In the midst of this divisive season, one must remember their role as a follower of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit convicts a person of their error. Not a barrage of scriptures, not historical cross references, not finger pointing and shouting. The Holy Spirit convicts us all.
As believers, we are asked to present the truth and pray for others. Let the word of God do it’s work. It is not our place to force and persuade. Always remember what manner of spirit Jesus told us to walk in. Persuading is the role of our angels and Jesus Christ. Force places a stumbling block in the way of our fellow man. A person forced into conversion is filled with regret and not reward. We must always strive for others to see the righteousness of Christ in us as good and not wicked. As desirable and not grievous.
God desires his word to be written on our hearts. This word combined with his wisdom and understanding brings forward the conviction. Now, being convicted does not automatically mean one is converted. Learned behavior is the most difficult to break. Strongholds are difficult to tear down, especially if we think we need to do so on our own. This is often the case with most when it comes to facing conviction. There is a “If I accept this, what do I do now?” moment. For most that may be terrifying. The truth may shock you but the Holy Spirit will always be there to comfort you.
My conviction may not be your conviction. Is the truth the same? Yes. Our hearts however may be in different places as we enter different times of our lives. What is true for all is that there is something embedded in us that lets us know right from wrong. That’s God. The Holy Spirit is always there to guide us into all truth.
An example of conviction is seen when Jesus tells us that “whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” The conversion only comes when we learn to control and submit our members as instruments of righteousness. Most may know in their hearts that the act of lusting is wrong but the conversion does not always come.
Another touchy subject is what we call pagan holidays. Some have read the bible, see how wickedly men conducted themselves during their holidays and want no parts of sharing said practices. That’s ok. Some see no pagan affiliation and only choose to see Jesus in their celebrations. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. We all have to be honest with ourselves on what the Holy Spirit has convicted us on.
A person that does not see their chains, cannot be told it is time to be free.
Sharing the gospel is not about hitting someone over the head with the bible and shaking them until they submit. It’s about presenting the truth with the love of God and hoping that the wisdom of God sheds light on our confusion. What is important is that you come to conviction for yourself. If you were persuaded by anything other than the word of God and the Holy Spirit, your conviction has not yet come.
True conviction leads to conversion. For most, it may take going through some hard times to get there. Peter had the conviction that Jesus was the Messiah but he still had to endure some testing before his conversion. Growing in Christ takes time. Think of conversion as your spiritual graduation day if you will. Ask Jesus Christ to pray for you like he did Peter. May your faith fail not during the process.