So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward God and toward men.
The above quote is from the Apostle Paul, defending himself against the governor Felix. The above quote should describe each and every one of us. It’s really, really important. It is critical to our well being…yes, that important. We see why this way of life is so valuable in the next chapter. In Chapter 25, Paul is now appealing to to the Emperor Festus. Look at verse 7
And when he had come, the Jews who had gone down from Jerusalem stood about him bringing against him many serious charges which they could not prove.
So you have these swirling voices accusing Paul, of some serious things the Scripture says, yet they could not prove them.
I wrote a little note next that verse:
“Satan’s lies do the same things to us!”
How many times my dear sisters have the voices been churning in our minds–upsetting our stomachs, agitating our lives? I will answer that one for us all…too many times. There are not enough tally marks in the world to keep account and I’m pretty sure the average would be outrageous. Let’s go a little farther into chapter 25.
For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to indicate the charges against him.
My little note in the margin…“A prisoner without charges, that’s me sometimes.”
Are you a prisoner without charges? A crazy yardbird of a woman being held hostage by the imaginary squawk of Satan? Yeah, me too sometimes. Held tight by invisible chains wrapped so tight I can’t breathe. Satan may get the ball rolling and then, as the country song says, it’s like a snowball headed for hell.
But let’s go back to where we started, keeping a clear conscience. How do we do that?
Go to confession.
Go to confession.
And then…go to confession.
Not a scrupulous, frantic dash to knock people out of the way in the confession line because you are the worst of the worst. That’s not God either. Do not be fooled into thinking of yourself as a vile sinner unworthy of God’s merciful love. Those thoughts come straight from hell meant to keep you out of the confessional and far away from a merciful and loving God. No, I mean keep a regular date with Christ in the confessional. Write it on your calendar, and go.
You may be sweating bullets on the drive and feel a bit jittery in the line, but when you come out of that sacrament, come on…you know you love it! You just encountered Christ and He placed you in His merciful heart, the one that was split open wide to prove His death, for you, was complete. He placed you in there and He showered you and filled you up with His immense, unconditional, always merciful and waiting for you…love.
Do not let Satan try to convince you of something you are not. Stand firm in who you are…
I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ unto good works (Ephesians 2:10).
I am a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
I am more than a conqueror through Him Who loves me (Romans 8:37).
I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).
I am forgiven of all my sins and washed in the Blood (Ephesians 1:7).
And tell the devil he’s full of baloney.