I was really humbled by Paul’s life – how in all his love and in all his service for the Lord, one of the main things that marked his life was, “I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and men” (Acts 24:16).
Yesterday, I was having temptations to not keep a clean conscience. My family and I were out and it was a bit windy where we were at. We were getting into our car in the parking lot and the wind blew my car door open really hard, and then I heard a “Slam!” I looked next to me as I stood there and I thought, “That’s interesting. There’s a really nice car next to me that looks pretty new.” I didn’t think much of it so I got into my car. My conscience was screaming (knowing my door hit the car, and I didn’t want to look), but my flesh was fighting back saying, “Nothing happened!” I looked over and then I saw a mark on the car. Then my flesh was saying, “That mark was already there!” But my conscience was saying “You’re lying to yourself!” I opened my door and the mark was where my door would have hit the car - it was pretty obvious what happened. So this battle was going on in my mind.
Then Lord put on my heart: the value of a clean conscience is much more priceless than the value of a car repair.
Then temptation #2 came - and that was anxiety. Although the lady who owned the car was kind, after she looked at her car, she didn’t want to just overlook it and leave it (which was my hope). Then I was encouraged by seeing Jesus in Mark 4:37-40:
And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
I was reminded of Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. ” In other words, if you want to please God, the only way to do it is to have big faith. The way to please God is not to go out and be a missionary, give more money, write more blogs, or speak more sermons. Instead, it is to have a big faith. And big faith can sleep in whatever the storm is in our life. That’s the way that we please God, just like Jesus did.
When the temptations come in, we can grab a hold of a word, cling to it and overcome with that word. That’s a great way to glorify God. God’s Word can help us and change us. So I hope to always keep a clean conscience like Paul did and to be holy unto the Lord. This doesn’t mean that we don’t have any sin at all. But for every sin I am aware of, I should not overlook it or argue with my conscience.
I’ve heard this saying: “Beware of arguing with Scripture. Just obey it.” I’m thankful that the Lord is working with us every day, giving us chances to obey our conscience, and to sleep in the storms - and through this we learn to lean on Him.