The word “convicted” has dual meanings.
1. The act or process of finding a person guilty of a crime especially in a court of law.
2. A strong persuasion or belief.
I know the first definition all too well – being a convicted felon a number of times over. I have never felt convicted to do something before though. I have been telling Katelyn lately that she should probably write a blog soon. Her typical answer is something like “Babe, what would be really nice is if you would write one.” I usually roll my eyes and drop the subject. Truth be told, I hate writing! It is probably one of my most unfavorite things to do. But here I am. Writing. Why, you ask? Wel, it’s because I got this overwhelming feeling of conviction this morning at church.
Over the course of the last two weeks I have been listening to “The prayer of Jabez,” by Bruce Wilkinson & David Knopp. Also I have been reading the corresponding scripture, 1 Chronicles 4:10. Over and over. Again and again. The scripture reads as follows: “Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.”
Each morning, I focus on a different portion of the verse and pray about it. This morning my focus was on “and enlarge my territory.” At some point during the sermon at church, I stopped paying attention to the specific words being spoken by our pastor and started contemplating a “larger territory.” Now, a larger territory to me doesn’t mean more houses or a bigger yard. It actually means to create a bigger area of influence for God, through me. I started thinking that before I pray for “more territory” I should probably work inside the territory that I have already been blessed with; our page and blog. We have focused mostly on our personal stories, including recovery and our dogs. But the newest part of our journey is us being baptized, joining a church, and choosing to live for Christ; which admittedly is not an easy task after years and years of living a completely different life than the one we are called to live.
I struggle daily with the way that I speak, the things that I put in my head (Howard stern radio) and my humor; just to name a few. Another thing I struggle with is being vocal about my choice to be a Christ Follower, which in turn is me not serving wholeheartedly. I guess that is one reason I felt so convicted to write this blog. To make it known, just as we’ve made our struggles with addiction known. So that we can be a source of hope for anyone else struggling with addiction. Or a decision to live out-loud for Christ. Or just to even make that choice to become a Christ follower.
I don’t know much, but what I do know is that my life is better when I actively chase a relationship with God. My recovery is stronger, my relationships are better, I act more genuinely and with more intention. Our household has made a commitment to follow God and part of that commitment for us, just like everything else, is to be transparent about it and strive to provide not only hope to others, but to show you how we do it.
We have found other people pursuing God with the same thirst we have. We’ve built relationships and gotten to know people that we never would have had an opportunity to meet without our church – Christ’s Church. We get to live life with them. I know now why I felt convicted. Until this point, I have allowed this part of me to be a secret. I have allowed the territory that I have, to not be influenced by God through me. I choose not to let that be the case anymore.
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 NIV
– Jeffrey, aka Puppy Dahd