Didn’t I say that before? Well, actually, no. But I want to show clearly that what most of us call the conscience is just the old religious flesh system at work. It has the answers for us.
Should you go into that bar with your friend? For some people the answer is pre-programmed. If they even begin to think about going into the bar, they hear sirens and see red flags. Their “little voice of law” reminds them that bars are bad and that they will become bad by going into one. No real Christian would even consider such a thing. That’s what their conscience says.
I went through this several years ago when a pastor (!) friend suggested that we could get a great burger at a certain bar in the big city. Well, I confess that I not only went but I truly enjoyed the burger. We didn’t drink or smoke or flirt or whatever else bad is supposed to happen in a bar. We just ate great hamburgers.
How could I do such a thing? Well, I reasoned that I didn’t want to offend my friend by suggesting that he was less spiritual than I and probably no one would see me and we were just going for hamburgers and it wasn’t my idea and … and… Do you see what happened? I was able to reason away, to compromise, my conscience.
The Scripture says that whatever is not of faith is sin. (Romans 14:23) Well, I didn’t go into that bar by faith. I fought my conscience and was eventually able to circumvent it. Nothing bad happened, so it must have been the right decision, right? If I had choked on my burger, I suppose I would have known right away that I was being judged for going into the bar.
This is the kind of battle we fight with that “little voice of law” in our heads. How much different would it have been if I had simply asked the Lord, as I would now? If I asked and He gave me the freedom to go in, I would do it in faith. If He made it clear that I should not, for some reason, I could refuse without worrying about my friend because I would simply trust the Lord. I could still disobey, but at least then I would know that I was disobeying. If there were negative consequences, I would know that the Lord, in His love, was trying to help protect me.
Now, I hope you understand. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with going into a bar. I am saying that, at one time, my conscience (designed by my religious flesh system) told me there was something wrong. Nor am I saying that it was right for me to go into that bar or to go into any bar. I am saying that I didn’t even bother to ask the Lord.
The Lord is your Guide. He is ready to lead you. Go to Him and trust Him to lead.