Spiritual Weapons, Part V: A Good Conscience

Sun

Spiritual Warfare

The five Amorite kings with their armies fled in terror down the descent of Beth-horon.  Their defeat at Gibeon at the hand of Joshua had been humiliating enough, but their cowardice turned to terror as suddenly they were besieged with hailstones which bruised and beat the falling men as they vainly tried to cover themselves with their shields.

“We’ll escape under cover of darkness,” they thought.  “Joshua and the Children of Israel cannot pursue us at night!”

But gradually an awesome realization came upon them, a perception that caused many hearts to fail for fear.

Darkness was not coming.  The sun had ceased its journey across the skies of Gibeon, and the moon rested over the vale of Aijalon.

“It is a great God who fights for Israel!”

Faith and a Good Conscience

Writing to Timothy , the Apostle Paul says,

This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, keeping [holding on to] faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. (I Timothy 1:18-19)

The two spiritual weapons in this passage are Faith and a Good Conscience, and Paul says that with these weapons we may war a good warfare in spiritual battles.

In the latest article in the Biblical Mysteries Revealed blog,we considered the first of these two weapons, the weapon of Faith.  What faith it must have taken Joshua to speak to the sun and moon, commanding them to cease from their endless journeys.   In this article, we will consider the weapon of a Good Conscience, asking that the Holy Spirit reveal His purpose for this weapon  to us personally.

A Good Conscience

What is a good conscience?  Those who have a good conscience have laid bare their hearts before the Lord in confession and repentance.  It means there is no person they cannot speak to openly and in love.  Also those who have a good conscience are not spiteful towards any person because they have both forgiven and also sought forgiveness, seeking no vengeance or recompense.  A good conscience also means that no known areas of habitual sin exist in their lives, as they continue to hear God’s voice of conviction and seek to walk in His forgiveness.

But it is important to recognize that such people who have a good conscience are not constantly focused on sin, nor are they “sin-centered.”  Having no consciousness of sin, on the contrary, they are focused on the redemption, freedom, and liberty they enjoy, having been set free from the power of sin.

Such people live their lives based on the grace of God, Who has given them the righteousness of Christ Jesus, having clothed them in His robes.

Do those with a good conscience ever sin?  Yes, but when they do, they immediately receive the cleansing of Christ’s blood, a cleansing that comes by faith, as a result of confessing and being purged of all unrighteousness.  They then ask to be re-filled with the Holy Spirit and continue to walk in the power of God.

Reading and meditating on the Tenth Chapter of the Book of Hebrews, we find that those who are truly cleansed should have no more consciousness, or awareness, of sin in their lives.  In this passage we learn that the Law of the Old Covenant was unable to make the Israelites perfect, for every year they had to repeat the same sacrifices for sin:

For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.  Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins?  (Hebrews 10:2)

Through the sacrifice of Jesus, however, we learn in this passage that we have full access to the power of God over sin.  His sacrifice was a perfect sacrifice, which means that we should have no more awareness, or “consciousness,” of sin.

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.   (Hebrews 10:19-22)

The Power of a Good Conscience

Why is a good conscience a powerful spiritual weapon?  The Apostle John says that by truly loving others, we can resist the lies of the enemy, the “accuser of the brethren,” who tells us that we are unworthy or ungodly.

Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.  (I John 3:18-20)

Consequently, with a good conscience we may boldly come before the Lord to seek His help and power, seeking His response to all our petitions and prayers:

Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.  (I John 3:21-22)

If we keep the Lord’s commandments, which in the context of these verses mean to “believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another,” then we will have a good conscience.  This is the standing we have in Christ before God, all the more powerful if  we are able simply to reject the accusations and condemnations of the enemy.  As Paul says,

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.  (Romans 8:1-2 KJV)

If there is no condemnation, there is neither anything the accuser of the brethren, who is Satan, may bring against us.  We may just as confidently say as Jesus did, “The ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me” (John 14:30).

Joshua

Drawing Near To God

Let us draw near to God with a true heart in full assurance of faith, therefore, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience.

Do you remember when you were a child how you used to try to please your parents right when you were about to have a birthday?  How, on the other hand, you would not have dared asked for anything just after you had been sent to your room?

Let us recognize that we have a heavenly Father, however, Whose great desire it is to give us the Kingdom!  Whose promises are always answered with a yes and an amen!

There is tremendous assurance in this promise, especially when it comes to engaging in spiritual warfare with the enemy of our souls or asking God to meet the needs of others.

Holding faith and a good conscience, Joshua not only successfully defeated his enemies, but also assisted his allies under the full power and blessings of God.

I will continue to reveal more spiritual weapons in upcoming articles.

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