Tag Archives: conviction

Life Application

Beginning in Proverbs 19, the topic changes from contrasting a wicked/worldly life and a righteous/godly life to how to live out the God-honoring life. When preaching I always have to remember that it is one thing to share knowledge of the scriptures; quite another to give instruction on How to Apply the scriptures to our daily living. Knowledge in and of itself does not make life change. Wisdom the application of the knowledge is the vehicle to make life transformation. Just because I know about God doesn’t mean I fear or revere Him as My God. God’s Law given to Israel/Jews became a system of rules and regulations rather than a code of conduct for living. The Jews/Pharisees/Scribes missed the “Spirit or intent” of the Law and made keeping the Law the litmus test for righteousness. In the culture of society today we have a dual threat to holy living. First, the thought of “consumerism” – the idea that life exist for us to have pleasure without any accountability. Secondly, the ideological thought that a person/people “have entitlement” or in other words that they are owed a living or the expectations that they deserve whatever without any expectation of working or earning on their part the necessities of life. In American philosophy it is held that for every person there is the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The Happiness is now not just to be pursued – be an expectation that the “life of happiness” is an entitlement that should be provided to them by others without any obligation on their part to achieve such status.

As a pastor for some 20 plus years; there has been at times a disconnect between what people hear, say they believe and what the practice. If we say we believe something from scripture and don’t practice it then we really don’t believe what we say we believe. James tells us to be “doers of the word, not hearers only – deceiving ourselves.” If we believe scripture it becomes part of our living, and find application in our daily life – this is called conviction.

Again the believer in Jesus Christ is admonished to “walk in the Spirit” and they will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. The difference between believing scripture and living scripture is the space between our heads and our hearts.

Often living out our faith causes many conflicts, in our minds and in the world that sees us. In the world you will have persecution, but know that I have overcome the world. Jesus also said, if they listen to My words, they will listen to yours. As we live out our faith openly before the worldly and carnal, there will be and should be times of struggle and mind reasoning on whether we will be true to our profession of certain behaviors and beliefs. If our aim is to live successfully in this world, we will compromise on what our heart AND head tell us is right – I have said over and over to my congregation that salvation and Lordship of Jesus Christ has to mean more than a destination change. Salvation has to be more that just missing Hell, or the guilt for all our wrongs doings and sins. We must be prepared to live out the scripture according to the Holy Spirit within us. Yes it will mean that we are out of step with the rest of the world – in fact scripture warns us “Woe unto you when all the world approves of you.”

We are not to be of the world, yet we find our ministry and living IN the world. What a contrast and conflict – How do I live in the world without letting the world adversely affect me? It is difficult – walking by the Spirit, putting our daily lives in the control of Jesus – stay in the scripture, pray constantly, fellowship with other believers, attach to a bible believing God-Honoring church. Oh, I just gave you application of LIFE APPLICATION!

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Do it Again LORD!

Psalms 119:107, 149, and 156 speak of being revived by ordinances, and Word. An ordinance is a decree, law, order or rule. I have read more than a few books on revival; two that have been most beneficial are Lewis Drummond and Walter Kaiser’s books. Kaiser indicates more of a pattern or formula for revival; while Drummond speaks of a “God revealed, driven revival.” Wilt thou not revive us again? Psalm 85:6-8 The Psalmist asks the question, will you oh Lord revive us according to you Word? it is apparent that many today do not even know what revival is. I have asked pastor and congregations “how many have ever experienced “God directed revival?” I have been astounded of how few have ever experienced it. We have debate today as in days past, is revival something that man can orchestrate or is it the Work of God only?

I have heard for years in the ministry of churches having revival services. But when I ask did revival come, there was the pathetic No. In John 3, Jesus says the wind blows where it will and no one knows. G.K. Chesterson has been credited with the saying about revival “Set the sail and wait for the wind to blow.” This makes sense for two reasons, we never know when revival will come; yet we must be prepared to receive it when the “Spirit blows.” This would appear that revival is more “caught” than brought.

The psalmist seems to know the answer of how revival occurs. Through the Word of God. Revival must be prayed through, the purpose may not be so much as to get revival, but to immerse oneself into the Word of God, and as a result of meditation, praying and consecration. Verse 105 – a well-known verse taught in children’s Sunday school classes – Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. In my previous blog entry, there was the discussion of departing from God in acts of rebellion which resulted in punishment and affliction. As a people, we are prone to wander, especially in good times or lack of conflict in our lives. It takes adversity at times to “drive us” back to the bible. I know even in my own life time, when a national or personal crisis occurs, man I beat feet back to the bible and God. However, our nation and churches are guilty of relaxing, or better said return to laissez-faireĀ  lifestyle.

I am concerned for our present day culture, communities and churches; it seems that instead of running to God in distressful times, we have hardened our heart and refuse to return. Judgment looms for every person and institution if we will not return to our Lord.

Revival hurts, it means that repentance has occurred and that I am admitting that I have sinned and drifted from God. The Word of God has the power to restore, but also to cut with conviction. If there isn’t conviction for sin, repentance is not real. We can feel bad for what we have done in a moral sense; but unless we admit that our sin is a result of who we are and our hard heartedness; it’s just feeling bad, but not bad enough to do anything about it.

Revival has often been described as a formula from 2 Chronicles 7:14; however, I do not see this verse and a prescription for revival as much as I see it as a “description” of when revival happens. “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and heal their land. Sin is singular; sin of rebellion and unbelief – sin is a nature which produces sins in the flesh. There is a lot of work on the part of the believer before God hears our prayers and responds. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, God will not hear my prayers.” Conviction [Word of God]; Confession with our mouth; RepentanceĀ  with our heart and restoration by God’s mercy and Grace.

If we neglect the Word – If the Word is not in us – why do we expect God to deliver us? People there is work to be done – and it begins with you and me!

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