CONVINCED, CONVICTED & CHALLENGED!
This title comes from a dear brother in Christ, Steve Workman, who consistently uses these words to describe our BOB Group and Brother Night meetings. I find it to be a very powerful statement as well as a great tool for helping me to stay on track in my walk with Jesus. It also helps to keep me grounded in the simplicity of following God’s will. I am convinced more every day of my fallibility in the keeping of God’s will, as God’s Holy Spirit convicts me of each wrong daily and challenges me to walk closer with Jesus to lessen my offenses. You see I have to apply my own KISS method here, Keep It Spiritually Simple!
I have found that I (as in many of us) have a severe tendency to complicate everything I do. I’m such a stickler for complications that I’ll usually overthink a simple task like hanging a picture, I see a need for a level, a ruler, a hammer, a drill, an assortment of nails, and screws as well as a variety of wall anchors. When all I’ll normally need is a hammer, nail, and the wife to sight it, as she has the say-so in its location. Complications are very powerful tools in the hands of Satan as he applies them to the mind of man. He can capture any thought and grow it until it becomes impossible to resist its desire, fear, or dread. He is the great tempter of wrong, pulling folks into bad situations. Revelation 12:9 (NLT), This great dragon - the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world - was thrown down to the earth with all his angels. I’ll follow this with a simple definition of sin, sin will always, take you farther than you want to go, cost you more than you want to pay, and keep you longer than you want to stay.
Back to the title, “Convinced”, which means to cause to believe firmly in the truth of something. This process begins with an examination of one’s past, present, and future. Through asking myself such questions as, what has my life been like up to now, and is this how I would like to spend the rest of my life? We must be brutally honest in this assessment (if for no other reason) our future is at stake. Has my past brought me all the joy that I expected or have I the kind of friends I’ve always wanted? Have I been the friend, parent, respecter, co-worker, decision-maker, and sustainer I expected to be at this stage of life? Should we find ourselves lacking or completely missing the mark in these few questions, then we’re missing out on a great revelation. As told in Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT), For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Should you find yourself “convinced” that your present condition is not how you desire to spend the rest of your life? Read on. You just became the jury of your lifestyle. You, “through,” the Holy Spirit have just been “convicted” of living an unfulfilled life. “Convicted” in this sense means, impressed with a sense of guilt: Those of us who have ever carried guilt know the pain and shame that comes with it! This is a verdict the Holy Spirit qualifies each of us to cast as it is based on the evidence of our past and present. However, there is only one with the power to pass a sentence after the verdict and that is God! However, we find in 1 John 2:1 (NLT), My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. We no longer find ourselves alone in any situation or at any time!
After all is said and done, we should find ourselves emboldened, without condemnation, enliven with a new desire to be “challenged” which in this case means we find ourselves to be deficient or lacking (in God’s wisdom) for this new way of life and though we’ll still suffer the consequences of our wrongdoings, we’ll “now” have The Holy Spirit to guide and teach us. As well we gain an advocate in Jesus who makes us acceptable before God. I have discovered that I like being challenged to grow spiritually, I believe in Psalm 32:8 (NLT), The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. The insanity of doing things the same old way while expecting different results has been replaced with hope and trust in Jesus. To correctly understand freedom, one must talk to those freed!
I pray that our spirit has been awakened and we’ve attained a desire to have a true relationship with You. Open our hearts to feel Your pure, agape love, that You may set us free of condemnation. Allow us to passionately be stirred toward growing a one-on-one relationship with you. As it is written in Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT), 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. May we engrave this in our hearts! Amen
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK BY BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS!