Understanding Conviction: Part 1
Are you ready for some good news?
The Holy Spirit is the best coach in the world – you might as well let Him coach you!
A few years ago, I decided to get in shape (sadly, the urge didn’t last long). Nonetheless, I was off to a good start by meeting with an excellent young trainer in our church. Hartley is strong – really strong. And he works with really strong athletes.
I lowered the bar. Considerably.
I’m not as young as I once was and, well, my mind tells me I’m in better shape than the mirror does. But Hartley is a good coach. He didn’t look at my limitations and shake his head in disgust. Instead, he started with some simple things: a few push-ups, some squats with a lightweight ball, some squats without a lightweight ball – stuff like that.
“That’s good!” Hartley said. “You’re an athlete. You can do it.”
That’s what a good coach does. A good coach doesn’t diminish your courage; he builds it. He encourages. I liked the fact that Hartley didn’t say, “You could be an athlete” or “You used to be an athlete.” He said, “You are an athlete.” He wasn’t candy-coating matters. He didn’t pretend that I was already in great shape. But as he instructed me, he held out a vision for my improvement. A good coach believes you can do it and he helps you take each step.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus Himself and He abides in every believer’s heart. To be convicted by the Spirit is, essentially, to be coached by the Spirit. The conviction of the Holy Spirit isn’t an invitation to brood over your sin, but to discover a better way.
Early in my Christian life, I thought the conviction of the Spirit was something to be avoided. But when I began to see Him as my Coach, the best Teacher in the world, I started hungering for His correction. It’s a blessing, not a curse, to learn how you can live in a new way.
In short, God has no interest in condemning, discouraging or simply criticizing you. He loves you infinitely. He is utterly for you. You can welcome the conviction of the Spirit. And that’s the Gospel!