Convictions are defined as: 1. An unshakable belief in something without need for proof or evidence. 2. (Criminal law) a final judgment of guilty in a criminal case and the punishment that is imposed; “the conviction came as no surprise”. 3. The act of convicting; the act of proving, finding, or adjudging, guilty of an offense. 4. A judgment of condemnation entered by a court having jurisdiction; the act or process of finding guilty, or the state of being found guilty of any crime by a legal tribunal 5. The act of convincing of error, or of compelling the admission of a truth; confutation 6. The state of being convinced or convicted; strong persuasion or belief; especially, the state of being convicted of sin, or by one’s conscience. .[Websters]
As we look at convictions in our lives it is important for us to discern where those convictions are rooted and based. Not all convictions are always rooted in God. Some convictions are little more than superstitions which are based on a notion or illusion.
There is a distinct difference between feelings and conviction…. Feelings are defined as, “an awareness of something; a notion or belief not based on reason; emotions rather than intellect. ” We need to be sure that we are grounded in what God tells us. There are many voices that we hear; of these we have the voice of self, the voice of the world, and the voice of God. We should be able to determine whether the convictions we hold true to us and follow are from God or another voice.
This only becomes possible by knowing God’s voice from the other voices we hear on a regular basis. The bible tells us “The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me. ” (John 10:27 Amplified Bible) I cannot personally recall a time when I held convictions that were not in line with God’s word but there have been times in my life that I feel my thought process slipping of course and need to align myself with God’s through time in his Word.
For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. ” (Hebrews 4:12 KJV) Convictions that attract attention for a selfish ego puts us first rather than putting God first, these convictions are often rooted in pride or a desire for attention. Being in the spotlight and gaining attention can be attractive but as we know as Christians we must die to ourselves and seek to put God first in every area of our lives.
The Bible speaks in many places of how God feels about pride. “To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. ” (Proverbs 8:13 NIV). And in (Romans 2:8 NIV) “But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. ” Some convictions are generated by an unwillingness to accept change. It happens sometimes we get comfortable with how things are and how things have been and in general change can be difficult.
In change lies a fear of the unknown. Sometimes we fail to see that along with change come opportunities for growth. The Bible tells us “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its water roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. ” (Psalm 46:1-3 NIV). I see this in me as well at times it is easy to be complacent and go with the flow and not seek change in our lives.
I cannot recall any convictions I have held that were rooted in an unwillingness to change but I can definitely see how this could be possible. For a while I knew that God has been calling me into ministry as a vocation but wasn’t sure where to start or how. I would make excuses on why I couldn’t do it or why it wouldn’t work. I had chosen a career path and the change and transition not to mention the uncertainty would not be easy. For years I wrestled with this.
Sometimes I would say maybe I can just spend more time in prayer for the lost and hurting or work in my sphere of influence. It came down to a resistance to submit everything including my future to God. I still feel lost in at times. But I know that I am one step closer as I am now pursuing an education which will support this calling. I am confident God will open the doors that need to be opened when the time comes. But I know that this is the first step in that process. That’s much how God works, revealing His plan to us on a step-by-step basis.