“Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.”
Romans 2:14-15 NLT
A human being is an incredibly complex organism. The physical content of bone, blood, muscles and organs is amazing in itself. But when the spiritual side of us, something that no researcher or surgeon can find, remove or dissect, is added into the mix, it is somehow incredible that so many of our scientists and educationalists believe it all happened by chance. Our ability to think, to meditate, and behave, with emotions that can be so unpredictable, somehow has to be connected to a wonderful Creator God. Human behaviour is something that is least understood by our medical and mental health practitioners, and often today a pill is prescribed to “fix” a problem that has a spiritual root.
Something that God designed into His creation, human beings, was a conscience. Somehow, we are programmed with enough of God’s law to understand what is right and what is wrong. Our behaviour is therefore shaped and directed by what God has put within us. But there’s a problem. We call it sin. And we end up in an internal tussle, with our sin dragging us one way, and our consciences saying something different. Every day we face into the consequences of this struggle and it will never cease until we achieve the reality of our salvation. We will come back to this very problem later in this blog.
The Old Testament prophesied that the Old Covenant between God and His people, the Jews, was not working out as God had planned it. Though there were a small minority who perhaps claimed that they were keeping His laws, the majority weren’t. Having a set of laws invites people to live a legalistic life, but God wanted to enjoy a relationship with His people. And being a box-ticker is not being a child of God. Jeremiah prophesied what God was going to do. We read in Jeremiah 31:33, ““But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel after those days,” says the Lord. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people”“. With the benefit of hindsight, we know what happened “after those days”. God sent His Son Jesus to be our Saviour, something we are celebrating in this Christmas season.
The question for us pilgrims is this – what is the state of our hearts? Not the physical organ that pumps blood around our bodies, but that complex invisible organism within us that is our central processing unit. Where are thoughts and responses are churning away. Where are consciences are dealing with factors such as sin. Have we given up and instead have shut our spiritual life away somewhere and allowed sin to rule our days? Or are we in good spiritual health, walking hand in hand with our wonderful Heavenly Father? One of my go-to verses is 1 John 1:9, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness“. That verse wasn’t written to unbelievers but to believers. Fellow pilgrims on their journey to Heaven. Of course, we will screw up from time to time, but it is not inevitable, as we allow that God-made organism within us, our consciences, to function as they should. as we bring our thoughts and desires under God’s spotlight, He will expose any issues and help us seal with them. If we let Him.
Dear Heavenly Father. We are indeed “fearfully and wonderfully made”. And we have You to thank for that. We worship You today. Amen.