If I were to ask you these two questions how would you answer them, “When have you experienced the conviction of the Holy Spirit in your own life? What did/does this conviction look like?”
God has given some light to every person (John 1:9). He has also given every person a measure of faith (Romans 12:3). Even in nature, God’s voice is heard and He impresses upon our conscience (Psalm 19:1-4 & Romans 1:20). Every person has the law written on their heart and their conscience is impacted by it. (Rom. 2:14-15).
God gives everyone a measure of light, faith, and makes impressions on our hearts by His voice. Even non-believers come under conviction. The above verses are not only referring to believers. They are referring to everyone. Romans says, “For even the Gentiles do the things contained in the law because it is written on their hearts.” Conviction will find you whether you are a believer or not. You can not escape the fact that His Spirit will impress upon you the BEST way to live.
Believers are not exempt from this conviction. It actually hits a believer’s life with much greater force. The enemy capitalizes on this by making you feel shameful about yourself. The Devil is always trying to convert conviction into shame. God is not ashamed of you. JESUS nailed shame to the cross. Conviction is the revelation of who you have been made through JESUS’ blood. It is a calling out, so to speak. The Spirit is calling you out of what you were and into the marvelous light of the glorified state of what you have been made into.
I raised my voice recently to my son in our house. It wasn’t an outrageous moment but it was definitely not one of my proudest ones. That night I frustrated both my sons, my wife, and ultimately the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 4:30) I let the sun go down on my wrath and did so while the tension continued to stir in the hearts of all those under my care. (Ephesians 4:26) The next morning I spent several hours trying to justify my actions while the kids where at school, my wife was at the church office, and I was at home studying for the Sunday sermon. The Holy Spirit knocked on the door of my heart with this scripture:
Ephesians 6:4 New King James Version (NKJV)
4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
The Holy Spirit was not telling me how horrible of a father I was. He wasn’t letting me know that I no longer deserve to have kids. The Spirit was reminding me of who I was IN CHRIST. He was reminding me that I was a father that DID NOT provoke his children to wrath… that I was a father that DID NOT cultivate uncomfortable environments for my family to live in… that I was a father that DID NOT raise his voice. He said, “Don’t you remember who I’ve made you, Shawn? Don’t you remember that I have made you a NEW CREATION? (2 Corinthians 5:17) He said, “Shawn, you can make this right. You have to answer the question: Are you willing to lay down your right to BE RIGHT?”
As soon as Ashton arrived home from school I sat him down to read Ephesians 6:4. When He finished reading, I asked him if that verse reminded him of anyone last night. I asked him if it reminded him of me. He said, “Dad… It was all a misunderstanding”. I apologized for making him angry, for raising my voice, and I allowed him to share his heart. After he had shared I said, “I want to be a safe place for you”. I further apologized for not providing that for him the night before. We hugged it out and our relationship has been flourishing every day since then.
Conviction reminds us of who we are IN CHRIST. It reminds us that we are a NEW CREATION. It awakened us to the life He has called us to. Our identity is in Christ. Our identity is not in our mistakes. Conviction comes as a reminder of where to place your identity.