Faith or Feelings
I grew up in a Christian home brought up by parents who brought me to church every time the doors were open since I was about two weeks old. Growing up, I knew in my head that I needed to be saved because of what I was taught, so on a number of occasions I would ask God to save me without realizing what it really meant and acknowledging that I was a sinner in God’s sight.
One Sunday night in August of 2002, I made one of those professions. After praying I had this wonderful feeling, so I thought I must have gotten saved. I relied on this profession for the majority of my teen years thinking I was alright, even though I would dread going to teen camps knowing that I would get convicted as a result of what was preached during the services. Whenever someone would ask me how I got saved, I would try to skate by telling them about my profession I made in 2002, and I hoped they would buy it.
“But I never had true peace in my life about my salvation.”
During the summer of 2007, my friend and I were working at the same summer job, and he was good at finding opportunities to witness and give out tracts. When he was witnessing to our coworkers, I would stand there and try to look like I agreed, but inside I was getting convicted, and my friend knew this. He would just casually drop hints to me, trying to tell me that he knew that there was something wrong with my spiritual life like “Andy, if you are truly saved why haven’t you gotten baptized yet?” I would just try to ignore him and rationalize in my head why I was fine. Finally, on the night of July 13, after another day at work and my friend’s continual hint dropping, I was lying in bed after watching a movie that talked about the end of the world. That concept struck me, and I began to think what would happen to me when that happened, and I was wondering if I was really saved because of the profession I made five years earlier.
“I was confronted with a choice to admit to God and myself that I was lost and that the profession I made previously was false.”
After what felt like hours of fighting back and forth trying to come up with reasons why I really got saved, but then realizing that I didn’t have any true spiritual fruit or true peace in my life, it came down to a decision between relying on a feeling that I got when I made that profession or relying on what God says in his Word about faith and repentance. I chose God’s Word. I told God that I had enough of this fighting within myself, and I then admitted to God and to myself that I was lost and that I needed to be saved.
“At that point I had true peace for the first time in my life.”
That next Sunday, I received a card from someone at church who I rarely ever had contact with, and the card just simply said that they were praying for me. Also, my friend had also received a card from that same person just the week before saying that they were praying for him too. I just thought to myself, wow, someone was praying for both of us during the same stretch of time that my friend was witnessing to me.
If you are like me, growing up in a Christian home, being a good kid, saying a prayer, but never having true fruit or peace in your life, I implore you to do what it says in 2 Corinthians 13:5a, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith.” Trust me, it is worth doing.