When I was 14 a guy invited me to a church youth camp. During services at the camp I saw kids going to the alter, praying and crying, and then being happy. I asked what was going on and was told that they had given their lives to Jesus. It seemed like a good thing to do so during the next invitation I went to the alter, asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins and accepted his forgiveness. I told the pastor what I did and he said that I was saved. So I joined the church and for the next two years attended every church service I could, sang in the youth choir, and believed that I was saved.
The problem for me was that mine was a mental conversion. I was converted but could have just as easily been converted to any religion. Some of my behaviors changed because of what I now believed, and in a sense that fits the general definition of repentance. I went to church, prayed, read my Bible, etc. But spiritually I was no different. And repentance for salvation changes thing spiritually.
Then one summer I experienced a sort of personal crisis. During this time I went to the alter during a church service and realized for the first time that I was wrong. Before I had asked for forgiveness for my sins and tried to be "good". This time I just realized that I was wrong and Jesus was right. So I gave myself to him. A faith emerged from within me that I now belonged to Jesus. Stand or fall, I'm his. I have nothing in myself, he has everything. And my life changed dramatically.
My whole way of thinking changed, and everything was centered on Jesus. A lot of my behaviors still looked like they did before. I went to church, read the bible, prayed, etc. But I was different. I belonged to Jesus and I knew it. I had laid everything in my life down at his feet and I knew that as well.
One of my favorite stories in the New Testament is about the rich young man. He was a very devout and religious man who wanted to know what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. In the account in Mark it says he fell on his knees before Jesus. When Jesus told him what things he needed to do he replied that he had been doing them all his life. And Jesus looked at him and loved him. Then Jesus told him that he lacked one thing. Sell all that he had and give it to the poor. Then follow him. (Mark 10:17-22)
Being a Christian isn't about being devout. It isn't about bowing before Jesus. It is about honestly laying your life at his feet and realizing that you belong to him. That your life now follows him.
Let that faith and commitment live in you.