*And when He comes, He will convict and convince the world and bring demonstration to it about sin and about righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God) and about judgment. ~John 16:8
Jesus told the disciples that when the Holy Spirit came, He would have an intimate, personal ministry to them. One of the things the Holy Spirit is responsible for is guiding believers into all truth, and He is the agent in the process of sanctification in believers’ lives.
This is partially accomplished by His convicting powers. In other words, every time we are getting off track or going in a wrong direction the Holy Spirit convicts us that our behavior or decision is wrong.
This is accomplished by a “knowing” in our spirit that what we are doing is not right. When you and I feel convicted, we should repent and change our direction. No more and no less is required or acceptable.
If we know how to and are willing to cooperate with the Holy Spirit, we can move on to spiritual maturity and release all the planned blessings of God in our lives. If, however, we ignore this conviction and go our own way, we will find the way very hard and difficult. Our lives will be unblessed and therefore unfruitful.
Satan does not want us to receive conviction, nor does he even want us to understand it. He always has a counterfeit for all the good things that God offers-something somewhat like what God offers, but which, if received, will bring destruction instead of blessing. I believe Satan’s counterfeit for true godly conviction is condemnation.
Condemnation always produces feelings of guilt. It makes us feel “down” in every way. We feel “under” something heavy, which is where Satan wants us. God, on the other hand, sent Jesus to set us free, to give us righteousness, peace, and joy (see Romans 14:17).
Our spirits should be light and carefree, not oppressed and heavy with burdens that we are unable to bear. We cannot bear our sins; Jesus came to bear them. He alone is able to do so, and we must receive His ministry.