The apostle Paul wrote that, we Christians must ‘examine’ and ‘test’ ourselves, to find if we are walking close to God, and to make sure that we are
still true to the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). However, before we begin to examine our hearts under the searchlight of the Lord, we must
understand that we as Christians can often fall into two categories. We are either a humble or a justifying believer. The humble believer
has a penitent heart and is willing receive correction and repent. But a justifying believer is a person who claims to follow Christ, but
spends time justifying questionable practices. The latter attempts to enjoy the best of the world, whilst still hoping that the door to heaven is open.
If we are going to go deeper with God and be used by Him, we must be humble and ready to receive His correction. Peter wrote that ‘God resists the
proud but gives grace to the humble’ (1 Peter 5:5). The Bible also states that ‘a man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will
retain honour’ (Proverbs 29:23).
We must understand that the Holy Spirit is always seeking to fill our lives and to do this, He urges us to surrender more to Him. God is always
looking to take ground from the ‘flesh’ and He wants to fill areas of our lives that were once controlled by the enemy. His love draws us
closer to Him, but as we come close to Him, our sin will be highlighted. It can be very challenging when God shows us something in our
lives that needs to be changed and we can become discouraged. However, the Bible specifically tells us not be discouraged when God
corrects us, or points at something in our lives that is wrong. He convicts us of sin because He loves us. In fact, His conviction
is proof that He is thinking about us! We should be encouraged! ‘Do not be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the
Lord loves He disciplines’ (Hebrews 12:5-6).
As believers, we must learn to be able to receive God’s correction and resist Satan’s condemnation. God points out things in our lives that are
wrong out of love and because He wants our lives restored. However, Satan wants to drag us down into a pit of discouragement, despair and
condemnation. When God shows us something that is wrong in our lives, we should just agree with Him! Let’s not justify our sins. Let’s not
allow Satan to try and condemn us. If God has shown us something, let’s say, “Yes Lord I agree with you and I want to allow the Holy Spirit
to sort this out in my life.”
If God is going to fill us with the Holy Spirit, He must first encourage us to empty ourselves of self, the world and any attractions that
come from the enemy. He does this by convicting us of sin and self. Whenever He convicts us, we must ask ourselves - Will it be His will
or my will? Will I give way to God, or will God have to give way to me? We live in days when Christians are compromising and watering-down
the requirements to walk with a holy God, but God does not change. Whilst this is the age of grace, it would be wrong to ignore the call
to holiness because grace covers all of our failings.
Many wonder what has happened to the power that was once in the Church. We must recognise that we have moved away from Christ and therefore
God’s power has been removed from us. We may claim to have God among us because our emotions have been moved by excellent music, but
have you considered that secular rock stars can also bring people to tears and God is not with them.
We all recognise that there are many things in our lives that are not right in the sight of a holy God; therefore, if we are going to change,
it will have to hurt our flesh (Romans 13:14). Our own pride does not want to submit to God and therefore it will have to be crucified
(Galatians 2:20). Meanwhile our spirit which is born again, will rejoice when we follow God. This is the reason why we often feel joy
when we are walking with God, even if our circumstances are not great.
Getting close to God is like taking medication for the soul. Medication may not feel good when we first receive it, but in the long run
it makes us better. Before we can be cured of the cancer of sin, we have to allow the Great Physician to take His scalpel to our lives
and cut out the thing inside of us, which is killing our souls. Jesus explained that He is the Vine and we are the branches,
(John 15). The Bible also explains that it is the little foxes that spoil the vine (Song of Songs 2:15).
Could it be that it is the little things that we don’t notice (or let pass) should act as a warning that something bigger is at stake – perhaps even
our destiny in God? Therefore we need to ask ourselves: Are we humble enough to receive correction from God? Will we listen when He convicts us of sin? We will
humble ourselves and repent?
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