We are still applying what we are learning about righteousness. When we are go off the path of righteousness, the Holy Spirit will remind, warn, convict, teach and even discipline us for our own good. He will make us be uneasy inside. You know how it feels when your relationship with someone you love is “at odds” due to something that is separating your unity? You can feel the tension in the air! It is hard to be around that person until things are resolved. We feel like hiding or running away…. especially a disobedient child from the parents. In the same way, sin separates us from Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Instead of ignoring that uneasy feeling and conviction of the Holy Spirit, we need to come quickly to Him and face the truth with repentance and the desire to change and grow in righteousness!
The Bible tells us that we all sin and if we say we do not, then we are just deceiving ourselves….the truth is not in us (1 John 1-2:6). How easily we can deceive ourselves by just following what the world says is OK and doing what feels good. We can say we are a Christian and therefore we are righteous in Christ, but are we really pursuing righteousness and “working out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12)? Do we fear/respect God and His authority in our lives? Is He really our Lord and Master? It is hard, but we need to consciously try with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (1st commandment). We will sin and fail, but He has made a way back out of the sin for us (1 John 1:9).
He will never quit on us and neither should we quit. The Bible also calls this abiding in Him. I have heard it said that the life of the follower of Jesus is a life struggling to swim upstream while the world lazily floats downstream. I think pursing righteousness is part of our fight of faith while in this world. So, even if this struggle for righteousness is not pleasant, I am happy to find myself in it. I would rather be under the rebuke and discipline of my Heavenly Father, than under the control of satan. Paul discusses this struggle in Romans 7-8 and King David in Psalm 119. I suggest you set aside some time to read these passages if you want a better understanding.
If I were not aware of this righteous struggle and never felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit, then it would mean that I am lazily floating downstream with the world…in the wrong direction, with a seared conscience! How blessed I am to know the discipline of the Lord. He loves His children whom He disciplines (Proverbs 1:7, 22-23, 3:11-12). I am learning to live and walk in righteousness. My heart is right to pursue it. And I surely depend on His love, mercy, forgiveness, and help to overcome evil (going the wrong way). How blessed we are to have a loving Father who leads us and corrects us in becoming like Him in righteousness!