It's been a long time since I have written on this blog. Life has changed in many ways, all being blessings from God. However, that isn't what this post is about. This post is about conviction. Have you ever really felt conviction? You know that feeling when something is on your heart that you just can't escape. It's almost as if any time you have a down moment you think about it. God works in your life to work out not only the sin but also the motivation behind it. In short He changes your heart. Lately I have had a conviction just like this. One that has gnawed away at my selfishness, pride and anything else keeping me from the heart of God. Tonight I feel that I have finally gotten to the root of this conviction and wanted to share it because I feel it is something I have struggled with for a while and many others may also.
A couple of times in conversation recently with other people the subject of x (person who will not be named) came up and looking back I really feel that we did not speak about them in a positive manner. We were quick to put them down and judge how they were spending their time. We were quick to judge how this person was spending time in ministry (in prayer vs. going out to reach people). God really convicted me by bringing a few stories to mind (I honestly don't remember where I read them so I apologize in advance for the paraphrase of stories and lack of credit given to authors). One story talks about how every major revival in the world has always started with someone behind the scenes. The stories then go on to explain how each person behind the scenes was always constantly in prayer and often looked on as "different" (for lack of better words). One story was about a man who ran an orphanage off of no fundraising (every month he would spend an entire day in prayer until the funds came) that orphanage went on to reach thousands of people through the children who left. The other talks about 2 ladies who lived in a city (I think in Europe) that had about 5 people in the church and no one else in the town was saved. The ladies felt God leading them to do nothing else but pray for an entire month. After that month they prayed with the other 3 church members. Later that week the ENTIRE town came to accept salvation.
All that to say that I was really convicted. I felt that God told me that I was quick to judge His ways because I didn't understand them, because I can never completely understand Him. It was almost as if God said "who are you to judge whether or not I want someone to spend their entire LIFE in prayer, is not communication with me the most important thing? Or can I not say that I would prefer for this person to spend their time in prayer, do you think you are better because you act out those prayers or is the other person less because they plead with me for the souls of others". Needless to say I have been EXTREMELY convicted. Rather than judging or questioning what X is doing I should be doing everything within my power to be building them up. I have no idea the plans that God has for this person and they may be like those 2 ladies, praying. I know this person is burdened for the country in which they live and I also know they know we serve a mighty God. I am trusting God to work His will because not even this person can stop His will. So if God will is for X to pray, pray they will. If God's will is for X to act, then act they will. From now on I am going to attempt to let nothing but goodness come out of my mouth when talking of this person. If I complain it will be to complain about my lack of faith in prayer that X obviously has been blessed with.
Tonight, I am even more convicted by the verses in Isaiah 55:7-9
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Don't get me wrong, I love learning more about God and I think we all should strive to know as much as we can about Him. Ultimately though I have to remember that He is God. Indescribable, incomparable God. His thoughts are not ours and His ways are not ours. What I think may be the best way to bring people to Christ may not be the best way, no matter how much it may seem to make sense to me.
I knew someone once that used to pray that God's spirit would convict us like a paper cut. That annoying pain you're so aware of until you deal with it. Tonight that is my hope. That every conviction would gnaw away at anything that keeps me from bringing glory to God and understanding Him. That I would have more "paper cut" convictions like this one that remind me of how sinful I am and how much I need a savior.