5. God speaks to me through the counsel of the saints.
The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.
Whether you are a Christian or not, there will always be people in your life willing to give you a multitude of advice. Some of it will be good advice, some of it not so good. How do you decide which advice is worthy counsel and which advice is better left unheeded?
2 Chronicles 22:3-5
He too followed the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother encouraged him to act wickedly. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, as the house of Ahab had done, for after his father’s death they became his advisers, to his undoing. He also followed their counsel when he went with Joram son of Ahab king of Israel to wage war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth Gilead.
King Ahaziah was son of Athaliah who was a granddaughter of Omri. Omri is described as the most wicked king of Israel, “more evil than all who went before him”. The apple didn’t fall very far from the tree. Ahaziah was surrounded by people who were not seeking to serve the Lord. Their focus was on themselves, what they wanted and their own pride and self satisfaction. When you read further in this account, you will see that Ahaziah was wounded in battle and then later killed along with his household.
King Ahaziah’s reward for the advice he chose to follow was destruction.
In Hebrews 10:25, God tells us not to forsake assembling together. He knows that it is important for us to come together to encourage one another. The teaching and mentoring that ‘is supposed to’ go on within the church is essential for our Christian growth. The same picture is in the construction of a family. Grandparents are for training parents and parents for training children and children for training the grandchildren and so on. God puts others around us who may be more physically (aged) or spiritually mature in order to allow us to learn from them.
No one would go to their accountant to find out if they had gallstones. Nor would they go to their doctor to see why their car wouldn’t start. Seeking sound counsel begins with considering the source. If I am making a major life decision, the first counsel I need is to seek the Lord in prayer. In seeking His direction, it is wise to listen to the Christians around me that know me and my circumstances. If I have a friend who is very faithful in one area, perhaps parenting, but struggles with finances it would make sense for me to seek her counsel on parenting issues. It would not be as wise for me to trust her economic advice.
Remember, sound counsel will NEVER be contrary to the Word of the Lord.
The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
There are many Christians around us who have more spiritual maturity than we do – this is true for everyone. Look to those people to help you grow in your walk with the Lord.
Titus 2 has some very clear instructions on the value of mentoring and learning from one another.
1 You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. 2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.
3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
9 Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, 10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
God has set a pattern of growth for us. This pattern includes following the instruction of those who have gone before. Just because we are young does not mean that God intends for us to stay that way. Daily in our walk with Him we need to be seeking His guidance and striving to walk more like Him.
1 Timothy 4:12
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Even the Lord Jesus came to earth a baby. Although He was God, He experienced the process of growing in God.
And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
May I seize every day as an opportunity to make a new commitment to seek the counsel of the Lord in my life.