Your Religious Flesh System is not your Guide

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.


Filed under Freedom, Legalism, Relationship

5 responses to “Your Religious Flesh System is not your Guide

  1. Dave

    The question for me here is that since all thoughts are not our own, the negative caution thoughts that are often stirred up in various situations, how do we know that they are our conscience or just the enemy trying to rob us of our joy and focus on and in Christ?

    • Hi Dave, thanks for the question. I don’t think it matters. If your conscience/heart condemns you, John says, God is greater than your heart (1 Jn 3:20). In other words, ignore it. If the evil one condemns you, ignore him. Our goal is to hear the voice of the Lord who loves us. After a while the liars all begin to sound the same. 😉

  2. I enjoyed this post. Thank you.


    I just wanted to say thank you for this site it has been such a blessing…You see God has been trying to tell me for quite a while now not to listen to the conscience i have not ignored him on purpose but have anyway…Only because in my weakness and because nobody agrees with me I have allowed my conscience to shipwreck my faith…Only yesterday God revealed to me loud and clear as I was talking to him and asking him what is it that is in my way of experiencing this wonderful joy he’s been promising his believers ??? I knew instinctively that it was something in me that was restricting our relationship…I have been arguing for a long time now with Christians who like Pinocchio saying let your conscience be your guide..Hell no God forbid because I know too well that my conscience is far worse than Hitler himself,,I know that he slept like a baby because he cleaned his own conscience while me on the other hand has done no such atrocities but am foul none the less…I also knno that abuse victims feel more guilt and shame than their perpetrators hmmm??.. Well God was just letting me know that he doesn’t use the same avenue as the enemy because he knows full well that we would only be confused,,asking who’s voice was that me satan or God…I’m sorry but this is why our faith gets shipwrecked with all the grey areas in life,, but thank God for Jesus who has set us free from this tormented life of the flesh…. Therefore we must live our lives in the spirit (this is the warning) and then we will experience his loving Grace and we can go right into the holy of holy’s and say Daddy will you help me as I’m your precious child in Christ…Well I’ll say Amen to that!! I now feel so relieved I don’t have to hide my face of shame anymore or go speak to him as if he isn’t gonna answer me because of something bad I’ve done…Wow I forgot Christ sprinkled my filthy Conscience with his precious Blood so therefore I’m CLEAN……

    God bless you and I just hope we whom love God take heed otherwise we’ll just keep on condemning ourselves and others and tearing down what he has so graciously built…..

    • Thanks, Shirley! This is a good comment. On one hand our conscience condemns us when the Lord does not condemn us. On the other, our conscience would allow so much sin to pass by in our lives that we really can’t trust it anyway. Neither situation is good. The conscience is not for us. We have the very life of our Lord within us. We should start listening to Him.

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