When you’re in need of advice or direction, whose counsel or instruction do you most often follow? Your own? A spouse, family member, or friend? Someone on TV, information gleaned from the Internet, or someone whose blog you follow? At times others, especially those who are experts in their fields, can give good, solid advice that is worth following; however, before we seek the counsel of others, we need to first seek God’s counsel, trusting Him to lead us to the right human source(s) if needed. In this study, I want us to take time to consider what God’s word says about seeking God’s counsel first.
“Make me know Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me. For You are the God of my salvation. For You, I wait all the day.” Psalm 25:4
“Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in justice, and He teaches the humble His way.” Psalm 25:8-9
“Who is the man who fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.” Psalm 25:12
“Teach me, Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.” Psalm 86:11
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things (those things we need) will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
God makes it clear through His word that for those who seek His counsel, for those who come to Him first for instruction, He will guide and instruct according to His will and plan. The problem is, all too often we doubt God’s faithfulness, or fear His plan may run contrary to ours, or we simply allow ourselves to be sucked in by the clamor of the world, so that even as Christians, we fail to seek after the only counsel that will ultimately matter. Even if following the advice of someone else initially produces results or ends in success, if their counsel is not based on the firm foundation of God’s word, in time what we have accomplished will be as naught. It may look good to the world, but if our accomplishments do not produce eternal fruit, it is as nothing.
(Jesus says) “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Oh, sure, lots of people are busy making a name for themselves, and from a human perspective, appear to be successful; but if their fruit is not rooted in the true Vine, who is Jesus Christ, in the end . . . it will be of no value.
Finally, be careful of decisions that need to be made in haste. If you don’t have time to seek the Lord’s counsel, that in itself may be good reason to step back and reconsider what it is you’re getting ready to do. Granted, there are life situations that arise when time is of the essence and there is limited opportunity to stop and pray, but those should be few and far between. Better yet, be one who is so consistently walking with God, day by day seeking His face, His ways and His counsel, that should a hasty decision be needed, you will be able to rightfully discern God’s will even in a moment’s notice.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your way straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things that don’t really matter.” Francis Chan
Now at my bungalow retreat, where I depict country living, bungalow-style through words and pictures: Butterfly Kisses. www.bungalowretreat.com