One of the smartest psychologists I’ve ever known was Dr. Tom Yarbrough, a professor at Oklahoma Baptist University during my days there. Teaching an advanced class in Christian Psychology, he gave a lecture describing the clinical experience — a sort of HOWTO — of coming under the power of persistent conviction. Basically, he told us what to look for when it happens. My class was mostly preacher-boys, and we were so moved that we begged for a copy of his lecture notes. He was flattered and reproduced a typed version for us as a hand-out. I save my copy for a very long time. Sadly, the paper memento is gone, but I typed it into a text file and saved it years ago.
I teach that a genuine sense of conviction is essentially the same thing as heart-led. This blast from the past will show one of the major influences on my thinking. While I don’t recall him saying he did any course work there, he told us a major source of good psychology education was Rosemead School of Psychology.
It is the contention, here, that the “how” of doing implementation cannot come until we understand fully what can and will happen to us. When the term “us” is used, it will stand for laymen, clergy and every child-saint of God. Our present state is that we have a genuine love for Christ. It has to be true because we have seen and understood things that only the Holy Spirit could motivate us to do. As we look deep within, however, we find that we do not really love Christ as we ought. We must first come to recognize that if we are honest, the love of Christ is very small within us. We have to begin here.
Perhaps we have tried making ourselves love Christ with greater intensity, but have found that we are unable to do it. We may have discovered that love is not something we can force up out of us by an act of the will. And yet, Jesus said, “Love your neighbor.” The truth is that love is of such nature that it comes out of light-life. The only way we can get love is to get light. Therefore, God is willing to give His Spirit to those who ask Him. This Spirit will bring light within us, which begins to generate real power. If we love something enough, it will capture our thinking. Since we need motivation for cross-bearing, self-discipline, self-honesty, and God-likeness, we must ask God to pour fuel on the little flame until compassion burns brightly.
Suppose God answers our prayer for light and love. What will actually happen? Will we have some great Pentecostal power, in which we obtain new spiritual resources, complete deliverance from sin, deliverance from temptation, the evil that is in us driven out, the wrongs we have done will be overcome completely, and we shall find happiness, peace, joy, and completely victorious living? Is this what really happens? This is what we wish would happen. Then God’s miraculous power could do it, and we would not have much to do.
The Self — click the link and read it at Kiln of the Soul. Feel free to save a copy for yourself.