Have you ever been shocked when reading God’s Word?
Boy, was I when I read what Paul wrote to Timothy. . .
“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. Hymenaeus and Alexander are two examples. I threw them out and handed them over to Satan so they might learn not to blaspheme God.”
(1 Tim. 1:18-19)
What has your conscience been trying to tell you? What is God calling out for you to pay attention to?
For the longest time, when my husband saw an opportunity for improvement in my life, and he would tell me about it, I would react defensively.
For example, he’d say, “You can take care of yourself, Kelly and not always say ‘yes’ to the kids.” I’d answer, “I do take care of myself! Don’t say that!”
My heart was hardened. And, it became a habit. The more he shared, the more I resented it — and Him. I began to tune him out.
Likewise, the reality is — the harder our hearts become, the harder it is to: hear God, to understand Him, to go where He is directing us, or to get answers to our “what should we do?” questions. . .
I love how my NLT bible commentary puts it, writing, “Treasure your faith in Christ more than anything else and do what you know is right. Every time you deliberately ignore your conscience you are hardening your heart. Over a period of time, your capacity to tell right from wrong will diminish.”
When we diminish our conscience, we diminish our ability to hear and understand God’s direction and leading.
The capacity to let go of what is wrong is vital so that God can lead us to what is right. Just think, what parent can bring their kid to a playground of joy, when they are clinging to their bedpost saying, “No. I am fine where I am. I don’t want what you have for me.”?
Today, what would it look like for you to lay down your defenses, strategies, excuses, burdens, excuses, rationalizations and fears? What would it look like for you to see the hard to see spots, the ‘it-feels-like-too-much’ realities or the ‘things-need-to-change’ opportunities to find new life? To really consider the words someone has been trying to get you to hear?
It may feel awkward to let go of your flesh, but it’s here where you get powerfully led by His Spirit.