A gracEmail subscriber writes, “I have trouble keeping up the discipline to read my Bible and to pray daily. I struggle with this, and I always backslide. It makes me think I’ve never been saved. Sometimes I think that if I just got rebaptized things would get better, but I don’t know if that would help. What can you recommend?”
* * *
You speak for almost all of us who, at one time or another in our walk with Christ realize that our holy desires are outpacing our performance. Even the apostle Paul found himself in that situation whenever he tried to do right in his own strength (Rom. 7:18-24).
Don’t let Satan steal your assurance of salvation because of your natural frailty! I assume that you struggle against lethargy because you truly wish to develop intimacy with God, and that is not something an unregenerate person desires (Rom. 8:5). You need not doubt your position in Christ, therefore, if you are truly depending on his finished work to stand you right with God. Continue to trust God’s gospel promise that Jesus died and rose for you personally. If your heart personally claims that truth, it is indeed true for you. We walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7). Our salvation depends on God’s faithfulness, which never changes — not on our feelings, which are notoriously unstable (1 John 3:20).
I encourage you to take the matter to God in open, honest prayer. Tell him what you wish to do (which we know is according to his will), and ask him to energize you by his Holy Spirit every day to want to read the Bible and to pray — and also then to do it. Then “present” your body to God each new day as an instrument for his use. God will work in you by his Spirit to answer such prayers as you yield yourself to his leading (Phil.2:13; Rom. 6:13). Ask him to fill you with his Spirit and to give you a “willing” spirit (Psalm 51:10). Be sure you are not harboring any unconfessed sin in your life, which always erects a barrier between us and God in our heart and which keeps us from truly seeking his face (Psalm 32:5-7).