Embracing the Conviction of the Holy Spirit

Woman grasping Bible close to her heart

It was many years ago. I was just doing some chores around the house, thinking about God, and enjoying the sense of His presence.

I had had a good quiet time with my Savior that morning; though nothing extraordinary. Nor had I just come out of any recent rebellion, where I felt the weight of guilt lifting from my soul.

No. I was simply at rest in my heart, knowing I was right with the Lover of my soul. And I wanted to remain in that wonderful intimacy with Him.

That’s when the Holy Spirit led me to pray this prayer:

Lord, if You make me aware of me of any sin and I don’t repent immediately, please make me so miserable that I can’t stand it!

I know—that seems like the craziest thing to pray!

We pray for things we want—life to go smoothly, the removal of a trial, comfort, wisdom, etc. Those are the type of requests we make to our Maker. But asking for misery? That’s preposterous!

But it is a prayer that honors and pleases God because it shows that you:

  • Have a healthy reverent fear of God.
  • Are humble and submissive.
  • Realize how much sin displeases God; that you want to stop sinning against Him.
  • Have tasted and seen that He is good.
  • Nothing else compares to being right with the Savior of your soul
  • Consider your relationship with Him of utmost importance.

My Lord has always answered this prayer and I am glad! Do I like the heaviness of conviction on my soul? Do I like feeling guilty? Do I enjoy seeing the ugliness of my sin? Silly questions!

Nevertheless, I have finally come to the place where…

I no longer dread God’s conviction.
Rather I have learned to embrace the conviction of the Holy Spirit!

You see, guilty feelings are good if they come from God. In His kindness, God is simply making you and I aware that we are, or about to go, off course. Much like when an air traffic controller tells a pilot he’s off course. If the pilot is off track by just 1 degree, he will not land at the desired destination, and perhaps even end up in disaster.

Our Air Traffic Controller wants us to remain on course; to stay right with Him by staying connected to Christ the Vine.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love….I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (Jn 15:9-11)

But our hearts often deceive us (Jer 17:9), so we need Him to point out when we’ve strayed.

Sometimes, though, it’s difficult for me to admit that I’ve gone astray (=sinned). How about you? That’s why I need Him to help me repent—hence my prayer: “Lord, make me miserable if I don’t repent.”

For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. (2 Cor 7:10 NLT)

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Ps 16:11)

So my friends, if you want to grow closer to God, embrace the conviction of the Holy Spirit and pray this prayer…

Lord, if You make me aware of me of any sin and I don’t repent immediately, please make me so miserable that I can’t stand it!

Search me, O God, and know my heart…. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life [i.e. His right path]. (Ps 139:23-24 NLT)

Go ahead…
woman praying

Helpful Resources
12 Ways to Increase Your DESIRE to Stop Sinning
7 Ways to Help You Break that Sinful Cycle
Ahhhhhhhhh! Getting Relief from the Burden of GUILT

10 tips to Increase Your Awareness of God’s Presence

Except where indicated all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible: New International Version®. NIV. ® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

(NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.