God is so good.
Mandee and I had a long discussion about conviction and change in our lives last night. We talked about understanding the conviction that we encounter each day, not as a means of guilt and shame, but as a conscious reminder and encouragement to continue growing and changing.
I also shared with her my concerns at times alternating between am I being bold enough in my Christian walk to touch anyone around me in positive ways, or am I doing anything seeking my own glory instead of His glory and honor. I worry at times, is my sharing having a positive effect, or is my lid mouth pushing people further away because they know my past and can only think to themselves, what a hypocrite. Or they might even see me stumble and say to themselves, what a hypocrite.
Yes, we worry about staying in God’s will, about seeking His will, about being a faithful follower not just focused on self – and we realize that even that is focusing on self and not trusting God. We ask for God to point out our sin and convict us and change is, and then when we see how much daily we need to change, we become worried that we are far from God’s will. We laughed together that at times it can seem maddening.
Then we wake up for what we consider our daily “manna”, our family devotional that is the first thing that we do together in the mornings – and this is today’s devotional:
Life Application Daily Devotional
Psalms 139:23-24 NLT
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
David asked God to search for sin and point it out, even to the level of testing his thoughts. This is exploratory surgery for sin. How are we to recognize sin unless God points it out? Then, when God shows us, we can repent and be forgiven. Make this verse your prayer. If you ask the Lord to search your heart and your thoughts, and to reveal your sin, you will be continuing on God’s “path of everlasting life.”
We literally were laughing out loud as we tried to read it and get through it. We were humbled and laughed with God in our prayer this morning about how amazing and clear His presence is sometimes in our lives. We laughed and enjoyed giving Him thanks and praise this morning for everything that He does in our lives – especially for the conviction against sin and wickedness and evil.
For us, conviction and repentance and obedience aren’t requirements handed down by some distant God on a hill waiting to throw lightning bolts down at us for not following the letter of His law.
No, you see – we are His children.
Yes. We are His and He is ours.
You see, He has written His loving guidance upon our hearts with this gift of the Holy Spirit that lives in us and through us.
You may still see Harold and Mandee with your eyes of flesh, but they are dead. They are gone. A fleeting memory and remnant of them remains so that we are reminded of the change taking place on the inside.
You may not see it on the outside yet, but we are no longer dead and a slave to the captivity of sin. We are casting off those chains, and we are finding peace, joy, love, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and things in our lives that are so amazing and beyond what we ever knew before.
Some will wander if we are brain washed. And I say, YES WE ARE WASHED!
WE ARE WASHED IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB!
WE ARE MADE NEW!
WE ARE MADE WHOLE!
And I’m not saying this to draw attention to myself or to my wife. We don’t think that we ARE Godly or righteous.
Let me say that again –
WE DON’T THINK THAT WE ARE GODLY OR RIGHTEOUS.
But we do know that we are BECOMING Godly and righteous.
Because we have a teacher, Christ who lives in us, who IS Godly and righteous – and He is remolding us into a new creation, into a vessel for His use, so that His light might reflect of of us and onto others, so that His Love might overflow our cup and spill out onto others.
Yes, God is so good.
Do how do I apply this Word of God to my life today?
I need to trust Him deeper.
I need to know Him fuller.
I need to follow Him faithfully.
I need to understand that this conviction needs to result in change in my life and a throwing down of whatever gets between me and honoring God.
I need to understand that even the evil that comes against me, even the trials, even the sufferings of this temporary world and physical life – they are all opportunities, not for me to ask “is this fair”, or “is this person doing enough for me”, or “is this person honoring God”?
No, it is all an opportunity for me to say, “How can I better honor God today, not just with my words, but with my actions?”
Yes, conviction – it is a blessing.
So what do I need to be convicted of today? There is so much change that need to take place in my life.
So I will start with this moment, with this thought. And I will capture it. I will claim it for His honor and glory. I will see Him overcome my enemies as I resist even their presence as a wicked or evil thought in my mind. Because this is the temple for His presence. My Jesus lives here, in me – and I’m ready for us to live together in a place swept clean from all the filth of my past, and shining brought with His presence.
Moment by moment, thought by thought, choice by choice, word by word, action by action – we are meant to make war against these unseen enemies – we are meant to take it all back from them by resisting them and denying them to have a foothold or a presence within our lives. We are meant to resist evil and see it crushed before us.
What needs to be crushed in our lives today, friend?
I pray that we will see the walls come crashing down and that we will know victory today through Christ Jesus.