Embracing The Holy Spirit's Conviction

By Pastor George Sarkodie - Executive Pastor
“And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” John 6:8 (ESV)

I had a good discussion with a Christian brother a few days ago. This brother was concerned about something, so he asked, “Why am I not able to do what I know God requires of me?"

Well, as your guess is right as mine, this is a tough question and there is not one answer to it. So, I didn't try to provide a direct answer.

However, I perceived the devil was trying to bring guilt on this brother, so I felt led to talk with him about the conviction of the Holy Spirit, rather than to say anything to support the condemnation from the enemy. These are some of the key issues that came up in that conversation.

  • Conviction is from the Holy Spirit.
Anytime you feel convicted about something, you should be happy. This may sound unusual, but that is how we are supposed to receive conviction. Because conviction is from the Holy Spirit and it’s good for us. When you are convicted of something, it simply means you have a good standing with the Holy Spirit. In fact, He can only convict you because He lives in you. A person without the Holy spirit may not even have conviction for a wrong action. Paul calls this a person with a debase mind – “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting” (Rom 1: 28). That is a dangerous state, so be happy when you are convicted.

  • Conviction is an Opportunity for Growth
When the Holy Spirit convicts you of something wrong, it means God wants you to make it right. When we acknowledge our shortfalls before God, there is nothing shameful about it. Rather, it opens the doors of mercy for us to get grace to make it right.  In Isaiah 40:29, scripture says “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak”.

  • Listen to God, not the Devil
 Anytime the Holy Spirit convicts you of something, there is also the voice of the devil around. Beware of this and don't listen to him. Remember the devil is the accuser of believers (see Rev. 12:10). Many interesting turn of events happened around the time Jesus was arrested and crucified. Let's consider the cases of these two disciples - Peter and Judas. Both erred around the time of Jesus' arrest. Judas betrayed Jesus, Peter denied Jesus three times. Both Peter and Judas were convicted (compare Luke 22:60-62 and Matthew 27:3-5). However, Peter embraced his conviction, got restored, and later became the pillar in the early church. Judas did not embrace his conviction and went on to commit suicide. It is clear who each of these disciples listened to.

As long as we live in this flesh, we would encounter challenges and sometimes make errors. That’s why God, through the Holy Spirit has made conviction a good part of our Christian journey. Because the devil knows this, he tries to take advantage of these moments to bring condemnation. This is one of his schemes. As a child of God, always remember that the Holy Spirit will never condemn you. Condemnation is ALWAYS from the devil.

So, next time when you are convicted of something, see it as a good opportunity from God. Ask Him for strength to get out of it and move on. Don't bow your head in shame and don’t feel condemned.  Get up on your feet and let's keep going.
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