Who is on your Shoulders?

Please read John 16:5-11

If you are over the age of 40 you will remember how cartoons would use the “good angel” vs “bad angel” on the cartoon character’s shoulders for influence in a given situation.   The “good angel” would speak sense to them and try and convince them to do what was right.  The “bad angel” however, would use various tactics to try and gain the attention to the wrong and make it look like the best decision.   This “bad angel” always had a selfish, self serving motive in trying to get them to take part in the wrong decision. I can remember as a kid thinking that was crazy, but in the cartoons it was funny.

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt as if it was true?  That there was “someone” whispering to you to do one thing and then feeling the influence to do something totally opposite?  It is’t so funny is it? There are times when that happens that we know that someone could be hurt, that it is just plain wrong, or that the cost for making the wrong decision will never go away and it will only bring permanent consequence.

Satan and his influences are all around us, there is no whisper on a shoulder in life.  The TV, Magazines, Internet, and society in general is become more and more permeated with acceptance for the things that are just plain wrong.   Not only are they wrong because of the instructions we are given for moral living in the Bible, but wrong on all levels of basic humanity.    Movies that make affairs “romantic”, or make a mass murder a mystery when really it wasn’t, it was a tragedy that someone lived out!    It was the loss of many lives at the hands of someone overtaken with evil robbing people of family and leaving them broken for the rest of their lives.   And we choose to accept that as entertainment.  That is just the tip of the iceburg isn’t it? We don’t have to go and look or listen to the influence of the “bad angel” he is prowling around at every turn.

Once you have asked Jesus into your life and accepted the salvation He so freely offers, the Holy Spirit comes to live in you.  Dwell in you.   We don’t need to listen for the “good angel” when we have the one true God living within us in the form of the Holy Spirit.   He speaks good into our lives and convicts us of the things we are tempted to do wrong.   In the verses I have suggested to read today, verse 8 says

“And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: ” John 16:8

He convicts our hearts of things that are wrong and we know before we make that decision what is right and wrong.  I am sure if you are like me at all, there are times you have just jumped into a situation and made a decision that you KNOW you are going to regret.  That you KNOW is wrong.  That you KNOW could hurt someone or cause rippling damage; yet we do it anyway.   Why do we KNOW?   When you have the Holy Spirit within, you can be sure He will pour into you to convict you of the things that are wrong in your life.  God loves us so much that He gave the Holy Spirit to walk this life with us, to help us through conviction to avoid the wrong choice and , to guide us but then, just like the cartoon character, we need to make the decision.   Right or Wrong?

Sure, there are times we make a decision that we didn’t know was wrong and we have to walk the path of learning how to either live with the decision, or find ways to make the situation right.   Either then or when we have jumped in, we need to do what is important in all relationships…. talk to God about it.  Apologies are one of the biggest relationship builders for both sides.  It is an act of love.  Asking God to forgive our choices is part of that apology to Him.  And many times those decision mean an apology to ones around us need to be made too.  Then, we need to learn from what has happened.   If it has life time consequences, then we must face them and rely on the Holy Spirit to help us through that and continually ask Him for His strength and wisdom.

So, don’t go looking for the “good angel” on your shoulder, because if you love Jesus and have Him as your Saviour, you need never doubt His presence.  He is ALWAYS there. (I have issue with songs these days that speak of inviting Him to be present, He already is!.. that thought for another day)   As for the “bad angel”, you need to work hard to avoid situations where he is speaking and tempting and desensitizing.  Fight back with songs of praise in your heart, time spent in God’s word and quiet prayer asking for God to hold you up and give you the strength that can only come from Him.   Pray and ask God to make your conscious ‘sharp’, so that when tempted you will feel the sting before the decision to fall into the temptation can even be made.  You don’t need to look to your shoulders like the carton characters did, look to your heart then listen through the heart of love and faith in God with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Love, Hugs n ‘ Prayers


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