"But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. (John 16:7-11 NASB)
When I was a pre-teen, I had gotten to the point that I wanted to start doing things myself. I believed that I was getting pretty smart from my schooling and practical experiences in my home, so I should be able to do things by myself. Sometimes, I would "prove" my point by simply doing things without asking my parents permission first. I was old enough, I reasoned. I don't need to ask.
One day I was looking for a replacement D-Cell battery for something for which I "needed" it. There were no fresh batteries in the house. I remembered that my parents had a battery charger somewhere in the house, but I couldn't find it.
Then it hit me. I didn't need a battery charger! After all, a battery charger was simply a plug with a wire on it. The other end of the wire went to a box with metal connectors that came in contact with the two ends of the battery. Dad's electrical box had plenty of plugs and wires in it. I could simply plug in the wire to the outlet, put one wire on the positive end of the battery and put the other wire on the negative end.
I rushed down to dad's workbench and pulled out all the necessary equipment for my home made battery charger: plug, wire, battery. I plugged the wires into the wall socket conveniently mounted just above his work-bench counter, took the two open ends of the wire, and...POOF! The battery exploded. (Lucky for me, batteries were over-engineered back then so the casing didn't completely explode and the acid only oozed out instead of splattering all over me.) The fuse blew. (Yes, I said fuse - not breaker.) I wasn't hurt. (Well, my pride was quite bruised...but other than that I was ok.)
Remembering the incident again right now, I distinctly remember a thought or a voice in my head yelling, "No!!!!" right before I caused my first explosion. I was warned. I didn't listen.
I knew what I did was wrong. I was convicted of my own sin. I knew I needed to "repent" of my ways and stop blowing up batteries. I felt the weight of God's judgement without any adult there to tell me what I had done wrong. That's because God was there.
People often tell me that they believe what they are doing is right or OK or fine even when it breaks God's design for our lives. They even tell me this after telling me they are a believer and a Christ-follower. I don't know. I end up wondering. If they have the gift of His Spirit, then I know they are being warned before they sin, convicted after they sin, and encouraged to do right even without me telling them. That's the Holy Spirit's job.