Conscience is a God-given faculty that, if properly regulated, should direct us in making wise choices, pleasing to the Lord and keeping us in the path of righteousness. This entails a continual intake from God’s Word as well as daily studying the perfect life of Jesus and His teachings.
In the Book of Hebrews, the 11th Chapter, we are given great examples of many of the Old Testament Heroes of Faith who made righteous choices unswayed by the consequences, costing some of them their lives. Then in the 12th Chapter of Hebrews, verses 2 and 3 we read, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” This consideration, as we have mentioned earlier, must be on ongoing process if we are to maintain a clear conscience. The Apostle Paul said in Acts 24:16, “And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men.”
What would be the effect of not keeping our conscience in accord with the righteous principles of God’s Word? We are surrounded by the world’s culture and its powerful influence. If we are not careful, over time our consciences can become desensitized to what is acceptable to those around us today that is wrong, unholy and will no longer concern us. Look back over the past few years and ask yourself, “Do the things that have evolved into what society and even some of the clergy now consider acceptable, concern us as they use to?” If the answer is “No,” then there is a problem with our conscience. God’s Righteous principles do not change with time or culture. Sin is sin and always will be. What God condemned in His Word is still just as wrong today. James 1:17 tells us God is, “the Father of lights, in whom is no variation, neither shadow caused by turning.”
Obedience to God’s Word is the key to having “a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men.” Continued disobedience by making wrong choices will eventually scar over our conscience and make it insensitive to what is right. When we go against our conscience when it cautions us, justifying the worldly choices we make, then we have veered off course and entered the slippery slope of the broad road of disobedience which leads to destruction (Matt. 7:13).
We might liken making wrong choices even when we are given warning driving along an unfamiliar road at night and coming to a barricade with a sign that says, “Road Closed Due to Construction.” But instead of heeding the warning we rationalize that certainly no construction could be going on at this hour and choose to drive around the barricade anyway. In reality, we really don’t know what is ahead of us. It could be that a section of the road has been dug up and nothing but disaster lies ahead. So it is when we are warned by the Holy Spirit that we should not go there or do that. Disaster could very well be the outcome should we choose to ignore that “still small voice!” A sobering text is found in Proverbs 16:25: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”
If we have wandered off the narrow way that leads to life, let us quickly repent and seek God’s forgiveness, asking Him, via the Holy Spirit, to recalibrate our conscience in accordance with the principles of righteousness. He is waiting and always willing to redirect us, as the parable of the prodigal son teaches so clearly (Luke 15:11-32). How blessed we are to be reassured of this in 1 John 1:5-9: “This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Praise God for His wonderful Grace and Mercy!
E. Weeks ©CDMI