When a conscience is functioning properly, this human sense analyzes and evaluates whether or not your current actions are appropriate. If you cross the line between right and wrong, a declaration of guilt is sent throughout your body. This signal is felt by hearts and souls that are open to change. Unfortunately, when opinions are elevated to truth status, conviction is weakened, opening the door for peer pressure to take precedent.
And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: John 16:8.
At the end of his three year ministry on earth, Jesus begins to prepare his disciples for the future. Unaware of his impending death, Jesus refers to a counselor that will be sent after he is gone. This spiritual presence will enhance the conviction process, unveiling past and current transgressions. Referring to the Holy Spirit, this invisible force will expose darkness by illuminating righteousness. This spiritual aide is designed to use conviction as a tool to override pressure to conform to the ways of this world.
Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” – Acts 2:37
After Jesus ascended into heaven, residents of Jerusalem began to experience the initial presence of the Holy Spirit. Luke describes this sensation as a heavy heart, struck with an overwhelming degree of anxiety and remorse. Upon hearing this response, Peter guides these convicted hearts to take the next step, repent and accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. While not everyone goes through with Peter’s advice, this decision lays a foundation for conviction to override peer pressure to confirm. May these words inspire you to act upon the conviction of the Holy Spirit so that you draw closer to God.
by Jay Mankus