Do you remember making a bad decision as a child that later led to a guilty conscience? We’ve all been there and have had our own experiences—it’s part of growing up. As children, values were instilled in us that taught us to do our best and be honest and respectful. The world calls that internal moral compass our conscience; however, when we study the Bible we learn that it’s really the Holy Spirit at work.
Ignoring that little voice inside of us usually causes us to make a mistake or do something we later regret. The conscience that speaks to us loud and clear about what’s right and wrong is actually the voice of God. The Scriptures tell us what role the Spirit should play in our decision-making process. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26, NKJV).
Getting get born again makes us God’s children, but we’re still spiritual infants. It takes time to spiritually mature; part of the process of maturing is learning to let the Holy Spirit lead and guide us, and lovingly tell us when we’re in error. “And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: ‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.’ If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?” (Hebrews 12:5-7, NKJV). Just like our earthly parents did when we were children, our heavenly Father corrects us in love when we make a mistake. Obeying Him helps us mature and grow up into strong Christians.
On our journey of spiritual development, it’s important to continue listening to the Holy Spirit’s prompting. With so many choices and so many paths in life we could choose, the world can dazzle us and sweep us away if we let our guard down. Decisions like which career path to choose, what friendships to forge, or how to handle everyday situations are all important. It’s always wise to seek the Spirit’s counsel, first. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).
As imperfect human beings, we can make the mistake of failing to take into account the wisdom of the Holy Ghost. We may think that we can get away with doing something immoral if no one is looking; however, someone is looking and He has 20/20 vision. “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13, NIV). As children, we learned that our parents had a way of finding out when we did something wrong. The Holy Spirit has the same ability, only much more so.
There’s plenty of tempting advice floating around in the world, but not all of it is good to follow. Diligently studying the Scriptures and letting the Holy Spirit interpret them helps us to discern lies from truth. We succeed when we let Him lead the way.