The Sweet Sting Of Conviction
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for
correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Have you ever felt the sting of conviction in your heart? Have you ever had God take a Scripture or a spiritual thought or point in a sermon and use it to cut you to the quick? How do you respond to conviction?
The writer of Hebrews tells us to be careful with conviction. There are some who blow it off and "regard lightly the discipline of the Lord," and others who throw in the towel and "faint when they are reproved by Him" (Hebrews 12:5). Neither extreme is right.
The right response is to embrace the sweet sting of conviction. When I get convicted it simply shows that I am still hearing God's voice, and that He is still working on me to lovingly change me.
MY MOST RECENT CONVICTION
In my quiet time today, I was reading some devotional materials on marriage. God spoke to my heart about an Old Testament character named Uriah the Hittite. Uriah was married to Bathsheba (the same Bathsheba that King David took advantage of), and he loved her dearly. His wife was a "little ewe lamb" to him. She was "like a daughter to him" (2 Samuel 12:3).
The author of the devotional materials basically asked this question, "Husband, do you treat your wife like a little ewe lamb? Do you treat her like a precious, treasured daughter?"
As the father of three girls, I know about loving and caring for daughters. There is nothing I would not do to protect and care for one of my girls. They are that special to me. But do I have that same loving care and protection for my wife? Does Debbie FEEL like my "little ewe lamb?"
My honest answer was NO (she would "AMEN" my answer). I tend to put some unrealistic expectations on her and get frustrated with her if she does not meet those expectations. I tend to cut my daughters a lot of slack, but cut Debbie little slack.
As I contemplated the Word of God regarding how I am to treat my wife (to love her, nourish her, and cherish her - Eph. 5:25-29), God showed me how much I need to change as a husband and how much room there is for me to grow in my marriage. I was greatly convicted.
It was a sweet sting. It showed me anew and afresh that God knows and cares about me. It showed that He is still working on me to make me what I ought to be. It showed that my heart is still in tune to hear His voice - and I am SO THANKFUL!
Let me encourage you to embrace the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Don't blow it off and don't let it beat you down. Receive it as God's loving correction to help you be the person He wants you to be. Ask Him to change you so that your life would align with His Word, His will, and His ways.
There is MUCH God wants to change in you and me. There are great and wonderful miracles in store as we listen and obey. May we cultivate a heart of humility and tenderness so that we can correctly respond to His voice of loving reproof.
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.