On Friday, just as I was getting ready to leave work, I felt a pin-prick stab in my stomach followed by an intense burning sensation. I moaned ‘nooooooo’ in despair, as I watched a wasp fly away from my mid-section. The last time I was stung by a wasp it took over a year before it stopped flaring up bright red and alternating between burning and itching.
Earlier in the week at Bible Study, the teacher gave us a scripture with a nugget of truth that left me feeling the sting and burn of conviction. In that moment, I knew I wasn’t being prayerful, respectful, or loving in one area of my life. Like the wasp sting, it hasn’t gone away after several days.
The Bible is very clear that the feeling of conviction is from the Holy Spirit; the third part of the trinity. In my experience, these nudges from the Holy Spirit are in areas that the Lord finds displeasing. Normally, they are behaviors that are sinful, that need repentance, and that are forgiven if we truly change our direction.
John 16:8 (NASB) says, “And He, when He comes, will convict the world regarding sin, and righteousness and judgement.”
You see, the key to conviction is that there will be judgement associated with it. Therefore, we can’t ignore it…we have to actually do something to change the behavior. If we fail to change behavior as a result of conviction, or we ignore that pinprick on our conscious, then we stay in a sinful spiral. And no good comes from that.
Josh McDowell wrote, “Having convictions can be defined as being so thoroughly convinced that Christ and His Word are both objectively true and relationally meaningful that you act on your beliefs regardless of the consequences.”
Just like the wasp sting, with its immediate pinch and days of itchy burning, the moments during and after a conviction spurred by the Holy Spirit, should also invoke feelings of a sting and continuous burn…until the behavior has been repented and changed.
This week I’m praying that the ladies of the porch will listen to the Holy Spirit when you feel that moment of conviction…and that the wasps stay away from you!