01 Sep The Will of God and Counsel
I probably should have titled this entry “The Will of God and a Right Heart”, but I believe that a right heart is the umbrella we should live our lives under all the time. This entry will deal with this in the context of counsel.
In my last entry I spoke about David not heeding the words of men who believed it was the Lord’s will to give Saul over to David while he was relieving himself in a cave. We must know before circumstances come up, what God has prescribed and proscribed in given situations. David knew that God had rejected Saul and had given the kingdom to him. However, David also knew that it was sin to kill the anointed king of Israel, even if the king was trying to kill him. He trusted the promise of God rather than opportunities that seemed right to take.
What about those decisions that are not so clear? Let’s go to 1 Kings 12. Solomon has just died and his son Rehoboam has succeeded him. It was customary for the king to have advisers (hence Prov. 15:22; 2 Chron 22:4; Isa. 19:11; Dan 3:24). And so Rehoboam met with his fathers counselors to see what would be the best way to run the country (1 Kings 12:6). They told him to be humble and speak kind words and be a servant to the people. Rehoboam didn’t like this so he abandoned their wisdom and surrounded himself with younger inexperienced “men who had grown up with him” to see what they would advise. They told him to be shrewd and unrelenting. He liked this counsel from his buddies.
The point is that Rehoboam had already made up his mind what he was wanted to do. He wasn’t seeking counsel as much as he was seeking approval. He did not submit to godly counsel. Instead, he let ungodly whipper-snappers turn him away from being a godly king and man.
So to us. There are going to be difficult decisions that are not outlined in Scripture. However, we do have principles. Beyond that, we have been blessed with the Church to help us make decisions. The Body of Christ can see blind spots in our personalities and daily living that we cannot They see tendencies we think only others have.
We must humble ourselves and ask men who not only know us, but also know the Word of God, to speak into our lives. We should not have made up our mind and ask people until we find what we are hearing. Let me make a side note, though a very important one…Just because someone is old, does not mean they are wise. There are many foolish old men in the world. They say there is no God (Psalm 10:4; 14:1). They do not fear God (Psalm 36:1). Look at the lives of men you know that submit their lives to the Word of God. Put yourself in a position to ask for their advice, with a willingness to heed it.
This is one of the best ways to make decisions. Realize that God has blessed us with brothers and sisters to help us on the journey, in addition to his Word. The Holy Spirit moves people’s lips to help us. Of course we must weigh what they say, but on the whole (if they are living in accordance with the Word of God, and not with a heavy hand on their convictions) we should take their advice very, very seriously.