Conviction - God is Drawing You

Will your heart be softened by conviction or be made harder still?

Have you ever felt like you’re too far gone for God to be able to save you? Do you ever feel conviction that what you are doing is wrong? Then God hasn’t given up on you! He’s actively at work in you, shaping you!

Scriptures Used: John 8:1-9, 2 Chronicles, Acts 2:27, Luke 3:9, Luke 5, Isaiah 6:1-8, Jeremiah 6:15-19, Romans 1:24-28, Psalms 32:1-5


Conviction

“But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst,

Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.”
‭‭John‬ ‭8:1-3, 5-9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

 

Conviction is a revealing of having done wrong and the shame you feel about it. We don’t like to be wrong and we really don’t like to be told that we are wrong. If you went to touch a hot stove, we would feel pain and it would cause us to pull our hand back to keep from hurting ourselves. The Holy Spirit uses conviction the same way within us - we begin to do something wrong and we feel conviction so we can react and pull away from that act.

We talk about our “conscience.” The Holy Spirit drives the conscience, pointing us to notice the things we have done wrong, giving us a comparison of our life to the kind of life the Word of God indicates we should be living.

Condemnation is different than conviction. Condemnation is being held down and put out for destruction. We are not condemned, we are convicted so that we can be saved from destruction!

In 2 Chronicles, King Josiah has to make right the relationship between God and Israel. He was cleaning up the rubble of the old temple in their rebuilding efforts. In that pile of debris, they found a copy of the Law. When Josiah heard the contents of the Word, he felt convicted and tore his clothes (a symbol of conviction in their day). He realized that Israel was completely off track and he called the people to realign themselves with God’s law. Conviction had started him on the path to get right with God and help his nation do the same.

Josiah was surprised by the contents of God’s Word because no one had read it to him! Once he knew what God’s Word was, he was driven by conviction to change. That process doesn’t stop at the point we get saved - we know that we are heaven-bound, but we still have a lot of work to do to keep perfecting our lives and making ourselves more like God.

Coming into contact with the Word will cause us to do one of two things:

  1. Soften our heart (and we will change)

  2. Harden our heart (and we will avoid conviction and people/places/opportunities that will make us feel conviction)

If you received a car as a Christmas gift, that would be great, but if you were not given the keys, you would not have access to the gift - it would do you no good. The greatest gift ever was God’s gift to us of Jesus… but conviction is the key that gives us access to salvation. If you feel conviction, that means God is working on you!

Have you ever felt like you’re too far gone for God to be able to save you? Do you ever feel conviction that what you are doing is wrong? Then God hasn’t given up on you! He’s actively at work in you, shaping you!

Examples of conviction:

Acts 2:27 - Peter told the Jews there that God had sent the Messiah and they had killed Him. They reacted by being convicted and asking what they could do to be made right.

Luke 3:9 - John the Baptist was preaching in Jordan, telling the people that they were a “brood of vipers, “ and that God would lay an axe to the root of the tree (the nation of Israel). Upon hearing this, the tax collectors and soldiers asked what they could do to change. Paul told them not to cheat or intimidate people and to be content with their wages.

Luke 5 - Jesus is preaching to a multitude at the bank of a river from a boat out at the water. After the message, Jesus orders them to take the boat out to fish even though they had no luck catching anything earlier. Peter nevertheless took Jesus at His word and went out. They brought in so many fish in their nets that their boats began to sink trying to haul in all the catch. At that moment, Peter fell at Jesus knees saying “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” He knew what Jesus was and how small and flawed he was.

Isaiah 6:1-8 - Isaiah sees a vision of God with seraphim singing praises to Him on His throne. In sight of this, Isaiah saw himself as lost and undone… when he beheld the holiness of God, he knew how lacking he was. Even a prophet of God could not compare to the holiness of God and he was convicted to change and improve himself. A seraphim flew to Isaiah then and touched a hot coal to his lips and said that his sin and iniquity was taken away… this is where conviction leads! And immediately after being purged of sin, Isaiah volunteered to do a work for God! We encounter God and His holiness, we feel convicted, we change our attitude, and we seek to do more, to do better for God.

There are other reactions to conviction… we can become hard-hearted in response to conviction:

Jeremiah 6:15-19 - Jeremiah speaks of a people so comfortable with sin that they could not even blush! Numbness toward conviction leads to destruction; the promise of God for these people was that they would fall and be punished.

Think back to the illustration of the hot stove. What happens if you leave your hand on the stove? You’ll do permanent damage to the nerves and you’ll have so much scar tissue that you won’t feel anything anymore. You’ll be able to put your hand into danger and not feel pain - but you’ll still do damage.

Romans 1:24-28 - God gave these people up to their passions. They wanted their sinful lifestyle more than God, so God let them have it… They didn’t want to think about God and being wrong, so God pulled conviction out of them. That’s where you never want to be, so lost that you don’t feel bad about doing the wrong things anymore.

Conviction is the drawing of God. How will you respond to it?


“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭32:1-5‬ ‭NKJV‬‬