Do you live with conviction? Are you convicted to follow? Or to lead?

God gave us some amazing examples of conviction in scripture. Look at Noah. Can you imagine what it would feel like to be standing in the middle of a desert and to be building a boat. I say boat, but I should say it was a giant life raft. No rudder. No wheel. Lots of animals. One convicted Godly man who followed God for all he was worth. Now look at Moses. Here’s a guy who was sent away as a baby, raised as the son of royalty, had a stutter, and was called by God to follow Him and lead His people into the wild. What about Job? Here’s a guy who lost his entire family, was afflicted with all manner of suffering, and He stuck with God. Talk about Godly conviction!

I could keep going. The old testament often reads as a biography of men putting everything on the line for God. Think of all of the prophets. David. Samuel. Instead of concentrating on these guys, I’m going to fast forward to Acts. This is the book showing men that followed God as Jesus had demonstrated. Peter and John are great, but others stand out to me. Look at Stephen. Just made a deacon. Sharing Jesus’ teachings. Tried. Convicted. Died by stoning for his convictions! And how many times does Paul have to be punished for him to turn away?

Paul is the image of conviction. Think about it. Paul is getting it from both sides. There he is, a Pharisee, persecuting these “Nazarenes” when he is struck blind by God and shown the error of his persecutions. He goes to the Church and is doubted by its leaders. Then after he earns acceptance, he goes and starts sharing the message with the Gentiles! Can you imagine the nerve? Peter and the others call him out about this. He stands up and keeps going. He is driven out of synagogue after synagogue. In city after city, he is stoned, beaten, imprisoned. God sends earthquakes, releases his bonds, and is running right next to Paul the whole way. In the later chapters (Acts 24-28), Paul is imprisoned (or in transit under guard). He isn’t released from prison, God shipwrecks the transport ship and Paul remains. God does not strike down his guards, Paul converts them. God remains as Paul’s light, guiding him to show redemption to the world.

Now, let me ask you. Do you look at God as your light? Is he your GPS? Do you have to conviction to trust His guidance, even when your instinct tells you to turn aside? Think about it. Each of us has different callings. The act of following that calling may take you to one lifelong career, or it might have you going from one to another, developing your skills. It may have you pouring into a few people, or it may be that you are addressing millions. The key is that you are following Jesus in your calling. It is God, and God alone, who gives you your calling. God called Paul to reach the Gentiles. Paul followed that guidance. He followed it straight to a Roman prison. The Holy Spirit was in him as it is in all believers. The Holy Spirit provided conviction so that he could remain convicted to God.

When I was serving in the Army, I was under the command of officers and NCOs who were in total control of me. I was expected to follow their orders without question. This is not to say I was not to think. The good leaders expected me to think, creatively solving problems so they didn’t have to. While in Iraq, I would have followed some of these men to death, and some might say I did follow them into Hell. But these men were focused on completing an earthly mission, no matter how good it was, it may not have been God’s mission. So why, now, when I know God, and the Holy Spirit is with me, do I hesitate to follow Him? God is the ultimate commander, yet sometimes I doubt His commands. So what does it take?

Here’s the challenge:

  • How is God using you in this world?
  • Do you stand by your convictions  the way these men stood by theirs?
  • How can you become a man of Godly convictions?

Now that we know the questions, lets follow the answers. Stand up and follow God with all conviction to be His disciple, giving your life if called to.

Until the Whole World Knows,

Paul

Comments
  1. Kevin says:

    This was an womderful post. I can relate to it in so many ways. Men need to think about these things if they can’t themselves then they need a battle buddy to help them keep this in mind. I needed to see these words and I will admit I have fallen short and have been hesitant in many things in regards to God’s will on many occassions. I have even blatantly rejected them. Oh thank God for His mercy and grace. I will also admit I need more friends in my life to remind me of these things. Thanks this is placed in my top blogs read category along with other ones.

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