by DanWolgemuth on November 13, 2009

A couple days in Denver and unseasonably beautiful weather and Mary and I were on our bikes for a Saturday ride. It was wonderful to pedal around the Aurora Reservoir side by side.

The culmination of our ride is a final quarter mile incline that takes us to a stoplight close to our house. It might be that I’m overly competitive, but I like to push hard over the final stretch. Last Saturday, I did just that; because exercise has been few and far between; my body screamed at me. My thighs burned and my lungs heaved as I pumped as hard as I could. At the half way point into the sprint, my mind had to declare its resolve to my body. I wanted to quit, to back down, to establish a rationale for a shortened victory. But I pushed through. I invited the discomfort. I welcomed the misery.

Today, in the quietness of my morning time in the Word, I felt a twinge of conviction as I read the masterful and powerful words of Jesus in Luke. His invitation to the first disciples pierced my own heart. I was getting uncomfortable. The muscles of my heart and soul were being extended. My body screamed for a shortcut; an early exit. “Move on… quickly!” But with the resolve that only the Holy Spirit can bring, I pressed on. I welcomed the discomfort, I embraced the sting. “Convict me.” “Make me more like you.” “Push into the deepest parts of my soul with your power and light.”

Up the hill. Through the desperate gasps. Past the half way point.

Conviction is the deep and painful exercise of the soul. It extends and increases our capacity to know and love God. It tests our resolve and displaces our self-deception. It’s uncomfortable, but vital to our spiritual health.

Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
~ Psalm 139:23, 24

Climb. Dig deep. Declare to your body that you won’t quit part way through.

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