This post is part of the series His Encouragement
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Welcome! Welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every Thursday, a few blogging friends and I will each bring you a Bible passage and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these Thursday posts help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you.
Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.Proverbs 19:20-21
Accepting advise and instruction is not easy. Let’s be honest: most of us are opinionated. It doesn’t matter if we are a teenager, a young professional, or a more seasoned adult. We often think we know best.
In Christian circles we frequently discuss the pitfalls that come with trusting oneself without first seeking guidance from the Lord. Instead of relying on the Lord to lead us, we may jump all in or race ahead with our own plans.
Lately, I noticed that there is an opposite extreme that can be just as dangerous. It isn’t talked about much, either.
We need to be careful that we don’t use God as an excuse to forge ahead without careful consideration.
How many times have you heard someone (or perhaps you have said): “I feel the Lord leading me…” or “The Holy Spirit is impressing me to…” but the direction that individual (or yourself) was heading did not seem wise and may have even ended disastrously?
Just because we say a prayer or feel that something is the right thing to do does not necessarily mean it is what God has planned for us.
Reading the Bible helps us to better understand God’s character and His teachings. Lifting up our burdens and requests to Him in prayer may also provide comfort and peace. But let us not neglect the importance of godly counsel.
There are times when God will place the right people in our path at just the right time with the right piece of advice. We need to be open to advice and humble enough to accept instruction (possibly even correction) when it is coming from a reliable source.
Two examples from the Bible
I am reminded of Rehoboam, a young man who became king of Israel. (See 1 Kings 12.) After ascending the throne, Rehoboam sought counsel from two sources: the elders who had served his father Solomon and also his peers. The elders gave him wise advice but it wasn’t what he wanted to hear.
His peers, on the other hand, confirmed what he already thought and bolstered his pride. Did he listen to advice and accept instruction from the sources that aligned with God’s will? No. In the end, he made terrible decisions and, ultimately, the kingdom was torn in two.
Now it is important to note that not all advice we receive is wise and godly. We learn this from Job’s story. His three friends — Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar — intend to provide him with comfort and guidance during his darkest days, but were unknowingly sharing inaccurate information about God and His character. (See Job 22 and Job 36-37.)
So we do need to test all counsel that we receive against the word of God and the teachings of Jesus to ensure that they are, indeed, godly wisdom.
Seek God’s will
But the point of today’s post is this: We need to be careful that we are not just “wishful thinking” that the Lord has blessed our already-decided-upon path. God is not a vending machine. We don’t just pray for our desired outcome and expect God to supply it.
God loves us too much to give us something that would be harmful to us — even if we think it is a good idea at the time. So we need to be seeking His will and His purpose for our life.
In times of decision or challenges, God may send wise counselors to aid us, but are we wise enough to recognize it and listen to advice?
What verse has touched your heart this week? Share in the comments below!
Be sure to also visit my fellow bloggers and read their encouragement for your Thursday as well:
- Trisha of Joy of Reading
- Nicole of The Christian Fiction Girl
- Jessica of A Baker’s Perspective
- Becca of The Becca Files
- Gina of Stories by Gina
- Rev. Rebecca Writes
- Andi of Radiant Light
- Leslie of Words of Hope
- Claudia of By Claudia Moser
- Keneesha of Women Loving God’s Way
Continue reading this series:
His Encouragement: Without complaining and arguing