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Taking Counsel from Others? Be Careful!

Have you ever sought advice from people you were close to? Certainly, we all have. Yet there are several important components involved in this process. Today I want to share a few tips in seeking Godly counsel, ones we can both learn from and prayerfully pass on to others. However, before imparting such directives, I want to highlight an important truth that many try to by-pass.   

Before Going to OthersGo to God first.

Christians should seek the Lord first before going to anyone else. He is the wisdom that we need and holds the answers we desperately seek. He promises to guide us with His eye upon us. (Psalm 32:8) Therefore, before ever going to another individual for advice, we must first and fore-most seek the Lord.    

TIPS FOR SEEKING GODLY COUNSEL

Tip Number One: When seeking counsel from others–Make sure you seek advice from Godly people.

Does the Bible encourage the obtainment of Godly counsel? Yes! Proverbs 15:22 states, “Without consultation, plans are frustrated, But with many counselors they succeed.” However, when we seek guidance, we should pay attention to the following advice: a.) Make sure the person you go to is a Christian, b.) demonstrates true Godly character, c.) is in the word of God, d.) is a prayer warrior, e.) and demonstrates the fruits of the Spirit.

Tip Number Two: After you have received advice from Godly advisors—ALWAYS Run it through the Word of God and through prayer.

Word of God: If the counsel offered contradicts the word of God, you know instantly it is not from God. Pray: Place before the Lord the counsel given through periods of prayer. If you sense a restlessness within, take heed. Even Godly people can get it wrong.

David was a man after God’s own heart and he wanted to build a house for the Lord. Nathan, God’s prophet, instantly offered David counsel in the matter. However, Nathan’s guidance was not led of the Lord.

Now it came about when the king lived in his house, and the Lord had given him rest on every side from all his enemies, (2) that the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within tent curtains.” (3) Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your mind, for the Lord is with you. (4) But in the same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying, “Go and say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Are you the one who should build Me a house to dwell in? ” (2 Samuel 7:1-5)

Go back and meditate on verse four, particularly on these few words: “But in the same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan.” God’s word must take precedence over man’s opinion.

Tip Number Three: Listen to wise counsel.

When God has placed a Godly mentor (or a group of Godly individuals) in your life, listen to their counsel. Pride will keep a person from receiving instructions. When we think we know best about a matter, we can miss both divine lessons and much needed instruction.

Next, guard against being offended when a person (whom God has placed in your life) offers Godly counsel. Let others speak truth to you without becoming angry.

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel. (Proverbs 12:15 NASB)

Through insolence comes nothing but strife, But wisdom is with those who receive counsel. (Proverbs 13:10 NASB)

Tip Number Four: When God gives you an answer—ACT!

When God gives you an answer–either through His word, through a time of prayer, through His Spirit, or through others, ACT! Don’t put off what God leads you to do.

Lastly, I want to leave you with some final alerts and repeated cautions: 1.) There will be people who will not want to see good come your way. Avoid such persons when seeking counsel 2.) Not everyone you go to will understand God’s call on your life, or even the work He is doing through you, and as a result, their counsel will reflect such assessment. Don’t be discouraged. Again, God has the final say in what He is calling you to do. 3.) Yes, go to Christians for Godly counsel. However, just because someone has a particular standing in the community, or even the local church as a Christian, does not mean they live at the feet of Jesus. Be cautious. (Study, tip number one.) 4.) Always make God’s word the standard by which you measure any advice given to you. 5.) Avoid at all cost, going to a gossip for counsel. No, no, no! 6.) Trust God. You will not miss His best, when you seek Him first, surround yourself with wise counsel, listen and obey what He tells you to do.

Written by, O’Shea

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