Edited by Noah Pinson
First Published at Sep. 23, 2019
The key to spiritual success is to keep a clean conscience. While there are many things about this topic that could be expounded upon, it remains a very practical and applicable truth. A pure heart is always the result of the fear of the Lord.
How do we fear the Lord? When we cease to justify ourselves and instead joyfully yield to His judgment and righteousness. To practice self-justification is to entertain desires and motives from the pit of hell. This is how Eve deceived herself and was tempted by the Devil. Self-deception comes first, then the fall to temptation. What right do we have before the Sovereign and All-Knowing God? A simple “innocent and harmless” claim is the very instance in which one’s conscience becomes defiled.
To justify and hide oneself from God is false religion to its core. But to lay bare our soul before the Holy One so as to be made holy is the essence of true religion. The former thrives in shame, perversion, pride and false passion. What unabashed shamelessness had the wicked king, Henry VIII, when he spoke of one’s conscience as being the high court under God! The latter, however, with a heart that “hates evil and loves righteousness”, always grounds itself in humility, yielded-ness, long-suffering, hopeful endurance, and love that puts others before oneself. Such a heart endowed Thomas Moore with the strength and dedication to forfeit all and face his doom in the Tower; a saint, not simply before man, but always before God.
Religion always reduces God to be a hard task-master, but the life of Jesus Christ always leads us to the Father, who is all-loving, full of mercy and compassion; all-wise, full of knowledge and power; all-righteous, full of holiness and justice. In Him, there are no shifting shadows. He is the same from the beginning to the end. Therefore, He shows no partiality; not to the poor or the rich, to the educated or the illiterate, to the young or the old, to the rulers or the ruled. All flowers bow before the sun. All land thrives under the rain. All stars circulate the course of the day and the night. All men, beasts, fish, and birds feed upon God’s bounty and yet return to dust in the end.
When we apprehend this wisdom and make it a source of a clean conscience, we are released from the pressing and the fussing of an unenlightened world and the base life that is always under the yolk of earthly needs. We can soar and see like the eagle, for God is our wind. We can roar and rule like the lion because God is our righteousness. We intercede as an approved priest, for on our breast is the embodiment of His mercy. We can judge as an appointed king, for with our rod we will crush evil and exalt justice in the midst of God’s people.
Who is worthy of such a call? Who is capable of receiving such an entrustment? Those that God has chosen and disciplined. And the mark for such a people is always a clear conscience according to the Spirit of Christ and the living ways of the Father. A divine union if you will: “The Word becomes flesh”. Paul explains it this way: “…for our competence is not from ourselves, but from God.”
As he illustrated the new life born from above, Jesus explained to Nicodemus (possibly with a few of his disciples present) that a spiritually-minded man is one who chooses to come to the light of His teachings (wisdom from above), and by so doing, would come to know that “everything is wrought by God”. Paul expounds upon this truth beautifully: “…in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
When this takes place, a spiritually-minded man will walk as God leads and will as God wills in him. As a result, he will be immune to man’s judgment, because his eyes will be ever set upon the Eternal Judge who dispenses His right and wrong through the divine communion between them. Jesus explains it this way: “God is a god to the living, not to the dead (whose life is devoid of the living spirit of God).”
Such confidence was our Lord’s toward His appointed ones, the early disciples. He assured them: “Don’t worry what you will eat, or what you will wear, for men of the world care about such things; you follow me.” In other words, do not worry about what you will say when facing the persecution or scrutiny of the rulers and the unbelieving, for the Holy Spirit will be with you to give you what to say and how to say it.
Now this is a truly free and abundant life. The truth and reality of the life of God in man, through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and through the Holy Spirit, will set us free. If the Son (life of The Anointed One) sets you free, then you are free indeed!
Amen and Amen and AMEN!!!