Thanks again Lee for sharing your eloquent, Spirit-filled, awesome comments (see "Field Doctor" post). I love conviction--crave it! I think it is obviously an attribute of election and sign of regeneration--this seeking for and embracing of conviction.
A related line of convicting approach which helps me a lot in this is (mentioned before, but bears recalling as everyday is a new battle where the enemy never lets up thus we are prone to forget):
Well . . . first let me say, is it not maddening, frustrating . . . to witness and be subject to such ongoing, increasing hypocrisy and malevolence in the God-hating culture day after day? When you are committed to the Truth, and the Truth lives in you, you are able to see the situation so much more clearly compared to what seems to be a general trance possessing the lost at large. As in, the depth and degree to which the unsaved are operating by lies, subterfuge, hypocritical bigotry, intolerance . . . destruction . . . is exasperating to the maximum! Let alone their debauchery and perversity masquerading as virtue--decadence and irrationality pummeled into the children, the youth, all ages; and the ubiquity of the anti-Christ, anti-moral, blasphemous and filthy agenda in all its various societal permutations--seeping into and coopting economics, history, sex relations, family, citizenship, morality, science, politics, religion etc.). . . .
It is natural to feel abhorrence, anger, resentment and defensiveness. God and His people ARE under attack. The world hates and wants to destroy God and His disciple, just as He said they would.
But the spiritual hitch for the disciple in observing and dealing with this fact is the tendency toward spiritual pride and self-righteousness. Again, it is natural to look at these fools and useful idiots celebrating and championing their own and our self destruction (the devil's favorite trick being to foment and guide self destruction--"suicide" in one form or another), but where he slips in once again to catch us on the backside . . . is to then stoke in us a mode of self-righteous indignation.
There is no doubt the tendency to think, "Look at these fools, this filth! Thank God I am better, at least, than them!" We subconsciously think we are superior to them--smarter, more virtuous, more rational, more honest. And for good reason. Because . . . objectively, I dare say we are!
It's true! The blindness, the delusion, the hypocrisy, the irrationality and illogic, the goose-stepping mob mentality, the lack of self control, the ignorance, the arrogance, the childishness/immaturity, the depravity . . . indecency, corruption, pettiness, diabolism and knavery--is obvious and on display when you have the eyes to see it!
BUT "such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you
were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit
of our God." --1 Cor. 6:11
We were (in our own ways) just as bad . . . and still would be BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD.
BUT . . . GOD!
I have made it a constant, conscious habit to remember this when I am chagrining over the deplorable mental, emotional, spiritual condition of most people (and thus, the world) these days. And it has worked. (And again, of course, all of the thanks must go to God for even that--this is, the practice working.)
I believe we have very right . . . and even duty . . . to be outraged and fired with a righteous indignation at the behavior and modes of the worldly--of Satan's little helpers. But the crux is in that distinction between a righteous indignation (for God's sake) versus a SELF righteous indignation (for our own sake.)
If God were to release us from His grace . . . we are just the same, just as rotten and bad and deluded.
Nothing--absolutely NO THING . . . of our own contributes to our being in a mercifully better OFF condition.
It's an old line, but stull just as true to say, "I am no better then any other--only better off . . . thanks wholly to the grace of God." Which is a gloriously humiliating fact to be aware of!
Remembering this continually . . . only produces more gratitude, humility, subservience. I, in myself, have nothing to offer, nothing to give. All reliance and fortitude to weather the ongoing indignations (against God, not myself) is completely found in Him.
This also produces a powerful state and stance . . . whereby we are still called and able to mark and expose evil . . . in the strongest terms (based in love and concern) . . . while simultaneously preserving compassion and patience in the midst of warring with the enemy. Similar to what you wrote (Lee) this takes the PERSONAL aspect out of the equation and puts us in the proper aspect of realizing we are fighting not flesh and blood "but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of
this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly
realms." --Eph. 6:12
Then we are able to look at these deluded, mind and soul-controlled foot soldiers as but tools in the larger game. They are not winning. They are dangerously deceived. Their doom is nigh. They have no peace . . . but are driven be demons if not veritable demons themselves . . . and only the mercy and grace of God can save them too, just as He sovereignly pulled us out of the licking flames of hellish fire.
In recalling this, by no means are we then to stand down, because "hey, what right do I have to expose and oppose? I'm no better." On the contrary, taking self-righteous indignation out of the arsenal . . . we are left we a purer quiver. We're not fighting on our own behalf, but for the honor and glory and good name of God!
Thanks again for providing the inspiration and entrée to round out this clutch of a message a bit further and deeper. God blesses indeed.
"In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory." --Eph. 1:11-12