The Holy Spirit Guides
Acts 24:16 Therefore I always exercise and discipline myself (mortifying my body, deadening my carnal affections, bodily appetites, and worldly desire, endeavoring in all respects) to have a clear conscience, void of offense toward God and toward men. It’s critical to keep your conscience clear because nothing will keep you from enjoying life as much as guilt.
This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men. (Acts 24:16 NKJV edition) Same verses, just different renditions, and this one seems easier to understand for me.
Joshua 24:14 Put away gods, idols, and fear the Lord.
In Acts, Paul said that he pursued discipline and avoided worldly desires so that he could walk blameless and guilt-free before God and others. The same applies to us. Wordly desires can easily be turned into idols, things we crave, desire, seek, and lead into all sorts of danger. Food…obesity, diabetes, gluttony; money…hoarding, over-spending, not saving, wastefulness; immorality…sexual diseases, sin, not treating your body as a temple belonging to God, shame. Well, you get the idea…
Anytime, we are choosing something that is not the best for us—whether it be bakery items or some other sweets for me (my biggest downfall), or spending money on frivolous things we don’t NEED, whether it be clothing, house décor, or whatever, if we don’t need it, it may be something the Holy Spirit is quietly warning us not to do. And we need to pay attention to those quiet promptings.
Discernment is spiritual understanding, and it’s the key to living with a clear conscience. It takes practice, but it simply involves paying attention to your heart. God will let you know when you shouldn’t do something that will bring guilt later on.
Don’t do things you know you shouldn’t, and rely on God’s discernment when you’re facing an issue you’re not sure about. He will never lead you wrong. I can certainly relate many times I chose to ignore the urging to not do something, and the regretted it, and too bad, so sad, I’d made the mistaken commitment and was now stuck with those consequences of that decision. At times, it’s been costly; maybe not financially, maybe just in my regard of myself and what I sacrificed personally making a wrong decision. Regret is not a comfort to cuddle with at all. And I’ve only experienced the wretchedness of guilt and awful loss when I’ve ignored, followed my own will, and then had no way to reverse my decision. Yeah, regret is not comfortable.
So examine your heart before you make a financial commitment, a personal commitment, another kind of decision that will cost you (such as bakery products while dieting and you buy 4!). The Holy Spirit is with you and will try to guide you. But you MUST listen and obey in order to have no regret after. We don’t grow in our walk with Him if we ignore the Holy Spirit prodding and guidance, and chose to follow the temptations of the “evil one.”
Following the guidance of the Holy Spirit has helped me make more worthwhile decisions instead of regrets for “mybellaviews.”