Conviction

Don’t worry, I did not get arrested for some heinous crime from which I stood trial and was convicted. Not in the physical realm, anyway. So what is conviction?

Google defines conviction as:

  1. a formal declaration that someone is guilty of a criminal offense, made by the verdict of a jury or the decision of a judge in a court of law.
  2. a firmly held belief or opinion.

A spiritual conviction occurs when God, with His infinite wisdom and knowledge, tells a person that a course correction is needed. How does he do that? The Bible says He does that by way of the Holy Spirit.

“When he (Holy Spirit) comes, he’ll expose the error of the godless world’s view of sin, righteousness, and judgment: He’ll show them that their refusal to believe in me is their basic sin; that righteousness comes from above, where I am with the Father, out of their sight and control; that judgment takes place as the ruler of this godless world is brought to trial and convicted. (John 16:8 The Message)

As an example, think of a time when you were about to perform an act that you knew was wrong or at least questionable? How did you feel? Did you feel a conviction that the action was justified or did you feel a conviction that the action was inappropriate? Someone cuts you off on the highway, do you immediately curse at them or do you say a quick prayer asking God to protect that driver?

That moment between thought and action is when the spiritual battle for your mind occurs. While Ephesians 6:12 seems to speak about a grand battle going on in the heavens, it truly describes a daily battle going on in our minds. I am pretty sure my readers are descent law-abiding citizens. Yet, I am confident that you, just like me, have good vs. evil battles going on in you mind. Rest assured that you are in good company – the Apostle Paul struggles with this.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:21-25, NIV)

And Jesus warns us this will happen  in John 10:10. The point is, no matter how ‘good’ you think you are, or whether you believe in God or not, we ALL struggle with these daily battles in the mind.

That brings me back to conviction – during that moment between thought and action, the Holy Spirit works in our minds motivating us (John 16:13) to towards the right choice. Sometimes we obey and others we do not. When we do not obey, we grieve the Holy Spirit and often we know it immediately after acting on the wrong decision.

I’ve been struggling with how I spend my morning time. My mind tells me I need to meditate on God’s Word. The battle in my mind says, “You can do that later. How about surfing the web instead. You have time to check in on Facebook and read all the cool stuff there. God can wait.”  This morning as I read from Oswald Chamber’s “My Utmost For His Highest”, I came under conviction from the Holy Spirit, that God’s message to me was more important than anything I can find on Facebook. As the Apostle Paul stated in Romans 7:25Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Who is winning the battle for your mind? I certainly hope and pray it is the Holy Spirit. Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.

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