In the first year of ministry, I was teaching in a midweek service, and I made a point from the Bible story about women. A young man who was a church member said, "Pastor, all women are like that.” I did not wait for his statement to get cool when I responded, "Does that include your mother and sisters?" He said, "No, sir". I told him not to make hasty conclusions. I continued teaching. 

I thought it was over. The next morning, as I got into the place of prayer, the Holy Spirit convicted my heart of that action. He told me to apologize to the young man. I called and apologized immediately. Even though the young man said he was not offended and that I was correcting him, I knew it was equally my training under the Holy Spirit.

The next Sunday, I also told stewards I apologized for what happened at the midweek service. A young man walked to me afterwards and said, "Sir, thank you. I was worried about how you spoke to him. Thank you for apologizing, sir. From today, you are my pastor". 

You cannot walk with God without a contrite heart. It is one of the sacrifices that God cannot despise. What is a contrite heart? A contrite heart is quick to repent and come into alignment or realignment, as the case may be, to the plan and purpose of God.

There was a day I was driving and started hearing a sound from the engine. At that point, the steering wheel toughened up. It was so hard to use the car afterward. Turning the car in the needed direction was a battle. I was sweating and driving. This is exactly the way some believers are. It is so difficult for the Holy Spirit to point them towards repentance.

Contriteness is revealed in two simple ways: 

First, what is your attitude toward sin? How remorseful are you when your wrong-doing is pointed out by the Word, the Spirit, or even other brethren? Are you quick to apologize when you are wrong? Or can you keep malice with your spouse for days as a form of emotional torture, yet you still lead or attend prayer meetings? 

Second, what is your attitude toward following God's plan for your life? Are you one of those who cry to know God's will, and after it is revealed, they fight and resist it? Do you find it easier to move in the direction of comfort and testify about God's goodness rather than live with conviction even when it is not that comfortable? Do you rejoice at a multinational job but are concerned for the brother called by God to serve in the hinterlands? 

Take a look at this scripture:

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.
Psalms 51:17 NKJV

Like David, do you try to cover with sacrifice what you are meant to resolve by repentance? Sacrifice without a contrite heart is a waste of time. It is mere routine. It is unacceptable. 

What is the state of your heart? Are you 'leadble' by the Lord? Or are you like the tough steering wheel? 

*© temilOluwa Ola, Eruwa*

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