My Goal is God Himself . . .
At any cost, dear Lord, by any road.
The habit of a good conscience
"A conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men."
God’s commands are given to the life of His Son in us, consequently
to the human nature in which His Son has been formed, His commands
are difficult, but immediately we obey they become divinely easy.
Conscience is that faculty in me which attaches itself to the
highest that I know, and tells me what the highest I know demands
that I do.
It is the eye of the soul which looks out either towards
God or towards what it regards as the highest, and therefore
conscience records differently in different people. If I am in the
habit of steadily facing myself with God, my conscience will always
introduce God’s perfect law and indicate what I should do. The point
is, will I obey?
I have to make an effort to keep my conscience so
sensitive that I walk without offence. I should be living in such
perfect sympathy with God’s Son, that in every circumstance the
spirit of my mind is renewed, and I ‘make out’ at once “what is that
good, and acceptable and perfect, will of God.”
God always educates us down to the scruple. Is my ear so keen to
hear the tiniest whisper of the Spirit that I know what I should do?
“Grieve not the Holy Spirit.” He does not come with a voice like
thunder; His voice is so gentle that it is easy to ignore it.
one thing that keeps the conscience sensitive to Him is the
continual habit of being open to God on the inside. When there is
any debate, quit. ‘Why shouldn’t I do this?’ You are on the wrong
track. There is no debate possible when conscience speaks. At your
peril, you allow one thing to obscure your inner communion with God.
Drop it, whatever it is, and see that you keep your inner vision
In the Light (December 26th )
If we walk in the light, as He is in the light,. . . the blood of
Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. 1 John 1:7.
To mistake conscious freedom from sin for deliverance from sin by
the Atonement is a great error. No man knows what sin is until he is
born again. Sin is what Jesus Christ faced on Calvary. The evidence
that I am delivered from sin is that I know the real nature of sin
in me. It takes the last reach of the Atonement of Jesus Christ,
that is, the impartation of His absolute perfection, to make a man
know what sin is.
The Holy Spirit applies the Atonement to us in the unconscious realm
as well as in the realm of which we are conscious, and it is only
when we get a grasp of the unrivalled power of the Spirit in us that
we understand the meaning of 1 John 1:7, “the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.”
This does not refer to conscious sin
only, but to the tremendously profound understanding of sin which
only the Holy Ghost in me realizes.
If I walk in the light as God is in the light,
not in the light of
my conscience, but in the light of God—if I walk there, with nothing
folded up, then there comes the amazing revelation—the blood of
Jesus Christ cleanses me from all sin so that God Almighty can see
nothing to censure in me. In my consciousness it works with a keen
poignant knowledge of what sin is.
The love of God at work in me
makes me hate with the hatred of the Holy Ghost all that is not in
keeping with God’s holiness. To walk in the light means that
everything that is of the darkness drives me closer into the centre
of the light.
Do you now believe?
Jesus answered, "Do you now believe?" John 16:31
We need to rely on the resurrection life of Jesus much deeper down,
to get into the habit of steadily referring everything back to Him;
instead of this we make our commonsense decisions and ask God to
He cannot, it is not in His domain, it is severed from
reality. If we do a thing from a sense of duty, we are putting up a
standard in competition with Jesus Christ. We become a ‘superior
person,’ and say—‘Now in this matter I must do this and that.’ We
have put our sense of duty on the throne instead of the resurrection
life of Jesus.
We are not told to walk in the light of conscience or
of a sense of duty, but to walk in the light as God is in the light.
When we do anything from a sense of duty, we can back it up by
argument; when we do anything in obedience to the Lord, there is no
argument possible; that is why a saint can be easily ridiculed.
We are apt to lie back and bask in the memory of the wonderful
experience we have had. If there is one standard in the New
Testament revealed by the light of God and you do not come up to it,
and do not feel inclined to come up to it, that is the beginning of
backsliding, because it means your conscience does not answer to the
truth. You can never be the same after the unveiling of a truth.
That moment marks you for going on as a more true disciple of Jesus
Christ, or for going back as a deserter.
Work out what God
works in (June 6th )
"Work out your own salvation." Philippians 2:12-13.
Your will agrees with God, but in your flesh there is a disposition
which renders you powerless to do what you know you ought to do.
When the Lord is presented to the conscience, the first thing
conscience does is to rouse the will, and the will always agrees
with God. You say—‘But I do not know whether my will is in agreement
with God.’ Look to Jesus and you will find that your will and your
conscience are in agreement with Him every time.
The thing in you
which makes you say ‘I shan’t’ is something less profound than your
will; it is perversity, or obstinacy, and they are never in
agreement with God. The profound thing in man is his will, not sin.
Will is the essential element in God’s creation of man: sin is a
perverse disposition which entered into man.
In a regenerated man
the source of will is almighty, “For it is God which worketh in you
both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” You have to work out
with concentration and care what God works in; not work your own
salvation, but work it out, while you base resolutely in unshaken
faith on the complete and perfect Redemption of the Lord.
As you do this, you do not bring an opposed will to God’s
will, God’s will is your will, and your natural choices are along the line of God’s
will, and the life is as natural as breathing. God is the source of
your will, therefore you are able to work out His will. Obstinacy is
an unintelligent ‘wadge’ that refuses to be enlightened; the only
thing is for it to be blown up with dynamite, and the dynamite is
obedience to the Holy Spirit.
Do I believe that Almighty God is the source of my will? God not
only expects me to do His will, but He is in me to do it.
When He has come
(November 19th )
"And when He is come, He will convict
the world of sin..." John 16:8 (R.V.).
God does forgive, but it cost the rending of His heart in
the death of Christ to enable Him to do so. The great miracle of the
grace of God is that He forgives sin, and it is the death of Jesus
Christ alone that enables the Divine nature to forgive and to remain
true to itself in doing so.
It is shallow nonsense to say that God
forgives us because He is love. When we have been convicted of sin
we will never say this again. The love of God means Calvary, and
nothing less; the love of God is spelt on the Cross and nowhere
else. The only ground on which God can forgive me is through the
Cross of my Lord. There, His conscience is satisfied.
"For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation." 2 Cor. 7:10
Conviction of sin is best portrayed in the words—
‘My sins, my sins, my Saviour.
How sad on Thee they fall.’
Conviction of sin is one of the rarest things that ever strikes a
man. It is the threshold of an understanding of God. Jesus Christ
said that when the Holy Spirit came He would convict of sin, and
when the Holy Spirit rouses a man’s conscience and brings him into
the presence of God, it is not his relationship with men that
bothers him, but his relationship with God—“against Thee, Thee only,
have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight.” Conviction of sin,
the marvel of forgiveness, and holiness are so interwoven that it is
only the forgiven man who is the holy man, he proves he is forgiven
by being the opposite to what he was, by God’s grace.
always brings a man to this point: ‘I have sinned.’ The surest sign
that God is at work is when a man says that and means it. Anything
less than this is remorse for having made blunders, the reflex
action of disgust at himself.
The entrance into the Kingdom is through the panging pains of
repentance crashing into a man’s respectable goodness; then the Holy
Ghost, Who produces these agonies, begins the formation of the Son
of God in the life. The new life will manifest itself in conscious
repentance and unconscious holiness, never the other way about. The
bedrock of Christianity is repentance. Strictly speaking, a man
cannot repent when he chooses; repentance is a gift of God. The old
Puritans used to pray for ‘the gift of tears.’ If ever you cease to
know the virtue of repentance, you are in darkness. Examine yourself
and see if you have forgotten how to be sorry.
My goal is God
Himself, not joy nor peace;
Nor even blessing,
but Himself, my God.
'Tis His to lead
me there, not mine but His...
At any cost, dear
Lord, by any road.
By Frederick Brook
See the rest of this wonderful
Who shapes our conscience
A Taste of Blood: Human nature without a moral