I hope you've enjoyed the first two days of my Thanksgiving or Gratitude posts. I'm really savoring this time where I stop and focus not on what needs to be done, but on what my Lord has already done.
I know that two posts in one day is unusual for me, but this mornings post was brief.
I wanted to take a moment and share with you a nugget that I have been chewing on the last 4 or 5 days or so about conviction. Looking back at various different things the Lord has convicted me on through the years, I'm realizing that several of them are repeats and several others have faded away.
Have you noticed this in your life as well? The Lord will point something out in me, and I will embrace His correction and discipline, I'll heed the warnings and change my ways. Often with fires ablaze. Striving to do better, eager, daily, to follow through with this, or that, better behavior. That eagerness might last 5 days or even 15, but almost always the thing I was convicted on gets easier to avoid, and so I don't have to think as hard about avoiding it, until I don't think on it. I don't think on it at all. Slowly, as those days of blissful freedom from that sin go on, the sin creeps back in without an invitation, and without an announcement of it's arrival until all of a sudden I'm so heavily immersed in it again, the Lord is shaking His head. Wondering what it will take to get through to me.
Yesterday there was a status floating around that said "What is different, still different, about your parenting after seeing Courageous (the most recent movie by Sherwood Films) last month?"
Nothing. Not due to Courageous. I have a friend who is incredibly patient and remarkably understanding of the ages and stages of her children, I've made many changes in my parenting style in response to being close with this friend, and have been using the 1, 2, 3 Magic technique. Both have made me a better mother, given me a stronger voice of authority and fewer emotional break downs over my children. I am doing better, but I'm not thinking on and reflecting over that conviction in which I felt at the theater, I'm not praying about being better. Based on the pattern of previous convictions I know I'm in trouble. To put it simply, if I'm not thinking on it or praying over it, then I'm in danger. My convictions are in danger of disappearing all together and my parenting skills are mere days away from slipping back into patterns of impatience, laziness, and higher expectations than a 4 year old can meet.
These convictions are the relatively easy ones, but what about the not so easy convictions? The ones that the Lord manages to point out to us through or during a major trial or tribulation? Issues of pride, idols, self sacrifice, or service to our Lord. If three or four years have passed since that trial and the convictions, the resolutions, you put into place then have faded or waned, then what is the lasting impact of the trial?
Are the memories of that time too painful to revisit?
Are they just memories?
Or have you managed to manifest those memories in the forefront of your mind, reflecting on them frequently?
Choosing to remember where you have been, from which you have come, and what the Lord wants from you?
For lack of a better term, let's call it Conviction Stick-tion. Praying for, remembering on, the good that we need to be doing, so that we can effectively leave the sins of our past, in the past. The devil is a tricky little fella and he can make us think we are in all kinds of right behavior, doing what's best for all involved until before we know it our conviction has lost it's stick-tion and we are right back where we started.
Is there an area that the Lord has been pointing out to you recently, a conviction you have perhaps struggled with regularly that needs some extra stick-tion? If there is, I pray that my sharing this prodding in my life, this nudging I've been feeling from the Lord, can help you to refocus, to recognize your weakness before it is too late.