In the midst of the strong words of Jesus, I want to take a minute and talk about how Jesus corrects His children. This is really important. It is really easy for us to get into a tailspin when we feel the rebuke of the Lord, and that is not His intention.
There are 2 parts to this issue.
The first thing is to distinguish Condemnation and Conviction.
The other important issue is how you deal with it.
Condemnation is vague. Perhaps it has spoken these words in your ear: “You will never get it right.” “You always hurt people.” “You call yourself a Christian?” These sound strangely like what the accuser once said to Jesus “If you are the Son of God…”
Condemnation leads nowhere but down and away from Jesus. It crushes your spirit and is not redemptive in any way. It is the voice Adam and Eve heard in the garden once they had eaten of the worlds fruit something told them they were naked – exposed – vulnerable – out from under the protection of their wonderful creator. Jesus says to them (yes, I know it was God, but anytime I see God in human form – like walking in the garden in the cool of the day, I figure it is Jesus) “who told you that you were naked?” The clear implication is that their whole cover-up was rooted not in the words of God, but another voice.
Condemnation’s voice is far different than that of conviction. It comes in the voice of the accuser. satan is called the “accuser of the brethren” and as such He is always pointing fingers.
Condemnation is the voice of hell!
Conviction on the other had is 100% redemptive.
Conviction is specific. The first indication that it is God speaking correction rather than satan speaking junk, is specificity (don’t try to say that out loud – it will get your tongue in a knot.) The Holy Spirit speaks to your heart in clear and actionable correction. If you have no idea how to fix what is wrong, after a time of prayer, seeking His face, it is probably not His voice.
Conviction is an invitation! (I wish I could some how convey what a big deal this is! Let me try just saying it again.)
Conviction is an invitation! (Let me try a different color.)
Conviction is an invitation! (Are you getting it – let me explain.) When the Holy Spirit convicts, it is a gift card to the repentance store.
Repentance is not something you can buy with your self-punishment, or with some period of time spent weeping, or feeling stupid or pathetic.
Repentance is a gift from God (2 Timothy 2:25,) and the exciting part is when God gives repentance it is the doorway to freedom. If you will accept the gift of repentance (change of mind – aka renewal of your mind) you will find yourself free from the pattern of thought or action that got you into this mess in the first place (see 2 Corinthians 7:10-11.)
This is sooo big – don’t miss it!
God’s gifts are completely effective. They never fall short. If you will accept the gift of repentance and fully walk it out, you will be free.
Let me recapitulate – Conviction is an invitation to FREEDOM! (not license – freedom)
Conviction points out areas of slavery in your life, and sets you on your own Freedom Road. [Tweet This]
For a detailed description of how to walk out repentance and break through to freedom check out my post “Repentance, The Path To Comfort”
One caveat - There is a condemnation that comes from God - that is the condemnation resting on every man who has not given his life to Jesus Christ. (John 3:18, 36)
Thanks for coming by.