Today, our devotion continues on Balance in the Christian life with this thought, “A Balanced Christian Life Will Include Brokenness.” My text is Acts 24:16, where we see “And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men.” (KJV) Here, the apostle Paul is standing before Felix being accused of the Jews to be an heretic, but instead Paul takes the opportunity to witness to all present of the glorious gospel of Christ. Our text verse is interesting in that Paul makes a statement of personal effort aimed at his conscience. A balanced Christian life will show that our conscience is a part of our life that we will not offend. In other words, we will take “great pains” or “exercise” our self to have a clear conscience toward God, our self and others.
Let me illustrate. When a believer seeks the perfect will of God for their life, prays earnestly and on the surface, yields to what God wants for them, and then God answers their prayer for direction, their conscience tells that believer, “This is the way to go, walk ye in it!” But if that believer, knowing how they prayed and seeing God’s will in answer to their prayers, turns away from that revealed will, their conscience is “offended” by their disobedience. Now they have to live day by day with the knowledge that they refused to do the will of God. They live day by day with the reality that they walked away from what God directed them to do. When a believer’s conscience is offended, it will throw their life into turmoil. Depression, anxiety, and uncertainty will plague the heart and life until that believer goes back to where they walked away from the revealed will of God, gets forgiveness and determines to do what God has shown them. This takes a brokenness to trust God in spite of fears that caused the believer to walk away in the first place. If we want a balanced Christian life, we must live this Bible truth, “not MY will, but THINE be done!” We must guard against offending our conscience.
Pastor Joey Durham