Some things in life are too beautiful for words, like the majestic Rocky Mountains, the sound of a babbling brook, the joy of a baby’s giggle—and the incredible Word of God.
But for some people, the Bible doesn’t feel beautiful. Instead, it feels like a judgment against them every time they open it. When they read Scripture, all they feel is condemnation.
As I read the New Testament yesterday morning, a subtle feeling that I wasn’t measuring up rose in me. Then a thought came to mind: The conviction you are sensing is the purification of the human heart through the Word. I suddenly remembered Hebrews 4:12-13:
“For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any doubled-edged sword; it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give an account.”
Ah, yes Lord. My soul and spirit are laid bare and exposed before you. You know everything about me. You see the thoughts and intentions of my heart, and you purify me as your Word judges both. This is the purification of my heart through your Word as it corrects me and shows me where I am blind.
Suddenly, something hit me that I have always known, but this time it felt like a new truth: The conviction I feel is God’s love in action, transforming me through His Word. It’s never His desire to burden us down with guilt that leads to death, but to reveal our sin so we can experience life! It’s to show us where our thoughts and intentions are wrong so He can lead us to what is right.
Ah! Joyous liberty!
Keep in mind that the Accuser (Revelation 12:10) wants you beat you up with how much you have failed, and how much you have sinned against God. He doesn’t want you to fully know God’s grace, mercy, and love. Don’t let him convince you that your sin means you can never experience redemption. Through His blood, forgiveness, and love, He has made you worthy.
Remember: The conviction you sense when you read the Word is His deep love in action working to transform you so you can experience life and a greater fullness of joy!