Responding When God Convicts Your Heart
I. Signs of Being Under God’s Conviction
II. What Does Conviction Mean Spiritually
III. What Happens When We Ignore Conviction
IV. Benefits of Listening to God
V. Knowing God’s Voice from Our Voice
VI. Definition of God Directing Our Steps
Signs of Being Under God’s Conviction
There are times when we recognize something just doesn’t feel right. These moments can have many outcomes but most of all, it is an opportunity to further investigate the feeling. When these moments occur, God is speaking to your heart warning you.
Previously, we learned that even Pastors appreciation services should not be given when he is not listening to God's Holy Ghost conviction. No matter who you are, or what gifts God has given you to serve, listening to God's voice keeps you safe.
Recognizing when God is convicting your heart is a very personal experience, but there are some common signs:
A sense of conviction or discomfort about a specific behavior or attitude in your life
Having feelings of intense remorse or guilt over past actions
As a believer, being drawn to certain scriptures or messages during your prayer or worship time
Having a sense of peace (or clarity) after acknowledging and confessing your sins
It's important to remember that God's conviction can also be accompanied by feelings of peace, love, and joy. His conviction demonstrates His unwavering love for us. Additionally, it is important to seek guidance from a spiritual leader, or mentor, in your family, church, or social group. They can provide insight and help you discern the voice of God.
In addition to warning signs listed above, here are others to consider:
Inner Voice or "check" in your spirit: you may feel a sense of unease or discomfort in a certain situation or when making a particular decision. This inner voice can be a warning from God to be cautious or to avoid certain things. Remember that God told Job of His "still small voice".
Dreams or visions: the Bible indicates God communicates with many through dreams and visions. If you have a dream or vision that feels significant, or that you can't shake, it may be a warning from God.
Circumstances: sometimes, God may use circumstances or events to warn us of potential dangers or pitfalls. For example, if you are considering a major life change, it could be a warning from God to reconsider.
It's important to remember that God's warning may not always be clear or easy to understand. However, by seeking guidance through prayer and seeking wise counsel, you can gain a better understanding of His will.
What Does Conviction Mean Spiritually
When we have an issue with our vehicles, lights on the dashboard warn us. The same is true in the Kingdom of God. When there is something wrong with us, or even loved ones, the “flashing light” of God’s voice intervenes as a warning. This is a biblical concept as well.
The Bible has several passages that speak about what it means to be spiritually convicted.
In John 16:8, Jesus says - "And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God's righteousness, and of the coming judgment." This passage suggests that conviction is a work of the Holy Spirit, brings awareness of sin, and the need for repentance.
In Romans 2:15, it says - "They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them." This passage suggests that conviction also involves a sense of guilt or remorse over our actions.
In Hebrews 3:7-8, it says - "Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness." This passage suggests that conviction can also come in the form of a call to obey God's voice.
At its root, conviction should be thought of as a "safety device" God uses to warn us. It is also a way for God to guide us according to His will. The benefit is that we grow in the Lord and get closer to him.
What Happens When We Ignore Conviction
God is tangible in these warnings from the deepest part of our souls. Ignoring spiritual conviction can have serious consequences for an individual's spiritual growth and well-being. When we ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit, we miss the opportunity to repent and turn away from our sins. This can lead to a hardening of our hearts and a growing distance between us and God. We may find ourselves living in disobedience to God's will and out of alignment with His purpose. This can result in a sense of emptiness, guilt, and shame.
Another consequence of ignoring spiritual conviction is that it can lead to spiritual stagnation. Ignoring conviction is like refusing to take the necessary steps to address a problem; it will only continue to fester and grow. When we refuse to address our sins and repent, we stop growing in our faith and miss out on the joy and peace that comes from living in obedience to God. We may find ourselves stuck in a cycle of sin, guilt, and shame, with no way out.
Here are warnings from the Bible about the consequences of ignoring God's warning/conviction:
Proverbs 1:24-26 says - "Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes."
Isaiah 1:19 says - "If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land."
Ezekiel 3:18-19 says - "When I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand."
Jeremiah 6:16-17 says - "Thus says the Lord: Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.' Also, I set watchmen over you, saying, 'Listen to the sound of the trumpet!' But they said, 'We will not listen."
Hebrews 2:1-3 says - "Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?"
Revelation 3:19 says - "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent."
Zephaniah 1:12 says - "And it shall come to pass at that time That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, And punish the men Who are stagnant in spirit, Who say in their heart, 'The Lord will not do good, Nor will He do evil."
Finally, ignoring spiritual conviction can lead to severe consequences in the long term. It can lead to the hardening of our hearts, and we may become resistant to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. This can lead to a permanent separation from God and eternal consequences.
The Bible tells us that if we persist in our sins, we will be separated from God for eternity. The Bible also teaches that there is a day of judgement, and that on that day, every person will give account of themselves before God. Therefore, it is important to take spiritual conviction seriously and respond to it with repentance, humility and obedience.
Benefits of Listening to God
There are eternal benefits from listening to the voice of God which comes through conviction. Whether He is warning you about something personal, or a loved one, accepting the warning and follow through will save life-long grief. Unseasoned believers, as well as those more mature, forego listening at the most critical moments.
Listening to God has many benefits for an individual's spiritual growth and well-being. One of the main benefits is that it allows us to align our lives with God's will and purposes. When we listen to God and obey His voice, we are able to live in accordance with His plan. This can bring a sense of peace, joy, and fulfillment as we are fulfilling our purpose and living in the way that God intended.
Another benefit of listening to God is that it can bring guidance and wisdom in difficult situations. It can also give us the strength and courage that we need to face these challenges.
As we listen and obey, we are able to develop deeper levels of trust, faith and intimacy with God. This can also help us to overcome sin and to become more like Jesus Christ. This is further a way to be transformed by His love and grace.
In summary, listening to God and obeying His voice brings many benefits. It is an essential aspect of our walk with God and it helps us to become more like Jesus Christ.
Knowing God’s Voice from Our Voice
Knowing the difference between God's voice and our own voice can be a challenging task. One of the main ways to distinguish between the two is through studying the Word of God, the Bible, and becoming familiar with God's character. When we understand what God's voice sounds like, it becomes easier to recognize when He is speaking to us.
Additionally, prayer can help us to discern His voice. As we spend time in prayer and seek to develop a deeper relationship with God, we become more attuned to His ways and His Sin - Jesus Christ.
Another way to distinguish God's voice from our own is by seeking wise counsel from spiritual leaders and mentors, such as pastors and church leaders. These individuals can provide insight and guidance. Additionally, it is important to remember that God's voice will always align with His Word. Further, it leads to repentance and obedience, and will bring peace and joy in our hearts.
Our own voice, on the other hand, may lead to disobedience, confusion, and turmoil. As we practice listening to God, it will become easier to distinguish it from our own thoughts and desires.
Here are 3 Bible verses that speak about God's voice compared to our own:
1. Isaiah 30:21indicates - "Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left." 2. John 10:27 teaches - "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." 3. Proverbs 3:5-6 reveals - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."
These verses also encourage us to trust in God, and to lean on His understanding rather than our own, to follow His guidance, and to acknowledge Him in all our ways.
Definition of God Directing Our Steps
Now that we have outlined how to hear God’s voice and conviction, we’ll finish with committing to allowing Him to guide our steps. This guidance can come in many forms, such as through the Bible, prayer, and the promptings of the Holy Spirit. In the Bible, God promises to guide us and to direct our paths.
For example, Psalm 32:8 says - "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with my eye." This verse emphasizes that God is actively involved in leading and guiding us. It is important to remember that God's guidance may not always be easy or clear, but by having faith in Him and seeking His will, we can trust that He will lead us in the right direction.
Following God's guidance is a way to grow closer to God, and to become more like Jesus Christ.
Header Image Courtesy of No Name 13 @ Pixabay