Your Key Is Still in the Ignition
"The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron."1
Some time ago I read the following story in Focus on the Family magazine about a man who bought a car that had replaced warning lights with spoken instructions from a woman.
In a soft voice, his little woman, as he called her, would say, "Your door isn't closed properly." "Your key is still in the ignition." "Your seatbelt isn't fastened properly."
On one occasion, he recalled how the voice of his little woman said, "Your fuel level is getting low."
The driver thanked her and, figuring he had sufficient fuel to take him fifty more miles, ignored the voice and kept driving. Soon his little woman repeated, "Your fuel level is low." The longer he drove, the more his little woman repeated her warning.
Getting frustrated, he stopped his car, searched under the dashboard, and found the appropriate wires. One quick jerk and his little woman was silenced.
Imagine the look on his face when, a few minutes later, his car sputtered and jerked to a standstill—out of fuel! One could almost imagine a grin on his little woman's face!
We all have a little voice within. It's called conscience. It can get very annoying at times, too. Sometimes we "pull its wires" and, too late, we discover we are "out of fuel."
One danger, when we ignore the voice of our conscience and don't live according to our convictions, is that our mind experiences what counselors call "cognitive dissonance." That is, mental disharmony. Because this is too uncomfortable to live with, we switch off our conscience.
When we do this often enough, our mind not only switches off the voice of conscience but turns up the volume on the voice of rationalization and justification.
The sad fact is that if we don't live the life we believe, we end up unhappily believing the life we live. The Bible calls this having a seared conscience. It is a dangerous and self-destructive path to follow.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to realize the danger of switching off the voice of conscience and justifying what I want to do. Please help me to live the life I believe—a life that is lived in harmony with your will and your Word. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 1 Timothy 4:1-2 (NIV).