When our daughter Stephanie was eight years old, she liked to play mother and boss her brothers around. My son Peter, who was four at the time, did not like it. I remember hearing him saying over and over, “Step-o-nee, you are not da boss!” Well Peter was right. She wasn’t the boss and we had to teach her that.
God is the boss of our lives! In being that, he does not lead or instruct us through intimidation, even though the world loves to lead that way. God calls out to us in many ways from the position of wanting to impart the knowledge of His goodness His love and instruction of His ways to us. Psalm 25:8-10 says, “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in His ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way. All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful for those who keep the ways of His covenant.”
God speaks to all of us constantly reminding us of His love, grace, mercy, and desire to bless us. He knows that much of that blessing will come to us from the favour that comes from a transformed life. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” A transformed life – a life that has moved sin out and become Christ-like, helps promote God’s favour – a grace and influence that you can have with people that draws blessing to your life.
God’s disciples experienced this favour early on! Acts 2:46-47 “And they continued daily in unity… praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” –
God is Love. But, God is also the boss. There are things He does not like – even things He hates. What He hates is that Satan has deceptively made sin look attractive when it really only steals and destroys life. Prov 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” God does not hate you! He loves you! He simply hates the sin because it brings so much hurt to us – His children whom He loves so much.
The Lord does want to instruct us concerning sin so that we can recognize it and turn from it. When you read His word and see that He says something such as lying is wrong, you become informed by Him that this is something to change. When you have been doing something that the Word of God declares sin and your heart is soft toward God, then you will feel conviction. Conviction is not the same as guilt. Guilt implies you are guilty! Jesus has paid the price for what you were guilty of. Conviction feels like guilt but it is best understood as a sign of awareness – recognizing you are doing what God is teaching you not to.
When you are really hungry you feel hunger pains. They are telling you your body is hungry so you’ll eat. When you have eaten enough, your body feels full. That is so you will quit eating and not get fat or sick. These are signs to help you. Likewise the feeling of conviction is your conscience trained by God’s Holy Spirit through the Word of God to learn good from bad – righteous living from sin. It’s an inward alarm for us to pay attention to and realize something is wrong – something that will get you into trouble and hinder your transformation of becoming Christlike. It can hinder blessing – not that God is holding it back, but that your behavior might cause a hindrance with man.
A gentleman who owns his own company was talking with me once about a great employee of his. He said, “I love this guy and I would promote him to a manager if he’d just quit smoking. He works hard and would make a great manager – if he didn’t have to go out and take cigarette breaks so often.” God was not holding this man’s promotion back. His own behavior was! God wants to help us transform those behaviors that are contrary to His Word and hurt us or others. His Holy Spirit within us is provides the grace which is the power of God to do so when we put faith in it! When we change, we open the door to God’s favour and blessing and build our house on the rock of His word!
Matthew 7:24 (NLT) 24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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