Joni shares that when we hear prompting from the Holy Spirit we need to listen and act, otherwise we fall in danger of stifling our consciences.
I've been listening to God lately. I mean really listening. The other week I asked the Lord to help me grow - I mean really grow - to a new level of confidence and trust in Him. I just wanted to see change in my life! I knew what it meant, because I've prayed that prayer before. I knew that night if I read something in the Bible that was anywhere convicting, I just knew God was going to bring it to mind the next day... and sure enough, He did.
You see, that evening I read Psalm 119 where it says, "Turn my eyes away from worthless things..." Oh great! I thought to myself. Sure enough, the next day I was on a plane heading home from a ministry trip, and I was reading Newsweek magazine. My eyes turned to an article about Congressman Mark Foley - he's the politician who was writing those nasty emails to young congressional pages? I was curious so I started reading. I didn't get two paragraphs into the article and what came to mind? You got it. That verse in Psalm 119. eooooh...But, Lord, I countered in my thinking, this is an article in Newsweek... this isn't some stupid advertisement or silly, worthless sitcom... this is politics, this is important - this is current events. But the Holy Spirit would have none of it. He kept pressing me and telling me that reading about that congressman and his antics was worthless (at least for me, maybe not for Speaker of the House, Dennis Haskert or others, but for me it was.)
Well, I looked up from the magazine and took a deep sigh. Because I knew, I knew that if I disobeyed the Spirit's prompting - no, His conviction - then the next time, the Spirit's voice would be softer and less urgent, until I might not be able to hear Him at all. I tell you, once that thought crossed my mind, I dumped the whole Newsweek magazine. No way did I want to risk either searing my conscience or softening the conviction of God's Spirit. I obeyed right then and there... and I smiled because I knew that next time the Spirit would whisper, telling me to do or not do something, I knew it would be easier, much easier to obey.
Friend, right there, that is how you grow in Christ. That is how you partner with God to transform your character and become more like Jesus. It's those small daily, drastic steps of a little obedience here and a little obedience there until - oh my goodness - you have finally become the person you have prayed to be.
Friend, when you hear good teaching on this radio station today from God's Word, expect to act on it. Don't stifle the conscience; don't suppress the Spirit. When you read the Bible, ask the Lord to make your conscience tender toward anything evil or unlovely in your life. If the Spirit whispers, "Turn off the TV and spend some time with Jesus," be sure to not only listen, but be sure to act. It's one way - the only way -- to make sure you grow in Christ.
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