Sometimes its hard for me to discern what is my conscience and what is the Holy Spirit. Maybe when I grow up, it will be as clear as day, but for now I typically spend 3 hours and 48 minutes daily, trying to figure out who is talking to me. “Is that me, or you, God?” “Okay just say it again…. wait, I’m not ready.” “Okay go, wait, that’s not what you said an hour ago…. wait… is that me or you?!!” “Um hey, I have to go so if it’s you, then tell me the same thing in a hour, cuz then I’ll know its for sure not me, because I will literally forget this entire conversation like in 10 minutes…if its me.”
If you don’t go through this, you’re lying. Again, maybe someday I will “walk in the spirit” full time, like all flowy and cool, but for now, I’m just arguing my way in and out of it, and I’m totally fine with that.
Then there are moments like last night, when it was clear to me that The Holy Spirit was asking me to act for Him (you can read about that here Encounters with The Holy Spirit, from an average dork, at best.) I love and cherish those moments.
But mostly, in my normal daily grind of life, I battle my conscience. Luckily for me, and for all you other Christians who like simple over complicated, the ones just trying to figure out how to not have to do laundry or cook food, but still be considered a good mom…. the bible has answers to all my questions, yay! Well, it does …kinda, in like an eventually, if you study it and read it every day, and talk to other people who also love and fear God, then you’ll find answers to most of your questions in it, kinda way.
Anyway, so back to my conscience.
An unclean conscience is the one we need to watch out for and care for.
The influence of a conscience can be motivating, empowering, captivating. And at the same an unclean conscience can debilitate, undermine and exhaust us. A danger to our souls, when left alone, hiding in the shadows of our minds. The conscience has been a topic of conversation among philosophers for centuries. It says in Proverbs 28:17 ” A murderer’s tormented conscience will drive him into the grave.” What does that even mean? Whatever it means, it sounds super scary to me.
So while I may not know right off the bat when my conscience has taken the lead, I do know that the behavior produced by my unchecked conscience can get me into dark places, mentally, that I’d rather not be alone in. It can influence feelings of depression in me, feelings of worthlessness, it can drive me to isolate myself from people, it can convince me that I cannot handle things, that I should be able to, but just cannot. It can persuade me to shrink into my very cozy, commiseration chair and wrap myself in my You Deserve Better Blankie. Ew. Cozy, but ew.
And it is precisely those thoughts and feelings that are just the right red flags we need to get our butts back into Gods word to remind us that it is through Him, and Him alone that we have been cleansed of guilt for our sins. So if you are in a rut, my friend, your time is now! Read Hebrews chapters 9, 10 & 11. He has put us in a position, by his blood, sacrificed as payment for our sin, to enter into The Most Holy Place with Him. It says ‘Their sins and lawless acts, I will remember no more.” GO to God with your feelings of doubt, and guilt, and shame, and whatever your unclean conscience is leading you with. Ask for forgiveness for believing lies of your flesh… and walk, my friend, walk freely! For you are a new creation. It is Christ who clears the conscience, that we might “draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, HAVING OUR HEARTS SPRINKLED TO CLEANSE US FROM A GUILTY CONSCIENCE and having our bodies washed pure with water.” Hebrews 10:22. I mean wow you guys. This my friend, is pure freedom. And God gives us permission to walk freely, without submission to our conscience, but in reverence to Him, His Word and obedience to Him.
The unclean conscience pulls us from serving God with a pure heart. This is the root of its purpose. It leans into you, pushing on you to serve yourself and forget about everyone else. It says in 1 John 3:21 “Dear Friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God.” So that means we do not have confidence before God when our hearts condemn us. Freedom is a choice. It is a choice to believe the truth of Gods undying love for us that resulted in the final sacrificial payment for our souls to be purified before God and not only live life to the fullest measure in Christ, but also to inherit His eternal kingdom, as His heirs.
Choose life today. Get back in your bible, its not going to yell at you, berate you, laugh at you for ignoring it for so long. I promise.