In the judicial system men are convicted of wrong doing and some form of punishment follows. But when the Lord convicts us by His Holy Spirit, He convicts to set us free, not punish us, thus when conviction comes, I should welcome it!
King David lusted after Bathsheba, committed adultery and organized the death of her husband to cover his sin. Deep conviction came by the voice of God through Nathan, the prophet. It struck to the core of his being and he went through deep repentance, see Psalm 51. David took blame before God and the Lord worked restoration and forgiveness in his life.
King Saul, however, blamed others for his sin. God challenged him through Samuel, the prophet, but he blamed others for his sin and paid bitterly for it, never reaching a place of true repentance.
A response to conviction in humility and obedience results in a closer, deeper walk with the Lord who brings us into His liberty.
Scripture records how Abraham was a liar through fear, (Genesis 20), and yet after the workings of God in His life he became known as “a father of the faith” and the “friend of God.”
If I refuse to take blame when conviction comes, all I do is tighten the bars of my prison and give the lock another twist tighter. But when I welcome it and respond in humility, then freedom follows.
The Patriarchs and Prophets of the Old Testament were chosen of God by divine appointment. We have reaped many blessings from the record of the lives of Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah etc……many men. The mystery of God in that He placed just one man on earth, His Son Jesus Christ,and that through Him, every man might enter into relationship with God. Now only “One Man” is needed – and the astounding wonder is that now that same “One Man” is Christ in me!
God chose me, (John 15:16), and I need Him. That is fact, not I chose Him and He needs me! It is so easy to get our “wires crossed” in our believing, which then produces a malfunction.
Jesus said, “I came down from Heaven not to do my own will but the will of My Father who sent Me,” (John 6:38)….when I enter into that place, God will use me instead of me wanting to use God. Our Heavenly Father is not like some earthly fathers who tolerate and never address the things which stunt our growth and are detrimental to a deeper relationship with Him. Eventually the Lord visits us with the conviction of the Holy Spirit. If I agree with Him, instead of blaming others, I enter into God’s freedom and liberty.
Conviction is to break wrong patterns in our lives. If I reject conviction then I stay unchanged in my rut. Someone once said that the only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth!
The Book of Acts records how a man named Saul, breathing out threatenings and slaughter to the followers of Jesus, became Paul after a life changing encounter with Jesus on the Damascus Road, but it took a life time of God working with him in the process that brought him to the place that he declared himself a “bondslave to Christ.”
Do I recognise that the safest place to be through surrender is locked up in God, will I throw away the key?…or do I want to continue “self rule” with all the turmoil of selfish ambition and egotism? Are you tired of the the roundabout of religious circuses glorifying men? The religious mind brings bondage, Jesus comes to set me free, not imprison me! The conviction of the Holy Spirit brings true liberty.
The work of the Holy Spirit teaches us to recognise God’s voice. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice,” John 10:27. God’s voice is always calling us, even in conviction. He calls His “sheep” with love, even in discipline, and not to “slaughter.” Do I recognise the discipline of love? I remember a wise father who was explaining to his questioning child, “Show me a child who can do as he likes, and I will show you a child who is not loved by his father.” There is a discipline in love.
I need to take a fresh look at conviction. The Holy Spirit is always seeking to bring me into a greater measure of freedom…Until I come to “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
“Stand fast in the liberty that Christ hath made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1.