Chapter 13 of 1 Kings in the Bible contains an interesting story which has some applications for me. There were two main characters: the man of God and an old prophet. The Lord gave the man of God a message to deliver to the king, which he did. (That took courage because it wasn’t a happy message.) The Lord also told the man of God: “You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you cam So, he obediently turned down the kings offer to eat with him, and he took another road home.
On his way, an old prophet found him and invited him to his home for a meal. The man of God repeated what the Lord had told him and refused the offer. Up to this point, he was doing well.
But then the old prophet lied and said an angel told him the Lord wanted him to bring the man of God to his home and feed him. So, the man of God went and lost his life as a result. (God mercifully provided an honorable burial for him.)
I got two lessons out of this:
- I need to follow my conscience
- I need to allow others to follow theirs.
In regard to following my own conscience, it’s good to humbly listen to what other believers have to say and take their ideas to the Lord in prayer, but ultimately, I’m responsible for following my conscience, and I’m the one that will have to deal with the consequences of my decisions.
I also need to be very careful not to stumble others into going against their conscience. I can present an idea to them to pray about, but then I should step back and keep quiet and let God direct them. God alone knows the details of a person’s life and how best to handle them. I don’t. But I know I’d feel terrible if I caused someone to make a bad decision!
So, I will strive to follow my conscience and leave the conscience of others in Gods hands!