Convicting Questions

Posted By on Aug 16, 2009 in FH Blogger Trips, The Life I Live, The Things I Believe | 11 comments


Have you ever sat in church and felt like your pastor, priest, or minister is speaking directly to you? Or actually that God is screaming at the top of His lungs at you through your pastor, priest, or minister? And instantly a gut-wrenching conviction bombards your soul. Unfortunately, I know this feeling all too well. Selfishly I so wish I could sit through just one message and think, “I am so on top of this, God. I’ve already got this one covered.” But somehow I doubt I will ever get there.

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Last Sunday at Cross Point, Pete encouraged us to take a moment and ask God if there was something, anything, He was asking us to do that we were neglecting. Painful question, right? Because of course, several things came to mind. Several things that I knew God was calling me to take care of and I was avoiding. Or maybe I wasn’t completely avoiding them, but I wasn’t quite doing them either. Several things God was asking me to change, but candidly I was still trying to negotiate the deal with God (But I guess that is not really how it works?)

Earlier this year, I read The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns, the President of WorldVision. In the opening chapters of the book, Stearns shares about how he was pushed, prodded, shoved by God into his position at WorldVision. As the CEO of  an established Fortune 500 company Lenox, Inc., Stearns was not ready to give up his comfortable career. Stearns was not ready to consider an extraordinary opportunity until one day when a recruiter asked him, “Are you willing to be open to God’s will for your life?” Stearns describes the question as “painful” “rude” and “uncomfortable” but it did the trick. It got him to reconsider what God was really after in his life.

And so a few weeks later, Stearns took a leap of faith, obeyed God at all costs, and began leading one of the world’s largest Christian humanitarian organizations. His life work is now devoted to helping children, families, and their communities reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.

Reading Stearns’ inspiring story, it was so obvious to me what he should do. Of course, he should take the leap of faith, quit his job, uproot his family, and obey God’s will.

But somehow in my own story, I create confusion where there should be clarity. Like a small child pitifully trying to distract a parent from the imminent bedtime, I waste time and energy fighting God’s plan. And I know it is useless, it is wrong, and it is completely unsatisfying. And I know that neglecting His will is never the right choice.

So today, I am thankful for the painful yet convicting questions. Because I’ve found that they are one of the few things that help guide me back to where I want to be. Obeying God.

Have you been asked any convicting questions lately?

By the way – I highly recommend The Hole in Our Gospel. It is filled with convicting questions, some that I have answered and some that I am still grappling with.

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  • http://intensedebate.com/people/torybee torybee

    Lindsey, is your blog design new? Loving it, really awesome.

    Oh, does my heart ache to read your thoughts. First, I wish I was as good at writing what I'm thinking as well as you do. Yeah, there's a bit of jealousy.

    In my church here in CA my pastor also had a pretty convicting, challenging sermon as well and ironically, mentioned and prominently displayed The Hole In Our Gospel (as well as The Prodigal God) I'm an avid reader, I read so many books but had not read The Hole In Our Gospel. (yet…. I'm planning to!)

    I so struggle with obeying God. I do so to a certain degree but fully surrendering to where he wants me to go is so difficult! First, I do like my comfort and it's not just up to me; I'm a SAHM mom to 3. It's not like I can just pick up and sell our house and move to the inner city. I'm so inspired by books like Clariborne's Irresistible Revolution, Keller's Ministries of Mercy Chan's Crazy Love and ouch, they can be so convicting! But what to do with a heart that only wants to obey halfway? According to Francis Chan in Crazy Love:
    "Lukewarm people say they love Jesus, and He is, indeed, a part of their lives. But only a part. They give him a section of their time, their money, and their thoughts but He isn't allowed to control their lives."

    "Lukewarm people will serve God and others, but there are limits to how far they will go or how much time, money and energy they are willing to give."

    I want to go far. I want to do more. I don't want to be lukewarm and complacent! But I struggle with how to accomplish that. I could go on but you really don't wish to hear my story and struggles. :-) Long story short: My church is sending 10 to Togo on a mission trip. I was number 11. I'm an alternate. It could still happen but I'm doubtful. So now I'm wrestling with God and figuring out where he wants me and what I can do for Him that is more than just what I do currently that is easy and without sacrifice.

    Sorry so long, believe me, it could be so much longer. I'm a bit raw today as I wrestle with why I'm an introvert and not a leader and all this other self pity stuff.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Lindsey_Nobles Lindsey_Nobles

      Torybee, Sounds like you are so on the right path. I think that Lukewarm people don't feel conviction. I know that when I have been in those seasons, the last thing I was thinking about was where I was falling short and how I could bridge the gap.

      I read this post by Don Miller this AM on Self-Pity. Oh, it is so good. You need to read it. Here's the link: http://tr.im/wxCO

      Thanks for sharing. So nice to know that there is someone out there who understands.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/torybee torybee

        Lindsey, read the Don Miller link. (thanks) A great perspective…. of course I wanted to say yeah, but…. it's different…. etc. etc. :-)

        I met Donald Miller in March at Christian Book Expo when I was with a friend who was interviewing him. Quite a fascinating person and a fun interview.

  • Ali

    Lindsey, lately I have felt like God is calling me to take care of some personal relationships and grow up in some areas in my life–even though I am 38 and think I am already grown up! I have taken my good, old sweet time in dealing with these issues, but I do feel convicted to move more quickly and take care of things at times. I feel very blessed because in my small Orthodox parish (I am a convert), I have a close relationship with my priest, and he not only provides me with spiritual guidance when I am at Confession, but he also is able to pray for me when I express some of my struggles with him.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Lindsey_Nobles Lindsey_Nobles

      Ali, I am struggling with that too. I can't believe I am in my thirties and still feel so young and inexperienced. I guess we always have growing up to do.

  • http://pathfromtheheadtotheheart.wordpress.com Chrystie

    Most every Sunday I feel convicted. And most every Sunday, I pray for God to change me from the inside out. I think lately God has really been pressing on me about what I believe about grace, works and love. Sheila Walsh's book, Let Go, makes the statement, "There is nothing you can do to make God love you more. There is nothing you can do to make God love you less." That is where I feel I am being convicted right now! Great post! Loved it!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Lindsey_Nobles Lindsey_Nobles

      I love that song "Inside Out" by Hillsong. I listen to it a lot because it really resonates with me.

      Hope you are enjoying Let Go! Sheila shared that message with us at our April All Employee Meeting and it was so powerful.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/Peter_P Peter_P

    I KNEW you could back up the great new look with great posts!

    Thank you for baring your soul to us.

    I think this is something we have all felt. In fact, I think it's something we all feel every week.

    Growth requires repentance, refinement and change. If we're not growing, we're not going anywhere. Growth can be painful but it's necessary and totally worth it!

  • http://pathfromtheheadtotheheart.wordpress.com Chrystie

    That is one of my favorite songs! i can't get through it at church without crying…but then I usually dont get through any worship without crying. I am weird that way.

    Let Go has been awesome! The message was right on time. It has been really cool how God worked all of that out. It showed up on my doorstep not a moment too soon! I really needed to hear what she has had to say! I am about 5 chapters in right now. Loving it!!!

  • http://www.faithbarista.com FaithBarista Bonnie

    Uncomfortable bliss is something I've been stirred about and turning over inside to write about.

    I'm always on the lookout for books that will spark my faith. I'm putting a Hole In the Gospel Wall on my Reading Wish List.

    Thanks, Lindsey.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/jennyrain jennyrain

    "I create confusion where there should be clarity"

    me too…
    My recent post Repeated, confirmed, and delivered: Still Speaking…