Receiving Counsel

Psalm 16:7 “I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel; My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.”

When I was a young man I had a problem with receiving counsel, if I felt like my position was right, no amount of arguing could dissuade me. I had to be boxed into a corner with no excuse to finally realize that I was in the wrong and that I needed to make amends.

Since those early brashful days I’ve learned that I can easily be wrong, especially if I remove myself from good counsel. What I missed back then that I know now is what I wanted to share with you today. This bit of advice would have saved me from much embarrassment and likewise trouble if I had just been a bit wiser….of course, I probably wouldn’t have listened anyhow, learning things the hard way was my motto for a long time.

  • Trust the wise who have gone before you. Job 12:12-13 “Wisdom is found with the elderly, and understanding comes with long life. Wisdom and strength belong to God; counsel and understanding are His.”

There are wise among us, I know this because I have sought them out and found them. They are everywhere if you know where to look. There are of course different types of wisdom, there is the wisdom of the world and there is godly wisdom. Godly wisdom comes from walking with the Lord. The Holy Spirit imparts truth to those who seek Him out and the more a follower of Christ walks in obedience, the more he grows in Truth. Worldly wise is relegated to those who seek out worldly riches, honor, and all that the world supplies. The determining decision as to who you should seek is dependent on which direction you want to go.

  • Trouble comes because you shunned wisdom. Psalm 107:10-11 “Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, Bound in affliction and irons—Because they rebelled against the words of God, And despised the counsel of the Most High,”

I myself and others I have known have found themselves confused in the midst of trouble. Foolishness not only leads to trouble, the fool lacks the basic understanding of which series of processes occurred that led up to that point. They key to receiving counsel is knowing you need it in the first place. The hard hearted and stubborn may know they lack understanding but their pride prohibits them from humbling themselves enough to ask. The typical response of the fool is seeking help once they get in trouble, it’s a good way to lose friends and burn out those who have bailed you out before.

  • When you follow godly counsel, God is doing the leading. Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will give you counsel and watch over you.”

The blessings of God that follow the wise is the blessing of His approval. The wise give counsel that is in accordance with God’s Word. Any act that is righteous is honoring to God. The Lord walks with the righteous, He stands against the unrighteous. Too many times I hear people who claim to trust in God and yet do their own will….fail and then grieve their failure. They might be frustrated by the fact that they prayed for God to bless them and yet when He didn’t, the questions of “Where is God?’ or “Why did He abandon me?” seems to litter their speech. What the fool doesn’t realize is that God will not bless something He did not direct. Which leads me to the next idea.

  • To reject godly counsel is to show hatred for God. Proverbs 1:29-30 “Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord, They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled to the full with their own fancies.”

When seeking godly counsel, we can’t always be certain the one from whom we seek is currently in a position to hear God correctly. Sin enters into a man or woman’s life and clouds the mind and dampens the ability to receive the counsels of the Spirit. The way we can be sure that counsel is good is to hold it up to the Word of God. Pray about what shared with you and then look up what the counsel suggested. All good counsel is affirmed by Truth. If you truly want to honor the Lord, He will be sure to reveal that Truth to you.

  • All good counsel leads to glory. Psalm 73:23-24 “Thus my heart was grieved, and I was vexed in my mind. I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You. Nevertheless I am continually with You;
    You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me to glory.”

What do I mean by this?

The glory of God is revealed in those who are found faithful. The result of any endeavor that is blessed by God is that it blesses those around you. They see God’s hand in your life and they return praise to Him. In the end, you will receive the Crown of Life that is promised to those who have been redeemed, who have lived faithfully in Him.

  • Walking in good counsel leads to Praise. Psalm 16:7 “I will bless the LORD who counsels me; even at night my conscience instructs me.”

Why would faithfulness end in praise? —You know the Lord was in it!

Even when the road seems to get dark, you know that the path you are on is blessed. You don’t second guess yourself, you don’t fear—you sought out godly wisdom, you prayed before you started and the Lord confirmed your path. No matter how much doubt the enemy tries to impose upon you, you are steadfast in your walk knowing that nothing can come against you.

Finally…..

  • The pattern of walking in good counsel continues throughout life. Psalm 48:14 “For this God is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even till death.”

No matter how young or how old you might be, we all have decisions we must make that requires good counsel. We can be biased in our approach or be too emotionally tied to the situation to trust our own counsel. Hearing from someone else that isn’t as vested into your particular circumstance can be a wise approach in moving forward without ties that may taint your decision.

Many of these clues for being successful in life are ones I heard at a very early age, growing up in church does that to you. Where I went wrong was heeding advice.

The good news is—-God loves you and has your best in mind. Knowing this fact leaves you with the confidence that no matter where He leads it will be good.

Trust Him.

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