Love you all, praying for you.
I just love God’s Word. It tells of function and malfunction. Since God’s way and man’s way are so very different, sometimes we think we know - when in reality – we’re upside down. There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. If it didn’t seem right, we wouldn’t do it. And if it seems right to us, we usually insist on it whether it’s right or not. God tells us and warns us – His Word – is the measure. Opinions are measured by His Word, not the other way around. God shares a truth through Paul. About God’s gift to every human - the conscience. A healthy conscience – commends you when you are doing right and condemns you when you are doing wrong. This is to convict you and cause you to turn. People know what is right and wrong by their conscience – that God built into us to know right from wrong. But this powerful tool called a conscience whose function is to lead us to Godliness and the blessing of God, can also malfunction. It can be stunted or hijacked. An unhealthy conscience is either seared or weak. If your conscience warns you and you intentionally override your conscience, that which God gave you as a guard rail; if you ignore it, override it, roll over it, run through it, and do that thing anyway – eventually your conscience doesn’t have an effect on you anymore. God calls it a seared conscience – when you disobey intentionally – you sear your conscience and it doesn’t stop you anymore, like a broken-down fence. That’s why people can do the most evil things and not even think twice. That’s why the adulteress can wipe her mouth and say, “I’ve done nothing wrong.” Sin willfully and you are in danger of a seared conscience. The other malfunction of conscience is a weak conscience. If people don’t ignore their conscience, they often add to it. Paul gives the example of meat offered to idols. Paul said I’m free in Christ – but just because I’m free, doesn’t mean I should use my freedom if it could cause others to stumble. Some people add to their conscience – they re-program it, they add things to their conscience list, that God never put there. Like the Pharisees… They were so upset that Jesus healed on the Sabbath, or that the disciples picked grain as they walked on the Sabbath. The Pharisees made a long list that they decided was righteous, and if anyone violated their list - they were sinning. Jesus exposed the fallacy of it – the traditions of men, instead of the law of God - insisting on the littlest things while ignoring the most important thing. Paul says regarding meat offered to idols. Idols are false, there is no such thing as an idol, there is only one God, anything trying to be or considered to be – isn’t! So anything offered to idols – doesn’t matter – they have no power. So I’m free to eat meat anytime if I am eating out of thanksgiving to God. But the person – that has a weak conscience – that has the longer list of do’s and don’ts… They are not true, that’s not what God said. But if that’s what they believe since their conscience is weak, if you eat and cause them to think they can too – and they violate their conscience – they are sinning. And so are you by causing them to. Better not to eat meat (even though you are free in Christ) than cause someone to violate their conscience (even if it’s a weak one). Praying that you wouldn’t cause anyone to stumble, by your freedom. But also, that you would check your freedom, to be sure that it’s not just a seared conscience. We are free in Christ – but not free to sin. We’re free from sin! The question is – Is this what God said, or what man says? Praying that your conscience will be healthy – that you maintain it by God’s Word. How do you fix a seared conscience? Repent, it’s not ok to grieve God by sinning. Did his brutal suffering on the cross, for you! mean nothing to you? Ask Him to heal your conscience – make it work again, and then obey it’s warning. How to strengthen a weak conscience. Ask God to reveal error – any man made stuff that God didn’t say, but you thought He did. Get into God’s Word, so you know and walk in the freedom of God in Christ. Ask the Holy Spirit – to help you discern between God’s way and man’s way. Relationship with Him, versus man’s religion. And Let the Holy Spirit show you by His Word, how to reassemble your conscience, and leave behind the deception. Conscience is a gift. But it’s just a guard rail. God never said walk in your conscience, He said walk in the Spirit. Your conscience can trick you. Paul said just because my conscience is clear doesn’t mean I’m without sin. God said walk in the Spirit and you won’t fulfill the desires of your old nature. The Holy Spirit will never tell you anything that is not true. Just like you can sear your conscience, you can quench the Holy Spirit. But if you humbly accept the Word planted in you, and if you pray in the Spirit, doing what He leads, turning from evil in the fear of the LORD, and obeying fully what the Holy Spirit leads you to do – PiVAT every day… God’s gift of the Holy Spirit far exceeds the conscience as a guide. The Holy Spirit leads you, your conscience just checks you. His Holy Spirit will lead you in all truth, and in the way you should go, the way chosen for you! Praying that your conscience will be healthy, but even more that your walk in the Spirit will be healthy – as He reveals God’s perfect will for you, so you can walk in the abundance of peace and joy that God gives.
Love you all,
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Kelly Kamentz - Jesus follower, husband, father, and friend, helping others surrender time, thoughts, money, and testimony, to fulfill their purpose!