How do you start over?


I have sent you an email before and I was so happy that you replied. But now I have a much larger problem.

I don't go to the church I want to go to and I'm only 12 so I can't switch without my parents' approval, which they won't give.

But every day I keep drifting farther apart from God. I feel like the devil is trying to say things in my head like "I give my soul to you devil" and I'll think no! I accepted Jesus in the second grade. Sadly, I have recommitted two or three times. Will God still accept me even though those terrible words are going through my head that I don't mean? I wish I could start over with God. Just learn about Him from beginning to end like somebody that never even knew God. I want to know that God loves me strongly and wants me to live in His house. I know that this may be asking a lot, but can you help me start over?

Thank you so much for understanding.


Let's start with some basic information. Satan's power is in lies. "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it" (John 8:44). He "wins," at least temporarily, when he gets people to believe his lies. In Revelation he is called, "the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world" (Revelation 12:9).

It's to Satan's advantage to fool people into believing there is no hope because such people won't try to follow God. In the Old Testament, there was a prophet named Jeremiah who was sent to tell Israel they were in sin. Jeremiah ran into a problem getting people to listen. Why? One reason was, "But you said, 'There is no hope. No! For I have loved aliens, and after them I will go'" (Jeremiah 2:25). The people were convinced that they were too sinful, so there was no hope for them to follow God. The point, however, is that it was all a lie! Another prophet, a contemporary of Jeremiah, recorded this: "'Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,' says the Lord GOD. 'Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies," says the Lord GOD. "Therefore turn and live!'" (Ezekiel 18:30-32).

The simple truth is that no one needs to perish. Everyone potentially could be saved, but they have to live their lives God's way. "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9).

Now another point about Satan is that in order for him to get people to sin, he has to tempt people into doing sinful things. Temptation isn't sin. Even Jesus was tempted by Satan. But if we never think of something that is wrong, Satan would be unable to tempt us.

What is happening is that you are reaching the age when you have gained the knowledge of good and evil. You're losing the innocence that protected you from many wrongs. You are seeing the potential of sin around you. Small children don't have this. God, speaking of the children in Israel said, "Moreover your little ones and your children, who you say will be victims, who today have no knowledge of good and evil, they shall go in there" (Deuteronomy 1:39). As a result, ideas pop into your head that you realize are wrong.

What is important is not that those ideas pop up, but that you recognize them for what they are -- evil -- and that you're rejecting them. That is what God wants you to do. "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).

While many denominations teach that all a person must do to be saved is to accept Jesus, the sad truth is this too is a lie or at least a partial truth. Such teaching became popular because people could claim to have converted large numbers of people without much effort. Take a look at the sermon outline "Religious Bargain Hunting" to see several ways people try to simplify the concept of becoming saved. The way you can know you are saved is by knowing you've done as God has commanded. I would like to you to look at a table of passages, "Things That Accompany Salvation." Look each one up in your Bible and see for yourself what God says you need to do to be saved.

As you grow into womanhood, you are going to find that your feelings often color your view of the world. Not that this is a bad thing, but remember that your feelings can be manipulated. Some people put more stock in their feelings than in what God actually said. "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him" (I John 2:3-5).

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