No one can answer this question for you. The most annoying thing about faith is the not-knowing. For, if we knew, in detail, every answer, faith would cease because there’d be no unanswered questions. Faith, at the end of the day, is a choice. It is choosing to believe, choosing to trust, choosing to discover something and Someone greater than yourself. The born-again experience is only as real as you make it.
Being saved, or born again, is
not a feeling. Your hands may not shake. You may not quiver or
convulse or holler. There’s no guarantee you will ever speak in
tongues. Many of us who do, or who claim this gift, are
muttering rehearsed repetitions no one can translate or verify
are coming from God and not our own imagination. I am further
persuaded that many of us in our African American and/or
Apostolic tradition are emulating things we have seen and heard.
There is no prescribed way to praise God. We raise our hands
because that’s the best idea somebody had way back when, but us
raising our hands and even muttering praises to God, in English
or otherwise, does not, in and of itself, please God. God is not
honored by what we say or even what we do but by our motive for
doing, for saying. As I mention
here, God rejected Cain’s
offering not because the offering was insufficient but because
Cain’s motive for presenting it was jacked up. Cain was all
about self, while his brother Abel sought to genuinely please
The truth is, you can become a child of God and “feel” absolutely no different than you did the day before. Knowing God requires an almost childlike suspension of disbelief most of us are simply not capable of. I believe most Christians actually live beneath their privilege because their worship is in vain; they don’t really know God. They know church. They know and imitate what they have seen.
So, is it all fake? Is it all made up? Some mass delusion we protestants embrace? When the show is over—when the music stops and the crowd is gone, and nobody’s exhorting you to praise, nobody’s leading you in prayer, nobody is having faith for you: when you hear, see, smell, taste absolutely nothing—what are your thoughts? Are you sure? Do you know? Do you wonder if this Christian experience is real?
The bottom line, and this will sound like a cop-out: no one can answer this question for you. The most annoying thing about faith is the not-knowing. For, if we knew, in detail, every answer, faith would cease because there’d be no unanswered questions. I believe God to be an incomprehensibly unknowable and unfathomable entity, One we could not possibly understand or relate to. If God was a computer, Christianity might be Windows. Now, does that make Islam Mac OS? It depends on what you believe.
If you cannot remember the specific experience of accepting Christ as your Savior, it is likely you never have. Accepting Christ is a lot like getting married: you know whether or not you’re married. You don’t stop and scratch your head and wonder if you ever took that vow. Inviting Christ in is a huge deal, if you’d done this, you’d remember it. If you don’t remember it, it is likely you are not born again. CONTINUED