When God's Spirit convicts us of the debauchery of our sin, it is easy to feel remorse and to say a prayer of repentance. Everyone "believes" in God in one way or another. Even the demons believe, and tremble in His presence (James 2:19).
Although many are convicted at some point in their life, few are authentically converted. They do not express a heart-felt contrition. They do not totally surrender their goals, dreams and plans to God's will for their life.
It is impossible to feel God's conviction, to pray a saving prayer, and to walk away from sin unless the power of God's Spirit emboldens and inspires us (Philippians 2:12-13). Authentic salvation and conversion require that we receive the faith of the Son of God, who loves us and gave Himself for us (Ephesians 5:2; Galatians 2:20).
A hypocrite is an actor, an imposter, a phony. Most of us are hypocrites, living life in our own wisdom and understanding, playing at religion and putting on a holier-than-thou face in order to impress God and other people. God knows us; and people with discernment see right through us.
The way to discern that we are truly Born Again is to "try" the spirit to see if it is from God (1 John 4:1-5). Does the peace of God, which has nothing to do with our circumstances, rule in our heart (Colossians 3:15)?
Is the anger gone, that once consumed our soul; traded for the love of God for our self and for other people? Do we have joy in trying times and patience to withstand the test of time?
Do we pray about our choices before making them (Proverbs 3:5-6), or do we still march to the drum of Satan in our life? Do we crucify the deeds of the flesh or do we capitulate to them without resistance of any kind (Romans 7)?
God is waiting at the door of our heart, ready to come in and feast with us (Revelation 3:20). Are we ready to the open the door wide to Him now, or do we want Him to come back later once we had more time to wallow in sin and its degradation?
Father God, we can work out our own salvation with fear and trembling only because You give us both the will and the power to walk in Your ways, in Your timing and in Your truth (Philippians 2:12-13). Your Holy Spirit changes our life in increments (2 Corinthians 3:18); some are smaller segments while others are giant leaps of faith with remorse over our sin and a determination to obey Your Word.
We prove our love for You by our obedience (1 John 5:3). Walking in Your will is the happiest place on earth. Our good works actually prove that our faith is in You rather than in our self (James 2:18). You do not need our good works, but we need Your power and the faith of Your Son in order to accomplish good works for Your Kingdom (Galatians 2:20).
Thought for the Day:
We sell our self short by living half-heartedly for God, or for seeking His will only when our plans do not pay off, and we find our self in the middle of some traumatic trial; we can do nothing without the power and anointing of God in our life.
- Romans 7:18; John 15:5