Friday, May 1, 2020 -
I have learned that the Holy Spirit begins to work in the hearts of people long before they repent of their sins and follow Him. He reproves us to garner our attention. Reproof is when God rebukes or corrects us for some wrong or sin. For the Lord is “not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9).
However, mankind is born stubborn and proud, it is part of our sinful nature, and that is what the Holy Spirit wants to break in us. When one turns to Christ, they relinquish control of their lives to God. And through the redemptive blood of Jesus Christ, we are made right with God.
However, when a sinner feels the reproof of God in his life, he can either heed that reproof or reject it. It is when one begins to heed the reproof of God that He will pour out His Holy Spirit upon him, which leads him to repentance and salvation. Only then will one be able to clearly understand the Scriptures.
These principles are encapsulated within on simple proverb of Solomon, “Turn to My reproof. Behold, I will pour out My Spirit on you; I will make My words known to you” (Proverbs 1:23). In some people it takes longer than others, depending on when one merely begins to turn, God’s Spirit I believe begins to work on their hearts. That’s why we should never give up praying for specific people, no matter how far from the Lord they might be. When God pours out His Spirit upon them, they will be broken.
I got to witness this recently in “W.” When he was in the SHU for getting high, God began to deal with his heart, and he first realized his behavior must change. He knew to avoid another term in prison, he must follow the rules or the law. He began to pray to God, bargaining with Him. God answered in a way that dumbfounded “W.” And so he continued that process as the Holy Spirit began to deal more and more with him. “W” says it was as if he was getting a “high” from the way God seemed to speak to him. It was when he realized it was indeed the Holy Spirit dealing with his heart that he began to repent and surrender his life fully to God. And that is when the tears began to flow uncontrollably. David Wilkerson writes about these tears in his book, The Cross and the Switchblade, those to whom God was dealing with!
“…They were afraid that something in the rally might make them cry. Bit by bit I came to realize the horror these young people have of tears.
“What is it about tears that should be so terrifying? I asked them again and again, and each time for the impression that tears to them were a sign of softness, of weakness, and childishness in a harsh world where only the tough survive.
“Yet I knew from my work in the church how important a role tears play in making a man whole. I think I can almost put it down as a rule that the touch of God is marked by tears. When finally we let the Holy Spirit into our innermost sanctuary, the reaction is to cry. I have seen it again and again. Deep soul-shaking tears, weeping rather than crying. It comes when that last barrier is down and you surrender yourself to health and wholeness.
“And when it does come, it ushers forth such a new personality that, from the days of Christ on, the experience has been spoken of as a birth. ‘You must be born again,’ said Jesus. And the paradox is this: at the heart of this newborn personality is joy; yet the joy is ushered in by tears.”