So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man. Acts 24:16
It’s easy to get distracted when driving, particularly on a long trip on long, boring highways. But even on back country roads, the beauty around, the deer out in the field, and many other things can take our focus off of the road. Part of the attempt to help distracted drivers (or sleepy drivers!) was to place rumble strips on the right side of road to keep us from running off the road into a ditch. It encourages us to steer back into the middle of our lane. There are even some two lane/two way roads that have rumble strips placed between the two lanes to keep us from sliding into oncoming traffic, which would be far more devastating perhaps than driving into a ditch.
God has also placed ‘rumble strips’ along our way to keep us spiritually safe. They include His Word, the Holy Spirit, our conscience and fellow believers. If we want to use the analogy fully, we could say that the right side ‘rumble strips’ warn us of dangers to ourselves such as impure thoughts, harmful habits, immoral lifestyles, and foolish compromises. The middle-lane rumbles strips warn us of dangers to others (as well as to ourselves – head-on accidents). Among those would be things such as anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language (Colossians 3:6).
How serious is God about His Word? He has put the “rumble strips” there for a purpose. One writer says, “If we tell someone that the writings of the apostles (by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) are not to be taken seriously, we place a question mark where God as placed a period.” This puts both “drivers” in serious danger. The Bible gives us clear instruction about how to get on and stay on the highway to Heaven. As we make our way along the narrow path walking with Jesus, let us pay attention to where God’s ‘rumble strips’ are, and when we hear the warnings from His Word, from the Holy Spirit, from our conscience or from a fellow believers, let’s pay attention and steer away from the edge that leads to destruction and get back in step with Jesus. That’s when, as Paul put it in our verse today, our conscience will be clear before God and man.