INTRODUCTIONMan’s conviction is a work of God that begins within a man, hidden from the view of others. Yet, that work ultimately manifests itself on the outside. As the apostle Paul reasoned with Felix concerning righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, the Spirit of God took the sword of the Spirit (the word of God) and worked within Felix. Though Felix’s conviction did not lead to his immediate conversion, it visibly affected him by causing him to outwardly tremble. The book of Daniel tells us that the Lord interrupted king Belshazzar’s party and caused his knees to smite against each other (Daniel 5:1-6). The Second Book of the Kings tells of Josiah’s conviction that was manifested through his weeping and the rending of his clothes (2 Kings 22:19).
- (For children): The Ninevites were visibly convicted at the preaching of Jonah (Jonah 3:4-10). After denying the Lord, Peter thought on the Lord’s words and wept bitterly (Mark 14:72; Luke 22:61-62).
- (For everyone): How does conviction usually affect you? Does it sometimes cause you to weep, or tremble, or some other outward manifestation?
- Everyone responds differently to the Lord’s conviction. Why is it so dangerous to always assume that outward manifestations are signs of a deep inward conviction? Why do you think that the outward manifestations are sometimes faked?
- Ask God to keep you from mistaking evidences for conviction.
- Ask the Lord to convict you when you sin against Him.