Condemnation vs. Conviction

Have you ever had a thought or an urge, and you weren’t sure whether it was from God or from Satan trying to fool you? I have. 

For example, I might sit down to read a good book. Then, something in the back of my mind says, “You shouldn’t be reading that. You should be reading the Bible.

While I’m not saying in any way that reading the Bible is harmful, or that the Bible can be read too much, I am saying that the Bible can be read for the wrong reasons. Guilt and obligation aren’t good reasons to read the Bible!

I was confused for a while, and did a lot of praying. Why would Satan tell me to do something good, like reading the Bible? Well, he could be trying to make me associate Bible study with guilt and obligation. How is the Holy Spirit supposed to speak to me when I’m only reading God’s Word because I feel I have to? That gives him a difficult job, for sure!

Then, I heard someone wise explain how to tell if God or Satan is speaking to you. Typically, Satan will condemn you and turn you away from God (to yourself or something else), while God will convict you and turn you toward him. Neither one may feel good at the time, but one results in your confusion, and one results in your edification. 

So, if I ever feel guilty about not reading the Bible or anything else like that, I should stop and think. Where is the desire coming from, and what will it result in? 

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: – John 16:12a

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. – James 1:5

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. – 2 Corinthians 11:14

I know I don’t have it all figured out, but I’m learning! I pray that the experiences I share with you on my blogs help you.

Check out the latest posts from my other blogs! 

Shae’s Days: Be Comforted Together

Everyday Life with Shae and Paul: The Identity Culture 

16 Comments Add yours

  1. Thanks for sharing your story and what God taught you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad it was a blessing to you, Ruth!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. T. R. Noble says:

    It’s a tough thing to discern, but very helpful!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great thoughts, it helps me to write things out/journal.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. vicklea says:

    This post shows that you are wise beyond your years!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s God teaching me! šŸ˜Š

      Liked by 2 people

  5. What you wrote is mindful of my occasional vocation vs. occupation inner debate: the faith-related stuff we do, whatever it is, should be done because we desire to serve and learn, and not because we feel we have to. Being ordained, when that debate shows up within me, I know it’s time to go recharge myself some way or another and get my enthusiasm fired back up.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amen! That’s wise of you.


  6. Wise words, Miss Shae. Thank you šŸ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Stephen!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love your simple explanation and conclusion, and I really learned something from this post. I have the same confusion of feelings at times: is this a desire from my flesh/Satan, or a desire that God put into my heart? If it’s a good and healthy thing, I tend to step out and try it, and ask God to make it clear if it’s not something He would have me continue to do: a ministry, for example (as Mike mentioned) could be both a good and bad thing, depending upon our motivation. In the end, I want what I do in Christ’s name to add up to more than straw that will be burned!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s how I feel!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This was a very insightful message. It’s good to remember that Satan can convince us to do “good things”, but with the wrong motive, to accomplish his will.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, thank you!


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