DO = Doctrinal Organization- I use this instead of Church. Because I know of no church in the sense that God Intended.
Servant = what DOs would term a Christian. I believe our purpose on this earth is to serve God. Nothing else.
HS = Holy Spirit
The conscience is how God speaks to us. On the blog Wendy quoted saying that the conscience is to convict, comfort, and to guide us to the truth. She is absolutely correct, God couldn't put it any better himself. (just a hint at my humor, that was a joke because it was God that put it that way) The biggest thing that people want to know is "What would God have me do?" There are two things that he provided to help us know that. The first is the bible . Now here is the rub, when it was said 2,000 years ago to 12 people in the room, was is just for those people, or was it for everyone? DOs love to pick an choose those and tell you what you have to do if you want God to approve of you. Well that brings us to the second thing that God gave us to know his will, the Conscience. We have all suffered from a guilty conscience and normally that is all we know the conscience does. But, the moment you chose to follow God, an overwhelming since of Joy, Peace, Warmth, Love, Understanding, came over you. That was the Holy Spirit saying, "Welcome, new servant of God. Welcome to the fold." That is the comfort that the bible is talking about. When you feel God's arms around you making you feel safe, that is the conscience at work. The last is the connection to God. For I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life. Jesus sacrifice allowed the Truth to be given to every man. Who or much better yet, what is the TRUTH. The Truth is the Holy Spirit. The HS is what guides the conscience of a man or woman. Those who have no conscience have basically decided they are not going to listen to God ever. When you pray, the HS will answer in your conscience, you must just be willing to listen to it.
God will also use the HS to test you through the conscience. Knowing God's will normally comes from a peace on a decided course of action. What if that peace will not come. That is where the test comes in. You will never see it when it is happening. But may recognize it after it is gone. Let me relate a personal tale from this last year. With circumstances beyond our control, our family ended up needing about $200-$250 dollars every month to make the ends meet. This started in February last year. In March, we had no idea of how we were going to keep food on the table, or clothes on our backs. When all of the sudden, a check showed up from my Grandfather for $250. April, a check from sister for $200. May, a check from her brother (not a servant) $250. June, needed to get my car fixed, my brother loaned me the money, then ask for $200 dollars less than I borrowed to be repaid. July, fridge broke, parents offered to pay up to $500 to get it fixed. We had done our taxes and were going to get money back. Told my parents we did not need the money. Fridge cost $250 they sent $500. Then we found out an error had occurred on our taxes, and the money was delayed. We didn't know, but God did. August, other car broke, $660, no money in the bank. Tax return came in the day we had to pay and pick it up. Through this whole time, with all of the praying, "God you have me where you want me, its your problem, you work it out." I had no peace about the situation. But for the seven months we went through, we never missed paying a bill on time. The tax return was big enough that we did not have to worry for a while. Then looking back, I noticed who had helped, when, and why. Once a month, almost on the same day every month, God had a check there waiting on us. Then I recognized it for what it was. A test of faith, "will you rely on me?" I had many job offers during this time, they would have Clearly helped my financial situation. But did not take them, because they were not where God wanted me. For my obedience I was rewarded with the comfort that no matter what happens, my God is with me, and will take care of me.
Onward. Listening to the HS is a difficult thing at first. WHY? Because he asks you to do strange things, and you do not know why you do them, you just have to. So, most people tune that part of themselves out. What are some of the things that I have done? Stepped ahead in line and made up around $4-$5 dollars someone was missing in the checkout line in front of me. 2 groups of people in front of me, that I had to fight through to get there. But the person took the help. Would you have unless you really needed it. I normally pay absolutely no attention to the people ahead of me in the checkout line. Can't tell you what ANY of them ever looked like. Then he had me pick up the old lady drunk, and buy her beer. What was that all about. With my four year old son in the car. Talk about uncomfortable. Are you willing to listen this closely? Are you willing to stand up in front of 300 people, in a special gathering and start doubling numbers with no one in the room knowing what you are doing, not even your wife. 1,2,4,8,16,32,64,128,256,512,1024,2048,4096,8192, my grandfather got to 100,000 something before he sat down. That was the second time he tried it. The night before he couldn't take the embarrassment and sat down before 100. When people say "we are willing to follow God", are you truly willing to listen, and obey instantly. No matter what. If not, the communication with the HS gets smaller and smaller.
If you are NOT truly willing, why would God talk to you? Especially if you are not going to listen.
Knowing whether you are feeling conviction or breaking another's expectations is the next section. When you think about the conviction you are receiving, are you saying, God I am sorry. Or are you thinking, what will the people at the DO think if they find out about this? If it is God's conviction, there will probably be fewer thoughts about the DO than not following God. Now if you are always thinking :What will pastor say?" Reevaluate your faith, because it is not about what pastor thinks, it is about what Jesus our Judge thinks. If you are not focused on him, then you have not TRULY given yourself to him. I digress. The conviction of the spirit is there pretty much always making you miserable all the time until the conviction is taken care of. Like Jon said of his thought life with his wife. If it is not of God, but disappointing some one else, when you stop thinking about how that person will be disappointed, then you feel just fine and it doesn't matter. But learn to listen to both, and know which is which. Because sometimes the disappointing of a person, by not being honest, lying, etc.. will cause God to come down on you, and until you make it right with that person, your conscience will continue to bother you. Just pray and ask God to reveal to you what it is. And the LISTEN even if you do not like the answer.
When do you know it is God that is talking, and not something else? Just some lamebrained scheme. Well, the peace and comfort of God lead to the TRUTH. I read the cross and the switchblade the other day. David Wilkerson is a good person to read about following the HS immediately. When you have an idea in your head that won't go away, and you do not feel at peace except when you are following that idea, that is the HS. When you pray that you have some great need, even though it has not been met yet, you feel peace. That is God saying, it has already been taken care of. You can worry if you want, but it is a waste of time. I've got you. That is the HS. MANY Pastors will not put much stock in this. It screws with their DOCTRINE that they believe to be true. Ignore that, because when you stand in front of Jesus on the day of Judgment, you will not be able to say, "well pastor so and so said it was fine." If you think Jesus is going to buy that, I've got something to sell you. You are responsible for your own faith, and if you disobey God, he will know, and you will have to answer for it. Not anyone else.
This is where the call for verses that this idea of mine came from, well, my reading retention is below 17% and I do not remember chapter and verse, never will. God made me that way for a reason. Don't know why, I just obey.