When Our Conscience Attacks

Posted: December 28, 2013 in The Christian Standard
Tags: , , , , , ,

Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear.  For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.” (1 Timothy 1:19)

Even the Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it even without having heard it They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. And this is the message I proclaim–that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.”  (Romans 2:14-16)

Keep your conscience clear.  Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.  Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!” (1 Peter 3:16-17)

“Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure.  But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted.  Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live.  They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.”  (Titus 1:15-16)

We can run, but we can’t hide from our conscience.  It is with us everywhere we go.  And if we deliberately override our conscience with choices we are making, we will experience a two-part sequence of spiritual events: 1) we will be ‘bothered’ daily by the knowledge that we’re violating God’s ways,  2) we will eventually be turned over by God to the desires of our flesh and our conscience will become ‘dead’.  When our conscience is dead, we are unresponsive to the Spirit of God and His ways.  In the Holy Scriptures, this is referred to as having a “hardened heart” and the more we defy our conscience, the more likely we are to experience our hearts hardening.

We should fear this.   We should understand that God has an active role in the hardening of our hearts when we deliberately violate our tender conscience as it convicts us of sin.  It is His holy response to our defiance.

One of the clearest examples in Scripture of how this process works is the story of the Exodus and Pharaoh, when “the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart” a little more every time Pharaoh overrode his conscience concerning the power of God and the enslavement and persecution of God’s people.  Pharaoh witnessed many miracles and was given chance after chance to make the right choice, but he chose his own defiant way at each decision point.  And each time he did, God made it harder for him to even see what the right choice was.

We see the process again in Jesus’ ministry as time and again the Jewish leaders and people reject him as their Messiah, even as he performs miracles right before their eyes.  “The Lord has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts–so that their eyes cannot see, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and have me heal them.”  (John 12:40)

We learn from the Psalms that David consistently approached God, asking Him to search David’s heart and scrutinize his thoughts.  David regularly asked God to bring anything that didn’t please Him to the surface so that it could be dealt with according to God’s will.  Because David took great care to have a tender heart before God, his conscience “bothered” him when he did wrong  (1 Samuel 24:5), (2 Samuel 24:10).

The Apostle Paul wrote many times that he had a “clear conscience” concerning his life and ministry, meaning he took the time to search himself before God; to subject himself to God’s scrutiny both in prayer and in his daily life.

Our conscience warns us of approaching wrong-doing and convicts us immediately when we do wrong.   It ‘eats’ at us when we continue to do wrong and urges us to make the situation right. 

It can be a small situation that may not have heavy consequences.  It may be a life changing situation where each time we override our conscience, we cross lines that are our guard rails protecting us from the cliff ahead.  Either way, how we respond to our conscience reinforces the condition of our heart in our relationship with God.

Spiritual warfare happens at decision points in our life, great or small.  If our conscience is “eating” at us over anything at all, God’s spotlight is on us.  All the heavens are watching to see what our response will be.  The time is Now to respond appropriately, with a tender heart of obedience, and glorify God’s holiness and His Great Name before all the heavens and the earth.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s