I’ve joined Weight Watchers and it’s working slowly, but I don’t always stay on program. (I’m sure I’m not alone.) When I eat something I shouldn’t, my conscience pricks me and I feel guilty. But if Wayne asks me how it’s going, if I tell him I doing well after going off program, the Holy Spirit convicts me of telling a lie.
I think that’s the difference between conscience and the Holy Spirit. One makes me feel guilty. The other convicts me of sin.
Feeling guilty is a waste of time. It doesn’t do anything except make me feel like a bad person. But when God gets involved, there’s another dimension to my actions.
First of all, God is greater than my feelings of guilt. He knows everything I do, everything I feel and my every motivation. Secondly, God wants me to come to Him with confidence. I can do that after I confess my sin because I know that Jesus has paid for it and I am forgiven.
So I can go around feeling guilty about what I’ve done, or I can come to God with bold confidence.
This passage is also about the truth. My conscience doesn’t always work because I ignore it or rationalize it away. But God knows everything so I can’t stand before Him and pretend what I’ve done isn’t so bad. He wants me to repent, but even more, He wants me to obey and do the things that please Him in the first place. Those actions show that I belong to the truth.
What pleases Him is simple and yet it covers everything. Believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ and love others. This are another way of saying the Royal Law, which covers everything God comands.
The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27
If I obey God’s law, and don’t carry my guilt, but come to God with confidence, I will receive whatever I ask.
My prayers will be more effective if I respond to the Holy Spirit and repent, instead of walking around with guilt.