How to Hear the Voice of God in the Details of Life
September 6, 2020
How to Hear the Voice of God in the Details of Life (part 6)
How to Clear Your Conscience
It is more important than ever today to know the voice of God.
There are challenges now and in our future that we have never navigated in this way. The world is changing.
Romans 8:14 (NKJV)
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Proverbs 20:27 (NKJV)
The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart.
Week 1 – August 2
Judges 6 – Gideon was called by God to lead Israel into battle, and Gideon “put out a fleece,” that is, he looked to circumstances to confirm what God was saying to him.
Week 2 – August 9
There are two ways we receive direction from God – General Guidance and Specific Guidance.
General Guidance – Logos – the sum total of all of the expressions of God.
Specific Guidance: Rhema – When the Holy Spirit quickens a thought to your spirit, and gives you specific direction about a situation or issue in life.
Week 3 – August 16
1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NLT)
Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.
We are spirit beings, we possess a soul, and we live in a physical body.
Week 4 – August 23
I am an eternal spirit being, I have or possess a soul, and I live in a physical body.
When God speaks to us, He speaks by the Holy Spirit in our human spirit.
Begin now to think of yourself as a spirit being, living in a body. Think of yourself as a spirit being before thinking of yourself as having a mind (education, skills) or a body (physical appearance).
Thinking of ourselves first of all as a spirit made in God’s image will put us in a position to hear more clearly the voice of God.
When you think of yourself this way, you can resist mental and emotional challenges.
Week 5 – August 30 – Develop your conscience to hear clearly God’s leading.
There are three ways that the Father leads you in your spirit:
1. The Voice of Conscience.
2. The Voice of the Holy Spirit
3.The Inward Witness
8 points about the voice of conscience
We can be born again and still have a conscience that is not distinct and clear.
It can be like finding the sun in the sky on a cloudy day.
Our conscience can allow us to accept things that are wrong as normal!
1. The conscience must be trained in the Word, and only then will it be a safe guide.
1 John 3:20-21 (NKJV)
For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.
2. An Old Testament analogy of changing your belief system and cleansing the conscience
But if you turn away from him and cling to the customs of the survivors of these nations remaining among you, and if you intermarry with them, 13 then know for certain that the LORD your God will no longer drive them out of your land. Instead, they will be a snare and a trap to you, a whip for your backs and thorny brambles in your eyes, and you will vanish from this good land the LORD your God has given you.
And, if we don’t challenge the wrong beliefs that we learn from those close to us, then those beliefs can be like thorns in our eyes and scourges in our sides.
Today, because of the breakdown of the family, so many people have a conscience that is cloudy, and is not clear.
3. God designed our conscience to grow in an atmosphere of unconditional love, in a healthy family where love rules.
1 John 4:18 (NLT)
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
1 John 4:18 (BBE)
There is no fear in love: true love has no room for fear, because where fear is, there is pain; and he who is not free from fear is not complete in love.
God planned for our homes to be places of unconditional, self-sacrificial love.
Because of sin, we rarely see unconditional love in our homes.
4. We learn what love looks like from our families.
We learn what love looks like. For some, love comes with control, abuse, guilt, and neglect. The very people who should love you take advantage of you.
So many people grow up in an atmosphere charged with accusations, anger, bitterness, revenge, and ridicule. Instead of unconditional love, love is based on performance.
These things affect the conscience, and place in us a belief system that says, “I must defend myself, I must be wary of other people. I cannot trust people close to me.”
And all of this gets in the way when seeking to hear the voice of God.
People raised in homes where there is anger, manipulation, control, and physical and/or sexual abuse, will have a conscience that is clouded with fear, anger, resentment, distrust, and self-protective responses that accuse and defame others.
You CANNOT hear God with an internal atmosphere like this.
Some people are raised in an atmosphere of looseness, provocative behaviour, and lax morals. Their belief systems are warped.
5. Mind renewal helps change our belief system, our conscience, and sets us up to clearly hear God speak.
Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:1-2 (NLT)
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Romans 12:2 (GW)
Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants—what is good, pleasing, and perfect.
6. Developing your love nature will begin to renew and cleanse your conscience.
The first fruit of the born again human spirit is love.
1 John 3:14 (NLT)
If we love our brothers and sisters who are believers, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead.
God places His love in us when we come to Him in salvation.
Romans 5:5 (NKJV)
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Developing our ability to love others will also develop our human spirit and quicken our conscience.
Read 1 Corinthians 13 a lot to melt away the wrong beliefs you have.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (PHILLIPS)
This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience—it looks for a way of being constructive. It is not possessive: it is neither anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance.
5-6 Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage. It is not touchy. It does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people. On the contrary, it is glad with all good men when truth prevails.
7-8a Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (AMPC)
4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
7. Don’t sear your conscience!
1 Timothy 4:1-2
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
Example: Kenneth Hagin – Elderly man with boiling coffee…
Ignoring conscience deafens you to the voice of God!
Example: 2006 – man in my office who said adultery was just fine…
Someone has said that it may take a believer 20 years to fall away from God.
It’s like the proverbial frog in the kettle.
Hebrews 3:13 -NLT
You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.
Titus 1:15-16- NLT
Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted. (16) Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.
They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.
Notice what Paul said about the conscience:
Then Paul, looking earnestly at the council, said, “Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.”
This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.
1 Timothy 1:5 (NLT)
The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.
1 Timothy 1:18-19
This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck,
2 Timothy 1:3
I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day,
1 Peter 3:15-16 (NLT)
Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.
To hear from God clearly, you must have a clear conscience!
A violated conscience muffles the voice of God!
8. How to keep a clear conscience:
One of the goals Susan and I had for raising kids was to raise good citizens who are conscience driven.
Children who do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.
Proverbs 29:15 (GW)
A spanking and a warning produce wisdom, but an undisciplined child disgraces his mother.
Ephesians 6:4 (AMPC)
Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord.
Keep short accounts with God.
Refuse to hide or not talk to God about any act or motive.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NKJV)
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
Psalms 66:18-19 (NKJV)
If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear. 19 But certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer.
Isaiah 59:1-2 (NKJV)
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.
Confess your sins of omission – things that you should have done that you have neglected. They create a weight.
Confess your sins of commission – things you have done that you know you should not have done. They also drag you down.
1 John 1:8-10 (NKJV)
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
1 John 2:1-2 (NLT)
My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. 2 He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.
It takes diligence to keep a tender conscience. And a tender conscience is a clear conscience that God can speak to!
- Has your conscience been trained in the Word, or is your conscience still full of things from your past before Christ?
- Do you confess before God your sins of omission, things that you should have done?
- Do you confess your sins of commission, things that you should not have done?
- Is your conscience clear right now?