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Description: Where does our conscience fit in? What's it's purpose in our lives?
Spiritual Life #45
A Good Conscience No. 2
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
[Audio starts midsentence] but Lord we all know this evening that unless you speak to us, and unless
we look to you all we’ll receive is men’s best thoughts. And so Holy Spirit, we would ask you to
bring to us the word of our Lord to each one of us personally, that we might move from
glory-to-glory tonight, for your sake. Amen.
Loved ones, we’re studying the spiritual life in these Sunday evening services; the spiritual life.
And I thought we should spend just another — even though it’s the fourth teaching — we should
spend another evening on just the importance of a good conscience, because it is so basic to a
victorious walk. And I thought that many of you, perhaps, might not be settled in your own mind on
the basis of the study that God has shown us in his word. And so I’ll just take a moment to show
you the outline again.
And, you remember, you find the key verse in 1 Thessalonians 5:23. And many of us — this is old
stuff to us — but I know that many of you, it has been real light to you just to see this for the
first time. So let’s just be patient with each other as we deal with the scriptural outline of our
inner personal lives, or what scriptural psychology seems to teach us. 1 Thessalonians 5:23, “May
the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound
and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
And that has helped man of us loved ones, as we’ve used that model for understanding the way God
deals with us. You see the three words, “Your spirit and your soul and your body.” And it has made
a lot of sense to those of us who have been brought up in psychology to see that we had our physical
body by which we communicated with the world, and inside that we had our soul, or the psychological
part of us that communicates with ourselves. And then inside that again, our spirit which is the
part of us that communicates with God.
And we have often likened it to the kind of situation you got in the Old Testament temple, you
remember, with the public court and then the holy place, and then the holy of holies. [Shows graphic
of the personality showing 3 concentric rectangles with the ‘spirit’ — ‘holy of holies’ — being
the innermost, then the ‘soul’ — the ‘holy place’ — around the spirit and the largest outside
rectangle — ‘public area’ — being the body.] And as you follow the Bible through, of course, you
find that ‘the spirit’ consists of the conscience, and the intuition, and the communion, or the
ability to perform those functions with God. And as you follow through, ‘the soul’ in Old and New
Testament, you find that it includes the mind, and the emotions, and the will. And then of course,
you can see that the body is a kind of trinity also.
And loved ones, that’s normally what the Bible regards as the outline of our own personal inner
lives. We have a spirit inside, and a soul around that, and then a body around that again. And the
spirit of course, is able to communion or converse with God. That’s where we pray to God, that’s
where we fellowship with him, that’s what communion means. And then intuition — we hear it often
in regard to ladies’ intuition you remember, a woman’s intuition. And really there is a natural
intuition that exists apart from God because there is a spiritual world of course that operates
apart from God’s spiritual world.
So intuition that we talk about in regard to the ladies is in some sense what spiritual intuition
is. Intuition is the sense of knowing what God wants you to do, just knowing it in your spirit.
Not knowing it through working it out in your mind but just knowing what God wants you to do. So
sometime you’ve been walking into a room and you just know you should say that and you say it.
That’s what intuition is. It’s the sense of knowing what God wants you to say.
It’s interesting — I remember ‘intueor’ in Latin is ‘to see’. And intuition is seeing what God
sees. It’s seeing what God sees, seeing things as he sees them, so that you know what to do
intuitively. Your conscience is that part of you that makes you want to live up to the best that
you know. That’s what your conscience is. Conscience really, itself, does not contain information.
That’s where I think a lot of us get into kind of semantic arguments, because we think, “Oh, living
by your conscience means you have to live by the knowledge in your conscience.” Your conscience
really has little to do with knowledge. Your conscience is simply that function or that factor
inside you that was always raising you up, and makes you want to live up to the highest that you
know. Now, of course, if you don’t know very much, if you don’t know that it’s wrong to eat people
then your conscience can only raise you up to that level. So I know it sounds wild, but I suppose a
cannibal could be living with a clean conscience and eating his wife, and his children. But you can
see that there is a distinction there between knowledge and conscience: that conscience makes you
live up to the best that you know. And it can’t go beyond that. So that’s what your conscience
Now your will loved ones, is the part of your soul that makes decisions. You make decisions with
your will. You do things with your will. You exercise power over your mind and emotions with your
will. And many of us of course, get into real difficulty, because we don’t think we ought to do
that. We let our mind and emotions go just as a chance thought takes them, or a chance feeling.
But the will is meant to exercise power over the mind of the emotions.
So that’s why the whole practice of free association is a dangerous thing, you know. And I remember,
Dave Johnson bringing it up to me in regard to art. The free association of ideas is a tricky area.
And normally God expects you to control your mind, and not allow your mind to daydream or freely
So your will is there to exercise power over your mind and emotions. Then your soul of course,
exercises power over your body. [Shows graphic of the personality showing 3 concentric rectangles
with the ‘spirit’ being the innermost, then the ‘soul’ around the spirit and the largest outside
rectangle being the body. The ‘spirit’ contains communion, intuition and conscience. The soul
contains mind, emotions and will. The body is the physical being that the outside world sees.]
Now loved ones, that’s the way God intended us to operate, just that way. [Shows on diagram arrows
from God into our spirit and from our spirit out into our soul and then from there out into our body
and out to the world.] The way you see there. That if we would depend on his love, and depend on
his love alone, he would give us a great sense of his affection for us, give us a great sense of his
awareness of us, and give us a great sense of his will for us. And so we would have a great deal of
happiness just through our love of him. We’d have a great deal of security through knowing that he
had every hair of our head numbered and was going to provide for us. And we would have a great
sense of position and purpose in the world as we did what he put us here to do and that was the
Father’s will for us.
And as we operated that way, depending on him for our security, on him for our happiness, on him for
our sense of significance, so his Spirit, the Spirit that moves in him and his Son Jesus would come
through us in communion, and would tell us what he wanted us to do day-by-day. And our conscience
then, would constrain our will — in the light of this information that we were receiving —
constrain our will to do those things. And our will would obey our conscience and direct our mind.
And our mind would work out in deductive detail what God was telling us to do. We would understand
it. And we would be able to explain it to others. And our emotions would express the joy of our
fellowship with God. And we would express that through our body to the world, so that the world
would be filled with the very character of God’s life, as we ourselves expressed it to other people.
So actually, we would end up being sources of security. We would not be trembley, shaky, uncertain
people full of inferiority complexes, and fears, and anxieties. But we would be rocks in the world.
And we would be sources of security. And we would appear more and more as fixed points in God’s
universe. And of course, that would spread a sense of security to little children, and even to the
animals. And the whole of the world would gradually be redeemed by us, and by the sense of security
that we spread to others. We would spread happiness to others.
We would not always be looking for happiness from people. But we would have this great delight in
God morning-by-morning. We would get up — it wouldn’t matter whether somebody smiled at us or not
— we would be smiling at them because of our delight in our Father’s presence, the affection of the
one ‘significant other’ in the whole universe that really matters. And so we would be sharing
happiness with others and we would be sources of delight and joy.
And of course, we would not be climbing over somebody else to be establishing our significance. We
wouldn’t be worried about our significance. We wouldn’t be choosing a job because it made us feel
important. We would be doing a job because God put us here to do that. We would be happy to nail
chairs together in the back woods. We would be happy to wash floors with nobody looking at us. We
would be ready to do anything because the sheer delight of doing what God put us here to do would be
all the sense of significance, and identity, and importance we needed.
And so, of course, the executive wash rooms would be delightful places, and the executive dining
rooms would be delightful places, and the benches in factories would be great places because people
would not be scrambling over one another to make themselves feel important. And that was God’s
And loved ones, you know what we’ve shared so often, that we’d resolve we would not depend on this
God for this. We would not depend on this God for love. We would get our love from the world. And
so we began to live the other way. [Shows diagram again, and shows arrows coming in from the world
to the body and in to the soul and in to the spirit.]
And we began to try to get our security as we wanted it from the world. Get as much money as we
felt would give us security. Get as much praise and approval from other people as would give us a
sense of significance. Get as much enjoyment from other people, and from experiences, and personal
relationships as we could from thrills and excitement so that we would be able to live independent
of our God. And we would be able to get these things from the world, so that we would be free from
him. We did not want to be ruled by God.
And loved ones, that’s what that is. You need to see that — that that kind of a life is simply the
life of a god. Do you see that? It’s important to see that. Sometimes we miss that. And we think,
“Oh no, that’s just a little mistake.” No, no, that’s a life of a god there that you’re looking at.
That’s the life of a god who wants to get everything his own way, her own way, when he or she
wants. And that’s what we wanted to be. We wanted to be gods. And so it’s good for us to see that
when we sin, we’re nothing less than challenging God’s position. We’re saying, “We want to be gods.
We want it our way, in our time, for our sakes.”
And loved ones, that’s what happened and of course, the result was our personalities became utterly
perverted. So our dear little eyes were always hunting for somebody’s approval, always looking for
somebody’s approval. Our dear little hearts beat faster every time the bank balance went down.
Every time we lost an opportunity for a good job, our sense of security began to fade away. Every
time we missed the girl, or the guy that we thought would give us happiness, our happiness
disappeared. If the sun went away and it was raining, we were depressed. If the sun was up, we were
But we were suddenly at the mercy of all the things, and the people, and the experiences of the
world. And so our personality became enslaved to these things. So it depended on how circumstances
were going whether we were happy or not. It depended on how people treated us whether we felt a
sense of identity or not. It depended on how the money was going, or the job was going whether we
felt secure or not. Suddenly we found ourselves at the mercy of temporal things, things that were
changing all the time.
And of course, several times we tried to change. We tried to work the other way. We tried to ignore
what people said about us. Somebody would say, “Oh, do you know what so and so said about you?”
And you steel yourself, and you try to say, “No, I don’t care what they said about me.” But you
find your whole personality was working that way now. And you couldn’t ignore it. You couldn’t
ignore it. It was like the things we talked about before, your body gets used to the nicotine. Your
nerve endings get used to the kind of soothing effect of the nicotine. Your mind gets used and your
emotions to the stimulation of the Coke, or to the drug, or to the alcohol. And it’s impossible to
get out from under those things and do without them.
And that’s really what happened loved ones, and that’s why the Bible says that that’s what God did,
you see. [Shows personality diagram with a big cross obliterating all of it.] That was the only
thing he could do. He crucified that. That’s what it means, “Our old self was crucified with
Christ.” That whole miserable personality had to be remade. And that’s what God did in Jesus on
Calvary. And Calvary is only the temporal, physical expression of a mighty, eternal, cosmic death
that took place before even the foundation of the world. Because of course, God foresaw all this
happening. And he provided for it. And actually there is a version of you, a version of your
personality that has been crucified and raised with Jesus. And that’s what the Holy Spirit testifies
Now, it is important loved ones, to see that God requires nothing more than that. Some of you
behave as if God wants to grind you into the dirt. Now, do you see, God is not a mad God? He’s not
an angry God that wants to make you suffer. That’s not our God. He’s not a God who wants to get
you up against a wall and do that to you. He isn’t. Our God is a wise, all wise Father. And he
wants to redeem us. And the reason he crucified us with Christ was to redeem us. It wasn’t to
And we keep on thinking, “Oh no, he wanted to punish us.” No, no, it says it clearly, “Our old self
was crucified with Christ so that the body of sin might be destroyed.” That is, the personality
that was a servant of sin might be rendered inoperative, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.
That was why God crucified us. And he doesn’t require anything more than that. And loved ones, it
is just blaspheming God to believe that God wants to kill you, or he wants to punish you.
Our Father — if he had wanted to punish us, he would have just sent another flood as he did in the
old days. He would have just destroyed us utterly, he wouldn’t have give us these 70 years in which
we can enter into this miraculous deliverance that he’s worked out on Calvary. He wouldn’t. He
would have just destroyed us. Or he would have let the world destroy itself, but he hasn’t. He
crucified us with his son Jesus, and remade us in Jesus’ resurrection so that we could turn back the
clock, and so that we could begin to live like that. [Shows original graphic of the personality with
the arrows from God to our ‘spirit’; to our ‘soul’; to our ‘body; and out to the world.]
Now loved ones, your conscience testifies to that. Your conscience is always testifying to that.
Your conscience is always testifying, “You’re willing to enter into this deliverance that your
Father has wrought for you in Jesus.” Or, “You’re not willing to enter into this deliverance that
your Father has wrought for you in Jesus.” That’s what your conscience is testifying to.
See I think, some of you think, “Oh your conscience is always raking up old sins.” No, your
conscience is only mentioning old sins if those old sins are still present in your life. And, if the
attitude behind those old sins, and the reluctance that is in them to be crucified, and remade, and
changed around by Christ — if that is still present in you, your conscience then, brings to mind
But do you see your conscience isn’t involved in raking up all kinds of old sins so that you have to
drag them forward before the Father, and you have to plead for each one individually? That’s not
why you have to confess every sin. Do you see that? It’s not a payment business. It’s not, “Lord,
I remember I spoke harshly to my mother when I was seven. Lord, I confess that to you. I repent of
that. And now will you apply the blood of Jesus to that?” That isn’t it. Your conscience only
brings to you the fact that you once spoke harshly to your mother, because there’s something of that
attitude still in you which shows itself in other ways to other people.
So loved ones, your conscience is always testifying to a present unwillingness of your will to be
crucified, and raised, and made new in Jesus. In other words, your conscience is always testifying
to something of that. [Shows graphic of personality with arrows the other direction, from the world
in to the body, etc.] It’s always testifying to some way in which you’re still trying to get from
the world the love that you should get from God — some way in which you’re still depending on the
world for the love that you should depend on from God. But that’s what your conscience testifies
Now brothers and sisters, I do think that a lot of you would have an easier time dealing with
conscience and would have a freer time with your conscience if you would see that that’s what your
dear conscience is after. Your conscience is a dear, dear friend. Your conscience is not a
miserable old resident policeman who is trying to make you feel bad, or is trying to bring up lots,
and lots of old bad things that you’ve done to try and take away the sense you have of God’s favor.
That’s not what your conscience is doing.
Your conscience is trying to bring to your mind any way in which you are not willing to be crucified
with Christ — any way in which, at the moment, there is an attitude in your present life that is
not willing to walk the way Jesus walks.
Now, can you see something else? The only way to satisfy that conscience is to exercise your will
in obedience to it. That’s what you do to have a good conscience. You exercise your will in
obedience to your conscience.
And the amazing thing about this miraculous conscience we have — and you notice it is part of your
spirit, you see. [Shows conscience as being in the spirit on graphic.] It is part of that invisible
part of us that is close to God. The amazing thing about your conscience is, it will not be
satisfied until you have really set your will in the direction that it has shown you. That’s right.
Your conscience is like a gyrocompass. It doesn’t matter how you roll around. It doesn’t matter if
you stand on your head. It doesn’t matter if you pull all kinds of tricks and deceptions with it —
and I used to do that. I used to say, “Yeah, yeah, well I’ll be really serious now, ‘Yes, Lord, I
will never be indolent again.’ And I’ll be really serious so that he thinks that I’m really serious.
Then tomorrow… well who knows.”
But, you can’t do that. You can’t bluff your conscience. Your conscience knows if your will is
really ready to go the way God wants. Now, it does, loved ones. You can’t bluff your conscience.
Your conscience is a supernatural part of you. It’s a part of your spirit. It is, in a sense, not
quite God’s voice to you, but in a sense it is part of God’s voice to you. And the only way to
quiet your conscience is to exercise your will in obedience to it.
Now, do you see why I shared last Sunday how mad this other approach to an evil conscience is? This
approach remember, that feels, “My conscience is convicting me of something I did last year, and
something I did the year before, and convicting me of two or three things that I’ve done today, and
two or three things that I did yesterday. And my conscience is trying to make me feel that God
won’t accept me. Boy, that miserable conscience is just being used by Satan.” And so it’s not long
before we begin to identify our conscience with Satan and we say, “Satan is trying to make me feel
that God doesn’t accept me. But God does accept me.” And then, “‘For God so loved the world that he
gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life.’
That’s true, that’s true. God is love, God is love.”
And here’s what we do. Instead of simply exercising our will to obey our conscience, we try to move
the whole battle into the realm of the mind. And we think our mind needs to be stored up with more
assurance of God’s forgiveness.
And do you see? It’s madness? It makes it all foolish. Your dear conscience is not trying to make
you feel bad. Your conscience is not a weapon of Satan. Your conscience is lovingly showing you some
ways in which your life is still not willing to be crucified with Christ. And it has to be crucified
with Christ so that your life again, can work the way God intended it to. And so the only answer to
an evil conscience is the submission of your will to it.
But, do you see how foolish we are? We think, “Oh no, I somehow can’t feel God forgives me, because
I’m thinking of all these things that I’ve done wrong. I just have to persuade myself that God has
forgiven me.” That’s dumb. Your conscience will immediately sense God’s love if you submit your
will to your conscience. That’s it. That’s it. It rises up like a fountain in you — the fountain
of forgiveness, the fountain of the assurance of God’s favor. It comes upon you like a benediction
from above. You don’t need to struggle and grab for God’s forgiveness, it rises up. All the demons
in hell couldn’t hold it down. That’s the testimony of Luther; that’s the testimony of Wesley, of
Calvin, of everybody that has been truly saved. It didn’t matter what everybody else was telling
them. They knew that God had forgiven them. Why? Their conscience testified that it was satisfied
with what their will was now doing.
But loved ones, the other is silliness, you know. Oh, we do it with our emotions, we remove the
whole battle into the emotional level. And we say, “Oh well, I can’t believe that God forgives me
because you see, well, my father was a depressed person, you know. He was a bit like Beckett
[Samuel Beckett 1906 – 1989 was an Irish playwright] and a bit like oh, Eugene O’Neill. And really
that’s the kind of house I was brought up in. It was kind of down and depressing, you know, so I’m
a kind of down person. And of course that’s what makes it hard for me to realize that God has
forgiven me.” Well, loved ones, there have been people like you who have lived before, you know.
And there have been people who’ve been saved who have had depressing fathers before.
And it’s nothing to do with your emotions, loved ones. God’s salvation is surer and firmer than
that. God’s salvation does not even require — I know this is strange — but God’s salvation does
not even require a perfectly balanced psychological person. Really! Really! God’s forgiveness can
be extended to a person who is utterly unbalanced. And God’s forgiveness is sure, because it works
just on one principle: his favor and forgiveness comes through as soon as the conscience is
satisfied that the will is obeying it.
Now loved ones, that’s so important that I know it could be the wrong thing to do, but are there any
questions on it? Because, I do think it would settle a whole lot of things in your dear hearts if
you’d see how plain it is, and how simple. Does anyone have any questions?
Question from Audience:
Is the peace that passes all understanding present?
Response from Pastor O’Neill:
The peace that passes all understanding is a peace with God at that point. It’s a peace and an
assurance that all is well between your soul and his. And then there is the peace ‘of’ God that
begins to fill your whole personality as your will begins to obey your conscience. So yes, that’s
it, sure, ‘peace with God’ and ‘peace of God’, yes.
Question from Audience:
The conscience will testify to one way to follow God and the way to oppose God. And I’ll find a
great battle inside myself. And I’ll find myself at times opposing God.
Response from Pastor O’Neill:
Loved ones, I have to say to you that the Bible is full of exhortations that we have to live with a
good conscience. And the only way to live with a good conscience is to obey it. There’s no
substitute for that. And that’s where I think brother, we do have – I do feel we have something of a
disadvantage. Though, I think we have to be careful that we don’t excuse it you know, and say, “Our
pet dog bit us every morning when we were five years old, and that’s why we hate people.” I think
we have to go gently on this kind of thing because we’re so good at making excuses for ourselves.
But, I think it is true that we have been brought up in a present educational system that has been
very reluctant to run the risk of causing the ‘poor child’ a complex by asking him to do something
that he doesn’t want to do. And of course, the only way to get the ‘poor child’ to become a child
of God is to get him to do stuff that he doesn’t want to do. And so, a lot of us have come up under
that kind of teaching. And we have come up with a will that has not been used to being exercised.
And I do think that we have to see that the only reason God believes that our will can obey our
conscience, is because of that. [Shows the diagram with a cross through it.]
I mean if that had not taken place, then I agree, I agree, the personality is just intractable. But
because of our crucifixion with Christ it is possible for us to exercise our will to obey our
conscience. And there’s no way around it. I have tried, you know –because I have heard you loved
ones say that kind of thing before — I have tried to think, “Is there some way to get you to obey
without exercising your will?” But there isn’t. You know, there just isn’t — unless to put you to
sleep and put you through the motions without you knowing. But God does not do that. God wants you
to willfully choose him and willfully reject Satan. Willfully choose Jesus and willfully reject
self. And there is no answer.
Question from Audience:
Is it a kind of learning process, because I find at times when I obey God’s will then it’s somehow
so wonderful and so great that I’m encouraged to obey it again?
Response from Pastor O’Neill:
Undoubtedly that is partly true, that the Father gives us such a sense of what eternal life is that
it encourages us to go on next time. I just think there are times, too, when it is ‘cold turkey’.
And it is simply, “I obey God’s will against the whole demons of hell and against everything.”
And finally — I have to say that finally it comes down, in most of our lives to cold, dry, naked
obedience against all the powers of hell. And I don’t know that there’s one man or woman here who
has been delivered into liberty who has not had to eventually come to the point that you did what
God told you to because he was God, even though you could rationalize it away like mad, and even
though it caused you tremendous loss. I think loved ones it does — it costs you finally,
everything you’ve got, to follow God and to obey him.
Question from Audience:
Is the will always aware of everything that the conscience is telling it?
Response from Pastor O’Neill:
Loved ones, it is important to see — and I think I’ll go around behind it brother, because I think
it brings out something important — it’s important to see that the conscience is not testifying to
your ‘absolute perfection’ or your ‘complete imperfection’. Do you see that? The conscience is
only telling you what God wants you to deal with ‘now’, at this moment — just the one thing that he
wants you to deal with at this moment.
That’s why it is a good way to be able to distinguish between the ‘false accusation’ of Satan and
the working of your conscience. The ‘false accusation’ of Satan is usually such a mass of things
that you can’t – his job is to confuse you, not to get you to act, but to confuse you. Whereas the
conscience always brings before you the ‘one thing’ that God wants you to deal with ‘that moment’.
Maybe in the next second he’ll give you something else, but he’ll give you one thing at a time.
So brother, that’s what’s important, the will is aware of what the conscience is pointing to at that
moment. Now, there are many other things that the conscience isn’t bothering you about and the
will, to that extent, is not responsible for those. And that’s the meaning of that verse, you
remember it’s, I think, James 4:17, “Whoever knows what is right to do and fails to do it, for him
it is sin.” You can’t be responsible for all the things you don’t know about, but for the thing the
conscience is bringing before your mind at that time, you are responsible to act on that.
And that was a great help to me when I realized that verse in the Old Testament, you remember, “God
does not quench the flickering torch.” And I suddenly realized, “God does not allow any trial come
to me above what I’m able to bear. And so he does not command me to do anything that I am not well
able, at that moment, to do.” And that was such a relief to me because I used to think, “Oh now,
what if God gives me something that I can’t do?” Then I realized, God is a loving and faithful God,
and he only allows our conscience to bring to us something that we can rectify at this moment.
And so loved ones, of course, it is a great walk you see. It’s a great walk! It’s a light walk!
The walk with Jesus is a light walk! Whether you’re born of the spirit, filled with the spirit,
baptized with the spirit, wherever you are, if you’re walking in response to your conscience it’s a
light — and I have to use the word because I don’t think they should steal it from us — it is a
gay walk. It is a walk with brightness, and lightness, and delight, and happiness. It is a walk
that is on the air! It is not a heavy walk. And any time you get into a heavy walk, be assured
loved ones, it isn’t because your pet dog bit you. It isn’t. It isn’t because your emotions are
down. It isn’t because you need to store yourself up with more of the promises of God. It’s because
you are not submitting your will to your conscience, and therefore your blessed spirit cannot have
applied to you the promises of God which you know already. And that’s it. Do you see that?
It’s never that we need to be reminded of the promises of God. We have the promise of God stored in
our head. But we can’t get them down into our hearts and our consciences, simply because our
conscience refuses to let that happen, because our will is not submissive. The Christian walk is a
delightful walk — and I say that even when you’re hungering and thirsting after righteousness. I
say that even when you’re striving for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, even when you’re deeply aware
of your pitiful hypocritical life. As long as you are walking up to the level of your conscience
there’s still that ‘favor of God’ upon your life, and that assurance of his favor.
And I’d just finish with this one comment. A loved one came up to me several weeks ago and he
said, “I just feel dead. I mean, I just feel dry and dead. I don’t feel anything of God’s presence
in my life, I don’t feel any life inside me at all.”
And I said to him, “Well, is there any sin in your life?” And I have to tell you that for a moment
I was thinking, “Well, are you praying? Are you reading the Bible?” — That kind of thing. And I
was for a moment going to go into a ‘can you distinguish between Satan’s accusation?’ and all that
kind of stuff. And then something inside me said, “Have you any sin in your life?”
And he looked up, surprised. And it seemed so funny to me, because of course, after a few years on
the ‘Calvary Road’, you begin to look first to sin as the source of any problem. And he said, “Sin?
Well, yeah, yeah I suppose there is.” And kind of laughed, you know.
And I thought, “Well, boy, you know, do you see that that’s serious? Do you see that that’s why
there’s no life in you? It’s not that you need to praise God more, you need to speak in tongues, or
you need to go to more Hallelujah meetings. It isn’t that, it’s you just need to deal with the sin
in your life and submit your will to your conscience and you’ll have no trouble. The Spirit of God
will rise up within you and give you a sense of his favor.”
And then loved ones, he went into the prayer room to deal with the sin. But that’s it. That’s why I
think of Reverend Carlson and Mrs. Carlson [missionaries whose son attended Campus Church] sitting
back there. And that’s why they, and many other dear old saints down through the years, know that
the walk with Jesus is a simple life. It’s a simple life. And it’s good for us to talk about all
the deep things of God but the walk in the brightness of God’s favor and presence is a simple walk.
It’s simply an obedient walk and a trusting walk. It is just, “Trust and obey for there’s no other
way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.”
And you know, if you’re tempted to say, “Oh no, Satan is overcoming me and he’s loosing all of his
demons upon me.”
Well, maybe you’re such a great saint that he is. But I, myself, tend to think, “Well he probably
hasn’t much time to bother about a pitiful little creature like me and I’d better just look at my
conscience and clean that up first.” And then after you’re sure — after you’re sure your
conscience is clean and you’re submitting your will to your conscience and you’re doing everything
that God tells you, then you have no trouble taking your position in Jesus at the right hand of God,
and warring against Satan and resisting him in faith. It just comes naturally. In fact, Jesus just
lifts you up into that place.
And that’s the truth loved ones, you see that work has taken place [Indicates the cross through our
personality on the diagram.] And that has all taken place, and all that power is lifting all the
time. See it’s like a power that opposes the law of gravity, or works and supersedes the law of
gravity. It’s lifting you all the time. And actually, to avoid being lifted you have to jump out of
his hands. That’s it. You have to jump out of God’s hands, because the Father is pulling you up.
Ever since Calvary he’s drawing you into his arms. And to avoid being in his arms you have to jump
out of his arms. And the way to do that is to refuse to submit your will to your conscience.
But, if you submit your will to your conscience the Father continues to lift you up and into his
arms, and into his heart. And that’s the normal place for us.
So will you do what you need to do? And that applies to all of us, however deep we think we are, or
however young we think we are in the faith. Let’s start submitting our will to our conscience. And
remember that there’s nothing as vital for a relationship with God as a clear and a good conscience.
And there’s nothing as vital for a victorious prayer life as a good conscience. And there’s nothing
as vital for the ministry of Jesus’ life to your friends tomorrow as a good conscience.
Let us pray. Dear Father, we thank you for the way your truths are so plain and the way they appeal
to our own sense of what is right. And Father, we apologize for the way we have tried to walk with
a conscience that is active and whose life we have tried to drown with auto suggestion, and with
emotional uplift. Lord, we see that we are tackling a spiritual problem with psychological weapons.
Father, we see that there’s only one way to have a clean conscience, and that is to submit our
wills to that conscience, and to exercise our will over our mind, and emotions, and our body, in
accordance with what our conscience is revealing to us.
And Lord we thank you that it is such an easy and a plain way. And oh, Holy Spirit, we thank you
for our conscience. We thank you Holy Spirit that under your energizing of our spirits, our
conscience has become the very voice of God to us. And they are heightened, and energized, and they
are informed, and enlightened by you and your knowledge of what God wants from us. And we thank you
therefore for our conscience. We thank you that our conscience is what keeps us from taking over
our own spiritual experience and managing it, and making it a technique.
We thank you Holy Spirit for the numbers of times obeying our conscience delivers us from
engrossment with ourselves and preoccupation with a psychological method of deliverance. Thank you,
thank you for the blessed conscience that you have put within us, our Father. And we intend to keep
that conscience clean and to have it sensitive within us. And we know Lord, that as we have
sensitive consciences we will beget others with sensitive consciences. And we will beget families of
God that will work in favor, and in joy, and in an assurance of your forgiveness and love.
And now the grace of our Lord Jesus, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be
with each one of us now and throughout this coming week. Amen.