Have you made the decision to make God the ruler of your life? We would love to know! Please send us an email!
You’ve taken a big step in your life. If you still have questions about what it means to be a follower of Jesus, contact us!