John Hagee - Conscience and Guidance
What is Conscience? Conscience is a God-given instrument so that we can determine right from wrong in a spiritual matter. Conscience is the lamp of God, saying, this is the way: walk in it. Conscience doesn't say, well, I need 4.000 people saying, "This is the way". You only need the Word of God to lead you, to say, "This is the way". Conscience is the compass of the soul. Conscience is God's umpire that's in your heart. And when you violate the law of God, your conscience hounds you. It will turn your posturepedic bed into a bed of hot coals. Your conscience will do that.
A quiet conscience can sleep in thunder. A clear conscience is like a mighty fortress in the day of battle. What made Adam and eve hide from God in the garden? Conscience. They knew he said don't eat this forbidden fruit. They did it, and they ran, and they hid. Why? Because conscience let them know they had displeased the Lord. What made king David cry out saying, "Have mercy upon me, o God... Do not take your Holy Spirit from me"? Conscience did that. What made Pilate's wife, when Jesus appeared before her husband, go to her husband, and say, "Have nothing to do with this just man"? Conscience did that.
What made Judas scream, "I have betrayed innocent blood"? Conscience did that. What made Peter weep after he denied Jesus Christ three times, Peter who just a few hours before told Jesus, I will die for you? And then when push came to shove, he denied him before an 18-year-old girl. He rolled up and produced his credentials as a spiritual coward. Conscience tormented him until he was forgiven by the Lord. With some people, a clear conscience is nothing but a poor memory. Thank God for your conscience. Before radar, before sonar, before there was a compass that read north, God placed a conscience in your soul. Ignore it and you will destroy yourself. Ignore it and you will destroy your marriage. You will destroy your children. We will destroy our nation.
Let me tell you something. America needs to rediscover our conscience! The development of your conscience is learned. Listen to David: I will instruct you and teach you in the way. I will guide you with my eye. In times past, I have asked the Lord, why do your children so often miss the will of God? Why do they suffer so needlessly? Why can't they stand in the winner's circle like Solomon? Why can't they reach their divine perfection and destiny? And the Lord gave me this answer: they do not allow me to teach them how to follow me, how to listen to me, how to instinctively obey my word.
Several years after that, Matthew and I were bird hunting in Mississippi on a ranch owned by the president of an oil company. And he had purchased a big, beautiful, black labrador retriever. I'm a dog lover, but this dog was just magnificent. And the dog was a world champion retriever. And the trainer was telling us just how good that dog was. I said, all right. Let's see just how good your dog is. And so he put the dog's head in the door - and I said, why are you doing that? - looking into the car. He said, because I don't want this dog to see where I'm going.
He got in the car with a buoy, went about a hundred-yards to the right, drove over the hill beyond the lake, and threw that buoy in the water. We couldn't see him. He came back. He was a half a mile away. And then he came back to the dog and he turned the dog loose. And the dog looked up at him, and he said, and that dog turned around and took off running. And after about 300 yards, not seeing anything, he stopped and looked back at his owner. And the owner said, and he turned around and ran as hard as he could get till he got to the top of the hill. He hadn't found it, so he'd look around. And he just keep going.
And on one occasion, he said, this way. And that dog just kept running, watching his hand. When his hand stopped, he stopped. And then he'd, and he disappeared. And in about five minutes, that dog appeared on the top of that little ridge with that buoy in his mouth. I would not have believed that had I not seen that. And the Lord said, if you could get people to follow me like that doggy follows that man, what a wonderful, wonderful world we would have. Knowing the Lord and following the Lord are two different things. Give the Lord praise in the house.
Did you hear what I just said? Knowing the Lord and following the Lord are two different things. God can forgive your sins, but he has to teach you how to follow him. God knows what you're looking for. He knows how to guide you to your destiny. He knows where your new husband is. That's for those of you who are looking for one, by the way. I hope the one sitting beside you is good enough. He knows where finances can be found for your new business venture. He knows where's the answer for your physical health. He knows how to help you find peace of mind. He knows how to take you by streams of living water in the desert of your days. He will guide you with his eye. You will hear a word behind you, saying, this is the way: walk in it.
When you get in paths of righteousness, everything just starts going right. It doesn't matter what's going on around you: you have absolute peace. Our intellect, our stubborn flesh always wants to do its thing. But when you hear the Word of God and the Spirit of God within you saying, "Stop, stop," instantly stop until you know exactly where you're going. Some of you are running in physical circles, searching for answers. If I could run real fast, I'd show you just how that looks.
Isaiah 30:15, write that down. In quietness shall be your strength. Say that with me, in quietness shall be your strength. I have a special chair out on my back porch. When I really get in a spiritual battle, I go out there, turn off the phone, lock the doors, and just wait until I hear from the Lord. I don't talk to anybody. I don't want to talk to anybody. I want to hear from the Lord. And when I hear, I mean there's a divine click that happens in my spirit. And I see what I have never seen, because in the supernatural, you can solve a problem much more readily than you can with your own intellect.
There have been days I sat down, I said, God, I don't know what to do. And I would sit there for the better part of an hour. And then, bang! Instantly, I saw the answer, got up, and executed it, and it produced a harvest that has made this ministry grow from day one. Not because of the preacher, but because we are following a divine shepherd who knows the way. Follow him. Follow him. Follow him! Give him praise in the house of God!
David writes: be not as the horse or the mule - it would be good for you just to say that. Say it with me, be not as the horse or the mule. I can see some of you, mawha? Mawha? It's in there. It's for everybody - whose mouth must be held with a bit and bridle. You see I have one right here. This is Matthew. Matthew is a master horseman. But this is something that they put in the mouths of a horse that weighs 1500 pounds, 2000 pounds, and may feel frisky and independent of the will of its rider. So they just put this bar right here, this metal bar, and this is inside the mouth of the horse. And all they have to do to make 2000 pounds of power and flesh stop is just, and suddenly they stop, because they've got steel on both sides and metal inside.
If you feel God speaking to you from time to time, saying, you know, Mary Sue, I hadn't been able to get your attention lately. Billy Bob, I've got something I want for you. I've tailor-made it in heaven by the equine forces of heaven. And I'm going to put this on you for a few weeks. And every time you get off the trail, and that's why those horses ride with their head up, because they're trying to get this thing out of the edge of their mouth. You say, oh, God doesn't do that. He does. He's got it right here in the Bible. Be not as the horse or the mule that has to have one of these things, because he's not doing the will of the owner.
God is saying to his church, if you would just follow me: it's so painless. But in case you think your physical man is going to override me, I'm going to give you of these tailor-made horse and bridles here. I'd like for somebody to write a song about this. You probably can't do it in three or four words, so it won't happen. But this would be a great, a great instrument of learning. When God tries to reach you through your conscience, and your stubborn flesh refuses to hear his voice, God gets that out. The problem is God has a lot of children who are mule-headed and going through life singing Frank Sinatra's song, "I did it my way". I did it my way now this is called stubbornness.
Stubbornness destroys marriages. Stubbornness destroys friendships. Stubbornness destroys opportunities to prosper. Stubbornness is mule-headedness. Well, what's wrong about that? Well 1 Samuel 15:23 says: stubbornness is as idolatry. Say that with me, stubbornness is as idolatry. Why? Who is a stubborn person? A stubborn person is someone who will not change his mind in the presence of truth. Why? Because that person worships his opinion more than he believes the truth of God's word. He believes his thoughts transcend the thoughts of God. He thinks his will is greater than the will of God. He believes his little Ph.D. is greater than the Creator of heaven and earth.
God just reaches over and pulls. Oh! If you would walk in the way, what a beautiful thing it would be? But if you don't, God's not in heaven saying, oh, my goodness: I don't know what I'll do. I'll just get old blanket head down there and pull him one more time. Five hindrances to hearing from God: one is sin. Sin will short circuit your prayers. Psalm 66:18: if I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. What is sin? The Bible says: to him that knoweth to do right and doeth it not, to him it is sin. When your conscience says, stop! Stop! Stop! Stop! And you just keep going...
Sight... Americans have been mastered by television. I listened to an orthodox Jewish father just this week. He has five children in his home. He said, "I don't have television in my home". He said, "The pornography on television is just off the charts and it's not going to defile my children". Wow. Think about that. Conscience screams, turn it off! And the flesh says, turn it back on. Turn it off! Turn it back on. Turn it off! Turn it back on. And if you just keep on doing it, the conscience gets less, and the voice gets less, and less, and less. And finally, you don't hear it anymore, because your conscience is seared and you've lost contact with God. You're on your own. And some of you are there. Some of you are there. Sight, feeling...
A couple were just married. They walked down the aisle of the church. And the young man looked at his bride, and said, I don't feel married. She said, you better adjust your feelings, mister: you are married. You don't feel saved? There's not a verse in the Bible that says, "When you feel saved, you are saved". The Bible says: for by grace are you saved through faith... It is the gift of God. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. If you've received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, he is the Lord of your life. It has no bearing on how you feel! Faith is the victory that overcomes the world. Do not let the prince of darkness manipulate your feelings, manipulate your thoughts until you lose the relationship you have with the Lord. Kick him out of your thoughts!
Hindrance in hearing God's word. When you're looking for direction, you can get a voice from three different directions. One, yourself. You have an opinion about everything, so you can get it from yourself. Secondly, you can get it from the Spirit of God, which is the spiritual man. Thirdly, you can get it from a demon spirit. I've heard people say, well I saw this bright light and I know that God was in it. The Bible says satan is an angel of light. Just because you saw a bright light does not mean you're seeing truth. You better make sure what comes out of the mouth of that bright light measures up to the Word of God.
If you hear a voice, if you hear a person, if you hear a group of people start telling you something that you cannot confirm by the Word of God, run! Run! The Bible says: thou shall not bear false witness. If you're not an eyewitness, you are a false witness. That's the Bible principle. If you are not an eyewitness, you didn't see it: you shouldn't be talking about it.
Let's talk about taste now. You've just eaten a massive supper, and you're eating your fourth bowl of blue bell ice cream. And your conscience says, put it down. And your flesh said, just one more bite. Put it down. One more bite. Put it down. One more bite. There's really no difference in the foodaholic and an alcoholic: you just have different addictions.
Let's talk about touch. Lady, you go to the mall just to shop. You shop like you're on a mission from God. And the salesman said, you need this full-length mink coat. Touch it. Aaah. Doesn't it feel good? You need this, he says. Conscience says, you're swimming in debt right now, sweetheart. You don't need this mink coat in San Antonio. It's 95 degrees in the winter in the shade. The flesh says, hey, if you give up foolish things like food, cars, house, you can do it. What do you do? You put it back on the shelf if you're listening to the spiritual man. Or you take it home and hide it in the back of your closet from your husband. And some day in the distant future when it's down to as low as 50 degrees, you pull it out. And your husband says, where did that come from? Oh, I've had it a long time. It's been here a long time. Hello! Hearing from God.
Traditions... Jesus said: you have made the traditions of your father greater than the commandments of God. Jesus healed on the sabbath day, which was Friday. And the pharisee says, you have a tradition that God cannot heal on the sabbath day. Jesus healed the blind man by mixing spittle and dirt to make mud. If Jesus came to San Antonio, and put mud in his hand made with spittle, and someone was healed by it, in a month, we would be having pastoral seminars on how much dirt do you mix with how much spittle. What's the ratio? Two-thirds to one-third? Do you anoint the right eye first or the left eye first? Do you always wash in the pool of Siloam before or after the healing?
And that is the God's truth. If we can find a method that will produce something supernatural without getting God in the mix, we're ready to do it. Let me tell you something. Until God shows up, nothing supernatural is going to happen. Until the Holy Spirit is Lord of that service, nothing is going to happen. You can have a lot of enthusiasm without the anointing of the Holy Spirit being there. Listen closely. Your own strength can keep you from hearing from God. Strength can be a weakness for some people. They say, oh, I'm talented, I'm smart, I've been in the church for years, I have money, powerful friends. It's hard for you to hear from God because you think you know everything.
Let me tell you none of us in this room know anything. God can put you in the baptist hospital in 30 minutes in a full body cast. And then as you're staring up at the ceiling, you said, I think maybe God's trying to speak to me now. Really? The lack of sensitivity will keep you from hearing from God. As many as are led by the Spirit, these are the sons of God. Say that. Say it with me, as many that are led by the Spirit, these are the sons of God. The text, I will guide you with my eye.
How many of you are married long enough that you and your wife can walk into a room, and you can look at your wife, and you're saying, "Let's leave," and you haven't opened your mouth? How many of you have that? Uh-hum. The rest of you are not married that long. The Bible: do not be as the mule who must have the bit in his mouth. Be sensitive to God. Listen to God.
Pretense in prayer can keep you from hearing from God. Pretense in prayer can keep you from hearing from God. Christians can pray a lie. That's the best way to say that. They can pray a lie. It goes like this: O Lord, I thank you that I have the victory. The truth is your marriage is as dead as Julius Caesar. The bill collectors are standing on your front porch three deep. Your son's in jail. Your daughter just ran off and married the village idiot. Your car was repossessed and you were in it.
The answer is, o God, not much is going right in my life. I need your leadership. I know I've been stealing my tithes and offerings. I know I'm going to get things a little better. And God says, that's not all you're going to get. I'm going to put this on you for a few days. I'm going to really get your attention. When all that stubbornness gets out of you, you're going to be glad to hear my voice. You're going to be glad to obey me.
The man was found in the cemetery kneeling on the grave, and he was sobbing, why did you die? Why did you die? My life was so good until you died. If only you had lived, what a wonderful life I would have! The chaplain came by and said, was this someone special? He said, special? I'll say! This was my wife's first husband. What's the point? The point is you can get what you want and not want what you got. Think about that. Stand to your feet. How many of you in this room are seeking guidance from the Lord right now in a special area of your life? Let me see your hand right where you are. Wow! That's at least 90%. Follow me in this prayer:
Heavenly Father, today I accept your guidance, heart, soul, mind, and body. Let my physical man be conquered by the spiritual conscience led of the Holy Spirit. Let me follow your word: that I may walk in paths of righteousness. Let me be still until I know God's perfect answer. I want to do your will, o God. Lead me. Lead me, in Jesus' name, I receive your guidance, in Jesus' name. Amen.