Within my uni fellowship we have been studying Holy Spirit. It has been a joy to discuss and learn within my beautiful community.
As believers of the Most High, we are called to reflect Christ in all we do. So that involves change.
Have you ever thought about the difference between conviction and condemnation?
What precedes change? Conviction and correction.
Conviction comes when we do things not of Christ and God wants to change within us. The fact that Holy Spirit dwells in us means we will be convicted of our sin and a strong desire to change will be placed on our hearts to seek God’s counsel in order to obey.
We have been given the knowledge of right and wrong. Our conscience is are our innate conviction system.
Analogy time: So (confession), sleeping in lectures is a real problem for me. When I’m warm and comfy and hearing a monotonous voice, it’s really deep, no matter where in the room I sit (imagine had a 4 – 6pm , I had just had a big late lunch…hmmm). It was so bad in first year, I’ve improved now. These sleeping tendencies made me realise how conviction works. So here’s how I liken Holy Spirit’s action to this setting.
When your sleeping your obviously not doing the right thing in that moment. We are meant to be engaged and listening. When your about to fall asleep, you get the tell-tell signs right? For me it’s the way I sit. I sleep in a set position, the eyes droop, then my head……. It’s all over Jackie…
This has happened so often that now the squad clocks my movements and gives me warnings. When my sitting position changes, one of the girls just stares at me. I straighten up. If my eyes are shut and my head droops I receive a nudge to wake me up. I shake myself, grab some water then try to focus for the rest of the lecture. After the lecture, I receive correction. My girls will go: ‘Nahh Gina, did you sleep last night? (I really didn’t). You need to stop sleeping you know (I know), start going to bed earlier (I will), it’s not everyday sleep in lectures (**Sigh**).
Often we are sleeping when conviction comes. We are unaware to our ways. We don’t even recognise the tell-tell signs. Holy Spirit is our friend who nudges us! The nudge jolts us and makes us aware again so we focus on our actions and how they impact our environment. This can happen a lot of times and nudges can come often over the same issue. However, if you react to the nudge from that point on you can now recognise the tell-tell signs and put up strategies in order to stay alert. (I know munch and drink a lot of water throughout lectures).
My ‘((**Sigh**)’ is often how we get when correction comes. Let’s be honest it’s not fun but it’s very necessary. We can feel pressured, we can feel like we are really not the best person in the whole but hey, Our Father knows this:
‘He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding’. Proverbs 15: 32.
We are in danger of slipping into condemnation at this point in our lives. Condemnation brings a package a self-pity and guilt. Condemnation makes you feel worthless and makes you focus on all the negatives. It takes the wrong you did and magnifies it, making it seem so big we are not moved to make any changes but just sit in hopelessness.
Guilt is not from God.
That is the accuser of the brethen’s job. Guilt will hinder you from seeking God because you feel unworthy. I have been here! wow. I had a week where when I thought about praying, small small anxiety will rise up. Guilt comes from a fear of punishment but we are in a place where we have NO MORE CONDEMNATION! (Romans 8:1 – 2). We have been set free by the power of the Cross, our saviour Christ Jesus who had overcome for our sake.
Recognise this is not Our Father! This bridges and widens the gap even further than us and God. Satan loves it and will use every opportunity he gets. So what do you do when you start to feel like this? I literally fell on my knees and cried out to God. I know I wasn’t perfect but if I felt like this now, He can definitely fix me.
Also be practical about things. If for example, it is gossiping you are convicted over, recognise the people who gossip and swerve long conversation (note: long conversation – let’s be polite now). Why should people lead you to sin? Don’t give them the chance. We operate on high ground and don’t operate on the grounds of satan. We have been given the spirit of power, love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1: 7).
Conviction brings correction. Correction is best done privately, however if we don’t heed to the correction we are at risk of becoming desensitised to the voice of God. We are at risk of doing this because we all instinctively become defensive when our correction comes. Imagine someone told you: ‘Nahh you need to change that’. My initial reaction is not to be like: ‘Father Lord I submit to change’ but rather justifying my character from all angles. That’s where the problem arises. We like to justify what and why we do things. If it can be explained it is logical and therefore okay… so we think.
Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. If you need to be on a certain level and you’re not, you’re going to know about it. We have such a loving Father who knows how to communicate with us. He knows the best way to get our attention. We need to pray for the discernment, to be able to determine exactly what we are to do and say in these seasons. Part 1 of receiving uncomfortable conviction is the realisation of weaknesses. The whole point is that are to be like Jesus. God wants to remove everything within you that is not of Our Saviour and purify our hearts, so at the end of the day we can look back and see the process of inner sanctification we had undergone.
Everything God removes will be replaced with an edifying attribute in abundance, as long as we are persistent. We have to be intentional when we seek Him.
There may be a time where you feel like your not on top, when you don’t feel like your blessed and highly favoured. In these seasons don’t dwell on it, pray on it!
Holy Spirit comes to work the fruit within us out to the surface:
Galatians 5:22 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Holy Spirit comes to reveal the mind of Christ. It is in God’s mind that we reflect His character. We are made in His image (Genesis 1: 27), so are worked on everyday, being re-moulded.
If at this point you’re not really going through conviction, have a rain check. We are not perfect so there is always something we need to change. We don’t just need a prompting from the Holy Spirit to see faults. God has given us wisdom and common sense and the more the desire to please God arises the more we realise our flaws.
Remember. If it’s GUILT don’t allow it to take hold. Conviction brings correction. Correction is good. Correction and conviction purifies your heart, aids in cleansing your soul and builds and matures you spiritually. It teaches how to obey God and trains your ear to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
God loves you so much and hence wants to change you from inside out because He has come to give us life and life abundantly. (John 10:10).
‘For the time being no discipline bring joy, but seems grevious and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness – in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God]’. Hebrews 12:11.
“I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 17:10.
Can’t leave without my fav scripture:
Ezekiel 11:19: And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh.
On our walks with Father, let’s be changed to be more Christ like.