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The Presence of God- Conviction

Titus 1:15 Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted.16 Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.

Sometimes we think that God's presence in the form of conviction is bad. And although the feeling we have when being convicted might cause some pain at the onset, conviction is really good for us in our walk with God. Those who are unbelieving would avoid anything that might cause them to think they are wrong. The pride that goes along with a very worldly life puts up a wall against being told something they did is wrong. Thus the "woke" generation of today. We as believers should welcome God's conviction in the midst of God's presence as He guides us toward "getting right" with Him at the most personal level. We may think it is not good to have a Godly sorrow about something, but the Apostle Paul was very clear about the result of true conviction and its benefits. In 2 Corinthians 7:10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. Our loving heavenly Father is always moving us closer in our walk to Him because that is the best place to be. God is all about our spiritual life, not death. He uses the conviction of the Holy Spirit in each believer to bring us to a better place with Him, which is found in the purity of His guidance and love.

The very act of spiritual discipline found in 1 John 1:9 shows that this continued growth in our spiritual life has "markers" that lead us into a deeper spiritual walk with God and that is realized through a continual life evaluation that is prompted by God's Word and the Holy Spirit. 1 John 1:9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. We can never grow in our faith to where we need to be without this ongoing look at our life and where God is taking us at a spiritual level. Thus conviction is an expression of God's pure love and we need not avoid it!! The old nature still continues to try to get back control through the flesh, but the Spirit of God fights that nature and we have a desire to follow the Spirit and live "in" the Spirit's control.

God's grace is so powerful and so precious to the believer because when we stray that grace is ready to work a great work of reclamation for the believer and get us back on track in our walk with God. His presence in every area of our lives prompts a constant desire by the believer to grow in their walk with God, and part of that growth is conviction by the Holy Spirit. The end result of this constant growth is seen when we look back on the times when God drew us near and we realized the power of His presence and the great grace we live in. God's presence prompts our growth in our walk and that walk is deeper because of that conviction that grows us in our faith.

A well-known professional golfer was playing in a tournament with President Gerald Ford, fellow pro-Jack Nicklaus, and Billy Graham. After the round was over, one of the other pros on the tour asked, "Hey, what was it like playing with the President and Billy Graham?" The pro said with disgust, "I don't need Billy Graham stuffing religion down my throat!" With that, he headed for the practice tee. His friend followed, and after the golfer had pounded out his fury on a bucket of golf balls, he asked, "Was Billy a little rough on you out there?" The pro sighed and said with embarrassment, "No, he didn't even mention religion."Astonishingly, Billy Graham had said nothing about God, Jesus, or religion, yet the pro stomped away after the game accusing Billy of trying to ram religion down his throat.

If being around Billy Graham can cause conviction, just think about having the Holy Spirit in our hearts and the conviction we must feel as born-again believers. The Holy Spirit's conviction may come across as bad and scary, but it is a great expression of God's great love for His children. God is always guiding and "helping" us. We must receive this conviction readily allowing God to grow us in our walk with Him. And when we look at the conviction in that way we begin to desire God's presence more and more in our thoughts and actions. God is so very, very good!!

The Pilgrimage Continues.....

David Warren

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