I’d like to speak about conviction. Now this is going to be more from experience rather than Biblical facts. Since most people post their blogs about their own lives, I suppose I’ll give my testimony.
I started going to church off and on as a child. Performed in plays and such, but didn’t necessarily go every Sunday. I started going regularly around, eh, 10 to youth nights. Still not regularly on Sundays, then I attended a couple of youth camps with the youth group. At some point around 12 everything changed. I was going to church a lot more and I decided I wanted to be a missionary. I stuck to my guns on that for quite a while. It wasn’t until I was probably 15 that things started to change. I never really made the decision that I no longer wanted to go into ministry, I just sort of fell out of it. I stopped going to church and started getting wrapped up in other things. Before I knew it I hardly recognized myself anymore. I did think often though, “one day I’m still going to have that life I dreamed of, I’m just too busy for it right now.”
Too busy for my own dreams? What was I thinking? Anyway, it wasn’t long before choosing to put off my dreams started to turn into guilt. I started feeling worse and worse about putting off God’s plans for myself that I felt like there was no turning back. All of my Biblical knowledge seemed to fade away over the years and I felt like it was too late for me.
You see, in a lot of ways I forgot about God, but God never forgot about me. He was always there tapping me on the shoulder and reminding me what His plans were, and I couldn’t ignore them forever. No matter how hard I tried to avoid the guilt of running from God, God was always there. You can avoid church, you can avoid the Bible, but you can’t avoid God.
For some reason I thought it was easier to keep living day to day in avoidance of the conviction I was feeling, rather than to just deal with what was in front of me. But God puts conviction on our hearts when he has plans for us to do something. It could be anything from praying for someone, going to church, joining the ministry, to quit a bad habit, or many other things.
Romans 2:15: since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.
After more than ten years, the conviction was a burning that was stronger than ever. I was starting to feel older and like I was running out of time to make things right. Instead of it fading in 10 years, it got worse, and that is how I know that God hadn’t forgotten about me.
I can tell you from experience that if you are avoiding something that God is calling you to do, whatever it may be, you will be restless until you do it. In our human minds we think whatever it is, it is too hard for us, but God would never put it on our hearts if it was going to be a painful thing for us to do. His plans for us are plans to better our lives, not to make them harder.
Jer 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
One day when I was sitting in church (feeling more convicted than ever) and the Preacher made a statement that really sank in. He said, “I have never met a person that decided to live for God and said “”I wish I would have waited longer””, no they always say, “”Boy, I wish I hadn’t waited so long!”””. All at once for me it was like being startled awake from a really deep sleep. I thought, “Why have I waited so long?”
I made the decision right there to stop putting off life. I started going to church, applied to Liberty University, and started towards my major in religion the following semester. It was scary, I’m not gonna lie. I could have talked myself out of it at any time, but for once I wanted to feel like I was living the life I was supposed to be living, and today I feel better about myself than I have in 10 years. For once, I am proud.