Where the Spirit is, there is . . . conviction.
And, boy, did I ever get a good dose of it!
But our adversary tried to hijack that conviction and drive it to the extreme.
Always wanting to take advantage of prime opportunity to shame and immobilize, he slithered in the back door of my mind and tried to corrupt a teachable moment. But for that, I guess I need to provide details…
I’m honored to be part of an exciting, new church plant. We are not yet in a permanent facility, so our “church” is mobile. All of its belongings are contained in a trailer. So every week a faithful team unloads, sets up, tears down, and packs back up.
It’s hardly the same by comparison—but some aspects seem slightly reminiscent of the people of God sojourning in the wilderness. A mere shadow-of-a-shadow of the tabernacle, with all its sacred vessels. But I do find myself reflecting upon it often. And, where they had priests assigned to various objects by clan, we have the modern volunteer sign-up sheet.
This month I signed up for coffee and communion duty. (As I joked with a friend over lunch: “I’m in charge of the food and beverage department.”) Because of the southern heat, however, these boxes don’t get loaded on the trailer. These I take home, instead.
As I was unpacking the communion box to give all the trays a good wash, I was suddenly struck with the sacred. I recalled the tradition of other religions and how they have strict rituals in handling the vessels used for the sacrament of communion observed only by the priest.
Then I was struck by the holy. I recalled how I had just been cleaning the house prior to this task. I remembered the unclean—that spider web, the mounds of dust, why, I even found a dead bug behind the blinds. These same hands that were scrubbing household dirt and grime were now in contact with the holy things of God.
The unclean handling the clean.
This impure vessel, handling the pure vessels of the Lord’s Church.
The unholy held holy instruments used to worship a Holy God.
I felt deeply convicted.
Convicted, that what I was doing was far more than just doing the dishes.
Convicted, that I often look at these objects as common.
Convicted of God’s holiness.
Convicted of my unworthiness.
Convicted by the audacious grace of God to use the least likely.
Who am I to handle such high and holy matters?
On it spiraled.
And I sensed the shift.
Felt the tug into negative territory.
Heard the whispered lies.
And so a battle waged.
I reminded myself that I have been made pure—sprinkled clean by the Blood.
That I have been made holy.
I can be used for noble purposes.
I was rescued from that wild ride . . . and just in time!
Isn’t that just like that prowling snitch?
Taking a good thing and swinging it to the extreme? Subtly pushing it too far?
He’ll take pure thoughts and twist them. Contort and connive them.
Convince a person serving the church that they have no business doing so.
But the Spirit-of-Conviction would stand for none of that.
He reigned in the derailed with truth.
Swiped back the hijacked into order.
I felt vindicated.
And I marveled at the light that danced off that shiny stack of trays.
Peace restored once more—
until shadow comes lurking back the next time.
Q: In what ways have you experienced the enemy's attempts to dissuade and disqualify you from service?