By Jim Cymbala
The Holy Spirit is like light. We may think we are doing just fine, but when that light shines on us, we see lots of things we never saw before.
As the Holy Spirit gains more control of our lives, we gain a new perspective on sin. Things that didn’t used to bother us suddenly do. We become convicted about things that seemed fine earlier in our Christian walk.
If a person doesn’t have a growing sensitivity toward sin and lacks a desire to become more like Christ, it’s questionable whether that person ever had an authentic conversion. False conversions do take place.
It’s possible to have mental affirmation that there is a God and that Jesus is his Son. ‘Even the demons believe—and tremble!’ (James 2:19).
But in a true spiritual conversion, we will always see tenderness of heart, a new reliance on Christ, and a desire to be more like him. That has been the pattern for more than two thousand years. Recognizing our sin isn’t enough. Grieving over it proves God is at work.
The Spirit’s work in us is accomplished through our yielding to his prompting and movement. He wants to work in the deepest level of our being — the place where our thoughts, desires, and plans are formed.
That is why Paul wrote, ‘Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fufill his good purpose.’ (Philippians 2:12-13).
Jim Cymbala began the Brooklyn Tabernacle with less than 20 members in a small, rundown building in a difficult part of the city. A native of Brooklyn, he is a longtime friend of both David and Gary Wilkerson.