FAITH, NOT FEELINGS
OK, so now that you have asked Jesus Christ to forgive your sins, now that you have prayed to Him acknowledging Him as God the Son who died to pay the price of the penalty for your sins, now that you have asked Him to help you and guide you and take control of your life, and now that you have begun to stop doing a few of the things you know are WRONG, why is it that you don't FEEL anything, or any different?
Firstly, I guess we should make sure we have sought salvation from Jesus Christ for the right reasons, otherwise we may not have even made contact, that is, we may not have even been touched by the Holy Spirit and been made a new creature. If we have sought salvation purely as a quick or easy fix for a few problems we can't solve ourselves, then we may have been whistling into the wind. If we sought salvation to please someone else or if it seemed like something worth having a go at, possibly as a last resort, then we've certainly been whistling merrily away to a deaf audience.
If we are not overcome with a sense of our unworthiness before a Holy and just God, and if we don't have a real understanding of our heart's wickedness, and thus an appreciation for Christ dying for us personally, then perhaps our motives are amiss. If we are very sorry for ourselves, but not sorry for all the things we have done wrong to God and others, then our motives are definitely amiss.
But, if we have genuinely and sensibly come to the reasonable conclusion that Jesus Christ was God who came to earth in the flesh, and if we genuinely know in our hearts that we are unholy and sinful before Him, and if we truly acknowledge that Jesus alone can deliver us from an eternity in hell to a certain eternity in Heaven, then, if we confess to Jesus that we believe He is Lord and that He died and rose again because of our sinfulness, then the bible says,
...WE ARE SAVED!
(many people ask "who exactly should we pray to?". Well, Jesus told the disciples to pray "to the Father" in "Jesus'" name. That sounds good enough for me. God the Father is revealed in the flesh as God the Son who is Jesus, and it is God the Holy Spirit who makes us a new creature and who indwells us thereafter. You can study the Trinity later.)
Assuming then that our motives are correct and we have prayed to Jesus to save us, and in fact He has, shouldn't there be elation, flashing lights, thundering voices from the heavens or even perhaps a fainting fit? Nope, not usually any way. A few people do experience "out there" happenings when they are spiritually born again, but they are way in the minority.
Know that it is by FAITH that you are saved and not by feelings. If you want to know now where Christ is, He is IN YOU. It says so in revelation 3:20. Jesus is not just "out there "somewhere. He's not just "in heaven" somewhere. He's in you by the Holy Spirit. Believe it. Count on it. But you say "I can't feel it". Well you probably can't feel your liver inside you either, but it's there. Just believe Jesus has done what He said he would. Use the faith God has now given you to believe in Him. Don't be swayed waiting for feelings. Don't let the devil persuade you that because the "earth didn't move" then you are not saved. This is the beginning of a whole new life for you based on faith, and that faith will evidence itself in the material realm as you progress.
Jesus Christ said "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me". Would Jesus lie to you. If He would, we're both wasting our time, but fortunately, no He doesn't lie to us. It's true what He says, that is, if you invite Him into your life, He'll knock the door down if He has to, just to be with you.
Open your bible and read 1 John 5:11-13. This is what it
"This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life."
This is God's inspired word. If you don't believe that, give up now and go watch TV. If you do believe it, RELAX and live like you really accept that what God says is true blue, fair dinkum and dinky-di, (Aussie slang).
One of Satan's great lies is that you must have some kind of an emotional experience when you receive Christ. But the Word of God says you are to receive Christ by faith, and you are to live by faith. This doesn't exclude the importance of emotions. But, according to John 14:21, you are not to seek an emotional experience. You are to live by faith and obey God's commands.
I suggest that you pray aloud, thanking God for what He has done in saving you. The very act of thanking God demonstrates faith and will contribute to your assurance that Jesus has indeed saved you. Speak to God just as you would to your earthly father. Speak honestly about your doubts, fears, joy, ambitions, hopes and needs and above all realize that HE now REALLY DOES hear you and will act on your requests as He sees fit, and when it is in your best interests. He now wants to be in charge, so LET HIM.
God wants to build in you character and endurance and patience and faith. He has begun a work to change you into a person you never thought you could possibly be. If you have addictions, sins, problems etc that are not quickly solved or done away with, don't despair or give up or question your salvation. That would be quite frankly, DUMB.
Have faith and patience no matter what. Tell God about your frustrations but also tell Him you are willing to wait to see His unfolding plans and evidence in your life. God will try you at times to see if you're fair dinkum (Aussie for serious) about trusting Him, but in the end you'll be better off for it.
As difficult and boring as it may seem initially, and even sometimes after, force yourself to start reading the Bible. It is after all, GOD speaking. Start with the new testament if you like. One chapter per day, whether it makes sense or not, and whether you feel like it or not. The words WILL CHANGE you from the inside out. They are no ordinary words. They are spiritual life giving words. Without really realizing it, if you do this for even just one year, you WILL BE a different, better, more joyful, more optimistic and more successful person.
Don't expect the Christian life to be trouble free. God allows troubles into our life as part of the refining process. But after a while, you will almost welcome these troubles, as you know the Lord is making you a better Christian and person, just as say a football coach might put his prize player through the most strenuous training, because he knows it will bring out the champion in him. And when a Christian encounters hard times, the difference is, some happiness might temporarily be suspended, but the deep down joy doesn't go away, because the Christian knows that God still has everything under control and nothing that is happening to you has taken Him by surprise.
A person who has truly been "made a new creature" by the Holy Spirit will eventually begin to show the "fruits", or proof, of indeed being a new creature. The fruits are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. They are produced by the Holy Spirit working in a genuinely converted person's life. Such people will also put others first, obey God's word and be ever ready to proclaim Jesus Christ is their Lord if asked. (If after months or years, a person fails to exhibit much lifestyle change, or fails to demonstrate these "fruits" as mentioned, their conversion has to be seriously called into question).
I don't write all this just to fill up a page. I don't get anything out of it. I write this because my lifetime of experience and millions upon millions of other people's lifetimes have proved all of the above to be true.
Have faith in God's word, don't live just by feelings, trust Jesus and always choose faith over fear. Be patient, aim for the top, be prepared to let God work you hard if necessary so you may experience the joy of Him saying to you in Heaven one day soon.....
"WELL DONE ... COME IN ... AND HAVE A HAPPY ETERNAL LIFE "
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