Too often we are tempted to compromise and go against our internal convictions. Sometimes it is the pressure to please friends while other times it is the weight of our familial interactions, but what is true is that there are moments where we secretly battle with adhering to the voice of God.
Contrary to popular belief, Christians do not all have the same convictions. Some may have a strong conviction for drug use while others don't see it as a major issue. There are those that view sexual immorality as a "struggle" while others think it is a choice made in weakness. Then, there are those individuals who think listening to secular music is harmful while others love Jesus and trap music. With the varying opinions, the views of the world, and divisions in the body of Christ, there are people who struggle to find truth.
Don't get me wrong, the bible is clear on what is sin and what isn't. It is very open about the impacts of individual sin for generations, but what about those internal conflicts? What about the places where the bible is silent but your spirit is grieved? What, then, are Christians to do when we were once graced to do certain things but are now convicted about them?
We submit to the holy promptings within us.
I learned long ago not to seek validation from others on the things that God was telling me to do. While earlier in my walk I had the grace to party on Saturday nights and go to church on Sunday, I can't anymore. While I once had the ability to curse someone out who was being ugly towards me, I can't. Now, this is not a boasting moment, but more of a teaching moment.
We go from faith to faith, and glory to glory in Christ. And, in those elevation times he changes us. Majority of the change does not happen in the church house, but in our intentional quiet time with him. It is in the prayer room that God meets us and begins to transform us. Think of Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew 17. He went up on the top of the mountain and his appearance dramatically changed before Peter, James, and John. The key to remember is that Jesus ascended to a higher place. We can correlate his physical movements with our spiritual elevation.
When you are intentional about spending time with God, he will change you inwardly. Your life may begin to convict others who are possibly living beneath who they are called to be. Your words may pinch their souls by just sharing your beliefs. While you may not seek to judge them, they may feel some type of way, because the gospel if shared in love will do that.
Just recently, I had an opportunity to overrule my inner convictions. I was invited to an event that I really didn't see anything wrong with, but my spirit sent off an alert in warning. I was confused as to why my spirit reacted the way that it did, but I've learned hard lessons in the past about ignoring that type of thing. So, I told my friends that I couldn't attend and while I hoped they had fun, I could not do it for my own peace of mind. As imagined, this upset them but I just couldn't do it. See, I'm working on something in this season of my life. I'm building some things and can't afford to have my spirit infiltrated with unnecessary stuff, so I had to decline.
Did I feel bad? Yes. But, I have to give an account as to why I wasn't in position when needed. I have to be able to live with the consequences of my decisions and I just wasn't willing to pay the price for a few hours of "fun." To be clear, my decision was not made from a judgmental place at all, but from one a place of protection for myself, and my destiny.
So I write to let you know that it is okay to say no. It is ok to protect the fruit of your labor. It is ok to take a stand for your convictions.