Clear Consciences

Psalm 139:1-6 ESV

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.

God knows each and every one of us inside and out, better than we know ourselves, for we can often be self-deceived. He sees into the recesses of our hearts what we may not see at all, because we are blinded to our own weaknesses.

Even though Job was a righteous man in God’s sight, when he went through his trials, it brought out the fact that he had some pride down deep inside of him that he probably was not even aware existed.

For, trials have a way of bringing out the worst and the best in us. But, they can also be God’s divine instruments in our lives for purifying our hearts and for strengthening our walks of faith in Jesus Christ.

Psalm 139:7-12 ESV

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.

This can either be comforting to us or threatening to us, depending upon how we are living our lives.

If we are living for the Lord, walking in his ways, abiding in his truth, and following him wherever he leads us, it is comforting to know that he is with us always and that he sees everything that is going on in our lives, and that nothing escapes his notice.

Not only that, but he is completely sovereign over all things, so he is not surprised at all by our circumstances. But, he has a plan and a purpose for it all. So, we just have to trust him, no matter what the future holds for us, and we have to submit to what he wants to do in our lives through this.

But, if we are walking according to the flesh, living to please our fleshly appetites, lying about it to others, living a secretive lifestyle, it may not be so comforting to know that God sees everything we are doing, for nothing is hidden from him.

Yet, some people who are living in sin, living secretive lifestyles, will find comfort in this passage, for they will convince themselves that their sinful lifestyles do not have to impact their relationship with God at all, for he is with them no matter where they are or what they are doing.

Yet, while it is true that God is everywhere, and that he sees all things, and that nothing escapes his notice, we must be very careful here that we don’t use this passage in the wrong way to suggest that we can be comforted in our sin that no matter where we go or what we do, that God is still with us.

Psalm 139:13-18 ESV

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.

I love this passage of scripture! It has brought comfort to my heart so many times. But, it has also taught me much about the sovereignty of God, too.

For, if we believe this, then we have to accept God’s total sovereignty over our lives. This means that we have to accept that God gave us to parents he knew were going to abuse us. He didn’t cause them to do it, mind you, nor did he tempt them, but he allowed this for his purposes in our lives.

For, ALL the days ordained for us were written in his book before one of them came into being. Amen! But, this is not to say we have no free will. We do. All throughout the New Testament it is clear that we have a choice to choose the Lord or to reject him, but that if we reject him, we will pay the consequences for that rejection.

I have had people ask me if I believe in free will or predestination, to which I answer “Yes.” I believe scripture teaches both. But, I can’t explain how exactly they work together. I just know that they do. I know God had a plan for my life even before the creation of the world. Scripture teaches that. But, I also know I had to choose to believe in him, for scripture teaches that, too.

And, I know that God allowed me to go through some pretty bad things in my life. But, I do believe they were all preparatory for “such a time as this” in my life when he is now using me in the way that he is to expose the lies and to tell the truth in hopes that blinded eyes will be opened. And, this is also in hope that many will be turned from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they can receive forgiveness of sins, and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 26:18).

Psalm 139:19-24 ESV

Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!
They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain.
Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!

But, when we expose the lies for what they are, and when we tell the truth, we will be hated for it. We will have enemies who will come against us. They may be malicious gossips out to destroy our reputations by falsely accusing us of stuff we did not do. They will be those, too, who are out to destroy the true gospel message, so they will tell only half the truth and leave out the other half, or they will distort the other half to their advantage.

Satan hates the truth. And, he doesn’t like to be exposed. So, when we are truth tellers who expose lies and who help to open blinded eyes and to turn them from the darkness to the light, Satan will come against us. And, that is because he doesn’t want his deeds exposed. And, he doesn’t want them brought into the light. And, so he will do all he can to stop that!

Yet, the New Testament makes it clear that our true enemy is Satan, and that the battle is really against him, not against flesh and blood, so we must use spiritual weapons of warfare to fight off our enemy Satan. And, we are to love those who hate and persecute us by doing good (what is beneficial) to them, praying for them, and saying to them what is helpful (wholesome).

But, as we are those who are teaching the true gospel message, and thus we are exposing the lies and deceptions, we must remain always in an attitude of humility before our Lord, asking him to search our hearts, our thinking and reasoning, and our attitudes, so that we don’t end up getting puffed up with pride or with self-righteousness, and so we don’t end up looking at the speck in a brother’s eye while totally missing the log in our own.

And, this takes us right back to the beginning here. Even Job, a righteous man, had pride in his heart. And, we can sometimes miss things in our own hearts and attitudes if we are not careful. So, when we are confronting the lies and exposing them for what they are, and when we are proclaiming the truth, we must be careful to always be checking our own hearts, too. For, we still live in flesh bodies, and not one of us is perfect yet.

And, then we will be prepared to do the work of the Lord, and to have clear consciences before all people when we are sharing the gospel of our salvation, calling people to repentance and to obedience to Jesus Christ. And, then if someone does falsely accuse us, we can have peace with God, because we know our hearts are right with him.

Fully Ready!

An Original Work / June 19, 2013
Based off Acts 20-22, 26; Mt. 28:18-20; Ac. 1:8

Why are you weeping and breaking my heart?
I’m fully ready to suffer for Christ.
If I must die for the sake of His name,
I am convinced it will not be in vain.
Glory to God and to His Son Jesus,
Who has redeemed us; bought with His blood.

May I speak to you? Jesus came to me;
Asked of me, “Why do you persecute me?”
He said, “Now get up and stand on your feet.
Go, and you’ll be told all I have for you.
I have appointed you as a servant,
And as a witness; you have been sent.”

“Go into the world and preach the gospel.
Open the blind eyes. They will receive sight.
Turn them from darkness to the light of Christ;
From power of the evil one to God,
So they may receive forgiveness of sins,
And a place among those who’re in heav’n.”

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