I know you thought it’d be different.
That you’d flourish from a staggering, infant believer into a Spurgeon or a Keller or a Sproul, like a flower blooming all its glorious colors in fast forward.
That the sin from which you were rescued would never return, preferring to cower in the shadows than intimidate a disciple of God’s.
That the brand new, shiny feeling of “new believer” would never wear off and the joy and peace that passes all understanding would never cloud or fade.
But the sin that nags still whispers ever so sweetly in your ears, presenting itself like a soft, lush cupcake with crisp, sugary icing.
And the bright glow of the Celestial City on your face dims as life springs up like a weed and reminds you of the trials in the here and now.
And the burst of God-given strength you had at the starting line seems to have run dry, your sprint slowing to a weary jog and your feet dragging like blocks of cement.
The fervor with which you clung to your Bible slinks into a steady hum.
The passion in your prayers has fallen to routine words and phrases.
The excitement you experienced your first Sunday as a Christian becomes what seems like mere habit.
Where is that fire? Where is that spark? Was it real? Did you imagine it? Did you deceive yourself? Was there even a change? Did salvation even happen? Did anyone even notice?
Take comfort, new Christian, in these questions you ask yourself. They are assurance of your salvation!
Before Jesus lifted you from the pit, did you fret about proper passion for the Lord?
Before Jesus clothed you in His own righteousness, did you even want to read the Bible with eagerness and a teachable spirit?
Before Jesus set you on His path and pointed you toward His city, did you desire to talk to Him more and better?
Before Jesus saved you, before He thought of you and set you aside for Himself, before His sacrifice on the rugged cross freed you from your pride and your past, before His deep, boundless love broke you into repentant tears, before His incomprehensible grace flooded your soul, before He lifted your spirit up and before He gave you a new name in Himself, did you once think of Him?
Did you care to please Him? Did you desire to be like Him? Did you long to be with Him?
Dear, new believer. You are wondering at your lack of triumph, but the devil knows you are fresh from the shadow of the cross. Like all believers, you have a bright, red target on your soul. But as a new believer, yours is brighter, shinier, more attractive. He knows you are feeble, like a foal learning to walk. He will pelt you with barbs the first chance he gets.
So do not despair! Be on your guard! Fellowship with “older” believers! Maintain a teachable heart! Form habits in His word and in prayer! You have a host of angels and saints praising God for you, and Jesus Himself lifting you up in prayer.
Hold fast. You are a new creation in Christ, and nothing can separate you from Him.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
2 Corinthians 5:17
For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.