Monday, March 1, 2010

The Mission of Conviction

One morning at church, I decided I wasn't going to sing the songs that talked about lifting my hands. I knew I wouldn't be lifting my hands & I wasn't going to lie to God about lifting my hands if I had no intention of lifting them. Naturally, I felt convicted. Who am I to tell God I won't sing for this reason, I won't do this other thing for that reason? But instead of thrusting my hands to the sky in an act of triumphant surrender, I just quit singing altogether. I shut down & sat in my chair, grasping my tea & feeling horribly sick to my stomach. A few songs later, the tension eased as we transitioned into a time of fellowship.

This seems to be how I've lived much of my life as a Christian- times of conviction come & I sit with being uncomfortable instead of doing something about it. Naturally. Its such a normal feeling in fact, that I've grown accustomed to being uncomfortable & making excuses at the first hint of conviction. As a result, it often doesn't yield the fruit God intended. I've been told by people in the past that my stubbornness & excuse making is an act of pride & rebellion against God. Its doubt & unbelief in His power & Lordship over me. Still, I always maintained that in my heart, I wanted to obey with everything in me, "but"... (see excuse here).

As I've grown older, I realize they were right. Those were hard words to hear then & they've not lost their edge all these years later. But they were right. When conviction presents itself, its not up for debate. Its not seeking my opinion or approval. Conviction isn't a research project to be analyzed & experimented with over time. Its there as an established means of movement. That is, conviction leads me from one place to another if I obey it. The less I argue, the more it changes me. It will always draw me closer to God, but only if I humble myself under it's guiding hand.

Maybe this is lame, but I've got an acronym to share.
If you HUMBLE yourself under the guiding hand of conviction, if you OBEY it & MOVE in the direction its leading, you'll EXPERIENCE change. Can you see it? Can you see that the 1st letters of the capped words intentionally spell "HOME"? When conviction comes, instead of making excuses, remember HOME... as in with God, in heaven. Conviction has a mission to get us there & we should want to get there too, with as little hassle as possible.

HUMBLE yourself under the guiding hand of conviction.
OBEY it.
MOVE in the direction its leading.
EXPERIENCE change.

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