Divine GPS: Getting a Grip On The Will of God – Part 4

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If you would now, please take out your Bibles and turn in them to the book of Proverbs in the middle of your Bible, and chapter number 19. A lot of people wrestle with the question, “What does God want me to do? How do I discover the will of God?” And discovering the will of God has long been the fascination of humanity, I think especially when humanity gets honest enough to acknowledge that God exists, and when we do that, we sense a need to respond to and to discover what His will and His desires are.

Even the ancient pagans did that. Most of us are aware when it came to discerning the will of God that the ancient pagans looked to the stars to discern the will of God. Many of us don’t know that the ancient pagans also looked to livers to discern the will of God. How many people knew that they used to look at livers? So there’s quite a few of you out there, actually, that’s impressive. Yeah, I’m talking about that food with that wonderful taste, you know, livers. Many of the ancient pagans looked to livers to discern the will of God, in fact there’s a word for that, “hepatoscopy” is the word.

If you look it up in the Third International Webster’s dictionary, you have the word hepatoscopy, it refers to the study and the contemplation of the liver and Dr. Bruce Waltke has written some information about this. He said that there were some people in the ancient world who believed that intelligence actually emanated from the liver. The liver being the heaviest organ, and they felt like if anything in the body would reveal the will of God it would be the heaviest organ, the most important organ, which was the liver. And so a lot of times, what they used to do, it’s kind of hard to believe they would actually do this, is they would sacrifice a sheep, they would pull out its liver and attempt to read the liver to discern the will of God. And uh, especially when there was a big decision to be made, a whole team of priests would slaughter a dozen sheep, take all the livers out and they would look at the livers very carefully to discern if there were any patterns there. Because, you see, it takes ten sheep or a dozen sheep, to really determine the will of God with some kind of certainty. It’s interesting, there’s a lot of ancient texts out there that give guidelines for liver reading, so the next time you’re in the grocery store and you see some liver there, you might just be looking at it a little more carefully to see if you can see any indicators in those livers.

One of the greatest kings of ancient times was a guy by the name of Ashurbanapol and he invested much of his life becoming an expert on liver reading and he would study livers to divine the will of God. Some of you are thinking, “I don’t even like the taste of liver, let alone, you know, tearing livers out of sheep and lining them up trying to discern patterns and probing for patterns.

But see, mankind has always had this sense that we need to discern the will of God and I’m fascinated, not only with what the ancient pagans have done, but what some present day believers do when it comes to determining and discerning the will of God. I was reading about the story of Tom and Dave, and Dave was trying to wrestle whether it was the will of God for him to go back to school or not, and so they had this little interchange. Tom came to Dave and said, “Have you prayed a whole lot about this so that you can know the will of God about school or not?” Well, Dave’s like most of us, he admitted he hadn’t prayed maybe as much as he should. This is what Tom said to him, “Listen, we’re gonna pray right now. I want you, as we pray, I want you to make your mind blank, and when we’re done praying, I want you to tell me the first thoughts the Lord puts into your mind.” So they go into this little prayer time and then Tom closes with these words, “Lord, please tell my brother, Dave what Your will is, Amen.” And they both opened their eyes and looked at each other…Tom says, “Well?” And Dave goes, “You know, it seemed like the first word that came into my mind was…school. I guess that’s what the will of God must be; I’m supposed to go back to school.”

It’s interesting, the approaches that we have even as believers to determining the will of God. I read about a woman who was trying to discover God’s will in a particular decision, she was wrestling with two options and so she came up with this little fleece [reference to Old Testament story in Judges 6] that she decided to do. She was going down the street, she said this to God, “If option A is the one You want me to choose, leave that traffic signal green down there until I get through it and then I will know that is Your will for my life.” It’s just interesting, whether its livers laid out on the ground or all these other little techniques people are wrestling with…how do I discover the will of God? Where am I supposed to go to school? How many children are we supposed to have? Am I supposed to be a missionary or not and if so, where?  There’s a tremendous amount of interest in the church about knowing the will of God. There’s a tremendous amount of confusion in the church today about how we get a grip on the will of God and there is also a tremendous amount of frustration, because people want to know ‘what is the will of God for my life.’

And so we’ve been doing a little series of messages that we’ve entitled, ‘Divine GPS: Getting a Grip on the Will of God.’ And today we’re coming to message number 4 in this five part series we’re going to be doing, part number 4. And simply because of the desire that people have, and the confusion and the frustration, and often these odd and outlandish approaches, we are taking some time to strip all of that away and bring ourselves back to the foundation of getting a grip on the will of God.

We’ve been pointing out that there are two pillars in that foundation of knowing the will of God and getting a grip on it. One is the Living Book, the Bible, that’s one pillar in the foundation. The other one is the Living Person of Jesus, and we said we can get a grip on the will of God through the living book by searching the scriptures, and we have said we can get a grip on the will of God through the living person by deepening our relationship with the Savior. In other words, we discover the will of God through the word of God and through the working of God in His relationship with us. And regarding the working of God and His relationship with us, we’ve said that God is at work in His relationship with us internally and externally, and so the question we’ve been asking is, “Are we aware of how He works?” If we want to get a grip on the will of God, we ought to able to list the ways that He’s at work internally and we ought to able to list the ways He’s at work externally in His relationship with us. And so the question is, “Can you name the ways?”

And last time we looked at how He is at work in us internally and we saw three ways. They all began with a “c”, through compulsion, through conscience, and through common sense, do you remember that? He will work internally in His relationship with us through compulsion, He will give us desires, He will give us impressions, He will give to us convictions, and that’s part of how He leads us, by the Holy Spirit. Also, through our conscience, our conscience is a tool that God will use, it will tell us the right thing to do and the wrong thing to do. And then last time we also saw that He will use common sense, I mean God gave to us our minds, our capacity to reason, and as it says in the New Testament, we are called to live sensibly. That means use common sense. Is it the will of God for me to roller skate in a buffalo herd? Common sense would say no. Is it the will of God to dive off a ten story building thinking God might suspend the law of gravity just for me? Common sense would say no, don’t do that. So we’ve seen how He’s at work internally.

Today we want to gear shift [make a shift] over and see in His relationship with us, how He is at work externally. We’re gonna see 2 things. The first one we’re gonna look at today, the second one we’ll look at, Lord willing, next week. How do I, how do you, discover/know the will of God, get a grip on the will of God? It comes through the Word and it comes through the working of God in His relationship with us and He’s at work, not only internally, but He’s at work externally. And the first of the two things we’re gonna see that He uses as He works externally is…counsel. He is at work in His relationship with me to show me His will through counsel and if you have your Bibles open to Proverbs chapter 19, I want you to notice verse 20, in fact we’re gonna see a theme that runs through the book of Proverbs, the book of wisdom, about this whole idea of counsel. Proverbs 19 verse 20 says, speaking to us, “Listen to counsel and accept discipline that you may be wise the rest of your days.” You want to be wise the rest of your days? He says listen to counsel.

Look at Proverbs chapter 15, Proverbs chapter 15 verse 22. “Without consultation,” verse 22 says, “plans are frustrated but with many counselors they succeed.” God will work externally in His relationship with us through counsel. Look at chapter 12 of Proverbs and verse 15, Proverbs 12:15. It says, “The way of a fool,” who wants to be living that way? But the way of a fool “is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to…” what? “counsel.” A wise man listens to counsel. And then if you’ll turn with me to the very first…with me to the very first chapter of Proverbs chapter 1 and verse 5, chapter 1 verse 5. It says “A wise man,” a wise woman, “will hear and increase in learning and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel.” It’s always amazing to me someone who gets wise counsel from multiple sources and then they recklessly disregard it. That’s not what a wise person would do. One of the ways that God works in His relationship with us externally is through counsel.

Now it’s important for us to understand that counsel can be good and bad. It can be negative and positive. I want to give you an illustration of some negative counsel, negative counsel. Turn with me in the Old Testament, a little bit more to the left, to the book of First Kings and chapter number 12. You have First and Second Samuel, First and Second Kings, First and Second Chronicles…we’re looking at First Kings chapter number 12 and we’re going to see here an example of negative counsel that was given to King Rehoboam, who was succeeding his father, Solomon. And I want you to see what happens is that in verse 3 the whole assembly of Israel comes together and they have some words of information they want to convey to Rehoboam.

This is what they say to him in verse 4, “Your father, Solomon, made our yoke hard,” he made life tough for us, he drove us hard. Now therefore, what we’re requesting of you, king, is that you “lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke, which he put on us, and if you will do that, we will serve you,” we will be faithful to you.’ Well notice that’s what the people ask of Rehoboam. In verse 6 King Rehoboam consults with the elders of the nation who had served his father, Solomon, while he was still alive, and he asked the elders, ‘What do you counsel me to answer these people?’ And the elders said, ‘Well, if you will be a servant to the people today and will serve them and grant them their petition just to lighten up a little bit, and you speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever. I mean they’re gonna follow you to the end of your life.’

But notice verse 8 goes on to say, “But he forsook the counsel of the elders which they had given him and he instead consulted with the young men who grew up with him.” He went to his peer group. And he said to them, “Well, what do you guys say? You know, the guys I’ve hung out with all my life, young, young bucks. What counsel do you give that we may answer these people who’ve spoken to me saying, ‘Lighten the yoke which your father put on us.’?” Verse 10, and the young men who grew up with him, spoke to him saying, “Thus you shall say to these people who’ve spoke to you,” here’s what you need to say, “Your father made our yoke heavy now you make it lighter or us, that’s what they’re requesting, but you need to say to them, my little finger is thicker than my father’s loins, where as my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions. Get tougher with the people than your father was.” That was their counsel. And he followed the counsel of his little peer group, and you know what happened? You know what happens historically from this point? The nation of Israel splits. That counsel led to a splitting of the nation of Israel. While there’s some positive counsel presented to Rehoboam, he chose to follow some very negative counsel and it had great ramifications.

I want to show you another illustration. If you go to the second book in the Old Testament, the book of Exodus chapter 18, another illustration of some very positive counsel that was given and how God used this in the life of Moses to give to Moses, communicate to Moses, God’s will for him. This begins in Exodus 18 along about verse 13; it says that Moses sat before the people of Israel to judge the people. And what was happening is, people would have all kinds of issues, relational issues and legal issues and religious issues and so they would bring them to Moses. And notice it says, “The people stood about Moses from the morning until evening.” In other words they got a long line early in the morning and many of them were still in the line waiting to talk to Moses by the evening time and when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people he says, ‘What is this? What are you doing? Why do you alone sit as judge and all the people are standing here from morning until evening?’

And Moses said, ‘Well, listen, the people come to me to inquire of God, when they have a dispute, it comes to me and I judge between a man and his neighbor and I make known the statutes of God and His laws.’ And Moses’ father-in-law says to him, ‘Listen, what you’re doing is not a good thing. You’re gonna wear yourself out and you’re gonna wear these people out, they’re gonna just get gassed [exhausted] standing there all day waiting to talk to you. This task’s too heavy for you, you cannot do it alone and I’m gonna give you some counsel and may God be with you. You need to be the people’s representative before God and bring the disputes to God, then teach to the people the statutes and laws and make known to them the way in which they are to walk and the work they are to do. Furthermore, what you need to do is, you need to select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain, quality character people, and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, and hundreds and fifties and tens. And let those people, those sub-leaders, judge the people at all times. Let it be that every major, really big dispute they can bring to you, but every minor dispute, they themselves will judge so it will be easier for you and they will bear the burden with you.’ So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did all that he said. Now you know what the outcome of that counsel was? A great blessing to the people of Israel.

You know, it’s kind of interesting when I think about the role that counsel has played, even here at Wildwood, when I came here, you know, back in the ‘roaring twenties’ [joking about the 1920’s] to Norman and Wildwood. You know, there was probably if you counted all the babies on up, we maybe had 50 people here. You know, today if you take into account all the babies all the way up, there’s probably like 900. What’s really been interesting is, that over time, that means there needed to be some changes and there needed to be some adjustments, and so that…even my job description had to alter. Some of the things that I did when there was like 50 bodies…I can’t be doing anymore when there’s 900. And I have over the years sought out the counsel of our fellow elders and we’ve also gotten some counsel from other experienced leaders and it’s just exciting to watch how that counsel, being woven into what do, has brought us to where we are today as things have evolved. I’m very excited to see where we are today and excited to see the staff that we have and how critical a role Mark Robinson is playing now as our Executive Pastor.  But you know, part of that means you just have to be willing to seek out some counsel and have a sense that God is working through that to show you His will.

Let me give you the plan I have today. We’re gonna look at four things related to this whole area of counsel. Number one, we’re gonna look at the value of counsel. We’ll do this relatively quickly. Number two, we want to look at the barrier to counsel, what will keep us from counsel. Then we’re gonna look at some cautions with counsel. And then we’re gonna look at some key sources of counsel. So that’s where we’re going, that’s what we’re gonna cover. The value of it, the barrier to it, some cautions with it and some key sources of counsel, so let’s begin by talking for just a moment again, re-emphasizing the value of counsel. And you know what? We could just simply take the book of Proverbs at face value and that would be sufficient. It says “Counsel is important; a wise person listens to counsel.”

But just another way to underscore the value of counsel, I want to share with you an analogy that Grant Howard wrote. He says this, “Decisions regarding what school I should attend, what course I should take, what career I should pursue, what person I should marry, what job I should take, where I should live, etc., involve some of the prime issues of life and we want to know and do God’s will in them.” And he says this, “Others can help us find God’s will.” These various kinds of situations he just mentioned are what we might call “fourth-and-one situations”. We know football rather well here, but he says at a football game when it’s fourth and one, the situation can be very critical if you’re in the final two minutes of the game, you’re on your opponents 25 yard line and the score is tied. Do you try a field goal or do you go for a first down? If you’re gonna go for a first down what play do you run? A smart mature quarterback knows enough to call time out and will go to the sideline and seek the counsel of the wisest, most mature and most experienced man on the side lines, who is the coach. And the coach not only has maturity that comes from experience, he also has maturity and perspective that comes, not just from the side lines, but also from the spotters vantage point up in the press box. The quarterback still has to run the play himself, but now he does it with added information and insight.

And here’s what Grant Howard goes on to say, “God puts lots of coaches along the sidelines for us doing our life here on earth and the believer ought to recognize that when fourth-and-one situations are present, they need to take time out, go to the sidelines, and talk to a coach. This coach might be your mom or dad, or might be a pastor or youth pastor, might be a teacher, might be a close mature friend that you respect.” But he says this, ‘But be careful, you need to go to the right side lines. Get your counsel and advice from those on your team, or we might say those that are on God’s team. When you get to your sidelines go to the coach, not to the water boy or the fourth string tackle who’s only played seven minutes all season.” And he says, “Ask for life time-outs, they are unlimited. And so there’s great value in us just calling a time out and seeking some counsel.

You know, I remember years ago when I first applied for admission to Dallas Theological Seminary. At the time the seminary was just embarking on a building program because they had so many more people who wanted to go there than were able to get in, and so at the very moment that I was applying, I had heard and verified that three out of four people who applied were turned down. So only one out of four was getting accepted to the seminary and I had a decent grade point average. I’d made a decent score on the graduate record exam that you needed to take. I didn’t just do great on those things. I filled out my application, sent in my three references and my attitude was, ‘If God wants me at seminary, at Dallas Seminary, then, you know, I’ve done what was required.’ And I had a friend of mine whose name was Chet McCalley, who’s been a key spiritual mentor in my life, and one day we got to chatting a little bit and he was asking me about applying to Dallas Seminary. I was telling him…’Yeah, you know, I filled out my application, sent in the references, you know, and if God wants me in seminary…uh, I’ll be accepted to seminary.’ And then, even though Chet’s now in heaven, I can still very clearly remember what he said to me. He said, “Bruce, if you really want to go to Dallas Seminary,” he said, “You need to everything you can to get in there.” And he said, “That means you don’t just send in three recommendations, that means you send in ten recommendations or you send in a dozen recommendations.” That was great counsel on his part and indeed that’s what I did, and eventually I got accepted. I’ll never know ‘til I get to heaven if it is because I sent in a dozen recommendations or what, I don’t really know, but I called a little time out for myself after talking to him on that situation and changed my play call.

You know, there’s great value in counsel because, you see, someone else can be more objective about a situation than we are. Sometimes we get too overwhelmed because we’re too close to it. Sometimes they have insights that we maybe miss or perspective that we overlook. Great value, don’t miss the value of counsel.

Now, second thing we want to talk about very quickly is, the barrier to counsel, and that barrier to counsel is the “P” word. Pride. That’s the big barrier to counsel a lot of times. See, sometimes, we think “I don’t really want to ask someone for counsel, I mean, it’s gonna indicate to them I’m weak or maybe I lack intelligence or the maturity to make this decision on my own, I don’t want to talk to someone else about this.” That’s really pride. Or sometimes it’s pride when we say, ‘You know what? I just want to just do this myself, I want to be self-sufficient, I don’t want any other perspective from anybody else. I just want to do this myself.’ A wise man will acquire counsel. A wise man listens to counsel. With many counselors plans succeed. Could pride be a barrier that is keeping us at times from really having a grip on the will of God for our life? You know, it’s a good question to ask yourself every once in a while. ‘Is the aim of my life really to do my will or to do His will?’ I’m not talking about, you know, mentally, sort of up here in the head [points to head]. I’m talking about the way my life is lived. Am I out to honor myself or to glorify God? If I’m out to do His will and to honor Him, counsel is something that I ought to pursue.” Great value to it, the barrier to it is pride

I want to now share with you some cautions regarding counsel. We’ll list several of them. Number one caution, you cannot substitute counsel for your own walk with God. See, frequently, people are seeking counsel when they’re not really choosing to walk carefully with God themselves and they’re really looking for a short cut. It’s like ‘I’m not investing the time, you see, to really walk carefully with Jesus Christ and be dependent on Him, so I’ll just do a short cut and ask somebody else what I ought to do.’ Remember, the foundation of getting a grip on the will of God is that relationship we have with the living person of Jesus Christ, and there’s no substitute. I’m sorry there just isn’t any substitute when it comes to a daily relationship and a daily walk, a personal walk, with God. You can not substitute counsel for your own walk with God.

Caution number two about counsel, is to ask ourselves the question, ‘Am I seeking counsel or am I seeking approval? There’s a big difference between those two things and the measure of the difference, men and women, is teachability, reachability. I wish I could take you into my office, the number of times I’ve experienced this over the years, when I had people in there and they said, “You know, I really want to try to know what the will of God is.” And ultimately, as we talk, it’s very obvious they came there for approval rather than for guidance, because you can sense they already had this pre-determined before they came in. I’ve seen that with relationship issues, I’ve seen that with marriage issues, it’s just important that we ask ourselves the question, ‘Am I seeking counsel or am I seeking approval? Am I really being teachable and reachable?’

Caution number three regarding counsel, it’s very important to remember that counsel is not infallible. It’s not infallible. If you read through the book of Acts, you’ll find that Paul was counseled not to go to Jerusalem. He still went to Jerusalem and I think he wrestled with that counsel. And it’s important that we wrestle with counsel, but counsel is not always infallible. And as I’ve been telling you the story of graduating from seminary, and remember having this compulsion, this conviction that I wanted to come to a community that had a university in it. And remember how I turned away several other ministry opportunities and churches because they didn’t fit that conviction, that compulsion, that God had given. And what’s really interesting is my peers, my friends at seminary, their response to that. All of them except for my one friend, Jim Mooberry, all of them said to me, this is what they said basically, ‘Hess, you’re too picky, picky, picky picky. In fact,’ they said, ‘You’re being irresponsible because you’ve got a young baby and you need to be providing for your family. What you need to do is just take something, anything. Hess, just take something.’

I often wonder what would have happened if I had followed that counsel. Counsel’s not infallible, but it is very, very valuable. Let me just say this, if you are the only one who sees something a certain way, then I think you need to slow down, you need to evaluate and re-evaluate and you need to commit it to prayer. And I want you to know something, when I was getting that counsel from my peer group, what did you think I did with it…. “Ah, you bunch of yo-yos [silly minded people], you don’t know what you’re talking about” No, I took that pretty seriously and we slowed down and we re-evaluated and we committed it to prayer. And yet, we still stuck with what we felt like was the leading that God was bringing in our life. But I just want you to understand something, Ihad to deal with that, not just jettison it, but work through it. Counsel is not infallible, but counsel is valuable.

And then the last thing we want to do…we’ve looked a little bit at the value of it, the barrier to it, and some cautions with it, I want to talk very quickly about some key sources of counsel for us. Remember, not all counsel is wise counsel, so if you’re gonna look for someone to counsel you, you want to look for someone who’s modeling the kind of life that you want to have. Someone who is exercising Godly wisdom and a lot of times God will provide counsel inside of our family unit. Ephesians 6:1 says that “children are to obey their parents in the Lord for this is right,” in other words, this is my will, God says. In Colossians chapter 3 verse 20 He says obeying your parents, this is well pleasing to the Lord. This is my will, He says to young people. And so, if you are still in your parent’s home, I would say to you, you need to be very slow and very cautious about dismissing and disregarding the counsel of your parents.

Another key source of counsel in the family can be our spouse, and God will use your spouse to give you counsel. And through your spouse He will often be communicating information about His will for your life. I don’t know, it seems like especially we guys, we husbands, need to be reminded of this, that God has given our wives to be a source of counsel to us. I mean, they are called, our wives men, remember they are called a helper. What is a helper? A person given to someone who needs what? Help. And we need a little bit of help. God made us to be a team together as husband and wife.

I want you to know one of the biggest failures of my life is when I failed to listen to the counsel of my wife when she warned me about a certain situation in the church, I dismissed her concerns very, very quickly as not being logical enough and that resulted in a major conflict which was probably the greatest threat to my ministry here. Men, we need to remember that God might use our spouse as our helper. Remember, we’ve said this before, wives are more intuitive, as a group, than men are and there’s a physiological reason for that. There’s a whole group of nerve connections between the two sides of the brain that’s called the corpus collosum and it’s been shown that women have more of those synapse connections than men do. They have a different way of processing information, and so rather than just dismissing it because it’s not the way we process, we need to realize that God may use our spouse as a source of counsel for us.

In the church, spiritual leaders have been provided by God to be a source of counsel. Hebrews 13:17 says, “Heed your spiritual leaders, those who keep watch over you as those who will give account,” go to them,” He says, for counsel. And then even in the church of Jesus Christ we are all to admonish one another, to stimulate one another to love and good deeds. And so even as a body of believers, we can be a source of counsel and perspective with each other.

I’ve told this story but, years ago before we became part of the speaker team at FamilyLife, my sister and brother-in-law, Rob and Laurie Kopf, had gone on staff with FamilyLife and not long after they had been on staff they came to us and this is the counsel they gave to us: You and Janet, you need to apply for the speaker team of FamilyLife. And I can’t tell you how quickly I took that piece of counsel and jettisoned it out the nearest mental window. I mean, here is what I was thinking, I didn’t say this to them, “You gotta be kidding me, that’s about the stupidest thing I have ever heard.” I mean, I look at people who are on the speaker team and many of them are these authors and they’ve written like six books on marriage. I haven’t written any book on marriage, why would they want me on the speaker team? (Bruce laughs) You know, they’re looking for “significant” people.

Well, you know they didn’t give up and they kept repeating that, repeating that, repeating that, repeating that to me every time we ran into one another…they live in Little Rock and we were here…I heard it from them. And then, you know, one of those days I was having a quiet moment before the Lord. In fact I had just spoken a message at Wildwood where I was emphasizing how much God will use the people of God around you to speak to you through them. And I got one of those moments I like to call these like  (Bruce knocks on the table), “Uh, hello Hess, you know, Mr. Hypocrite, the guy who preaches what he doesn’t practice. You know you tell others to be open to the advice of those around them, listen to the their counsel because God may be speaking through them, and yet you don’t even practice what you preach.” I can’t tell you how quickly…I mean I was immediately convicted, I knew I’d been wrong, I wasn’t even doing what I tell other people to do. I got on the phone the next day to Laurie and Rob, “Ok, you start the paper work.” And many of you know, I mean, that’s exactly what happened, we got on the speaker team. And I’ve often thought, ‘What blessings would I have missed in my life if I had disregarded the counsel of other believers in my life?”

How do I know the will of God? Through the working of God in His relationship with us, He’s at work externally, first of all through counsel, second of all through circumstances. We’re gonna talk about circumstances more next time, along with some additional closing thoughts. But as we close today, I want to talk about some life response that we can have to the fact that God is at work in us externally through counsel. And it’s really just a self check. I want you to write these things down. This is what you need to do to spend some time in your quiet time maybe later on today, just a little bit of reflection, maybe tomorrow morning.

Some self check things that you can do. Number one; ask yourself the question, ‘What people do I seek out for counsel?” First of all, is it anybody? But second of all, “who is it when I do that? Is it merely my peers? You know people who just want to tell me what I want to hear? People who just help me to justify the decisions I’m making? Or do I seek counsel from experienced, Godly people?” I think it’s a good question to ask ourselves. “Could I possibly be suffering from the Rehoboam syndrome, where I’m listening to the wrong people and it could lead to catastrophe for myself and for other people?

Second self-check question we can ask, “If God has been speaking His will to me through Godly counsel, am I heeding His leading?” See, that was the question I really wasn’t answering the right way myself for awhile. “If He’s been speaking His will to me through Godly counsel, am I heeding His leading?”

And then the third self-check we can ask “Is the barrier of my own pride keeping me from connecting with His will?” See, sometimes we’re going, “I don’t know why I don’t know.” Well, maybe part of the problem is, there’s a little bit of a barrier there of pride. I mean, “What’s the pattern going on in my life? Am I out to just prove how self sufficient I am? I can do this myself, I don’t need any help from anybody else. Or am I someone who is quick to seek counsel in determining the will of God?”

A wise man will acquire counsel. A wise man listens to counsel. Listen to counsel that you may be wise the rest of your days. Anyone want to be wise the rest of their days? God’s given us one of the guidelines by which that can be true, we listen to counsel.

Let’s pray together. Father, I thank You again for Your word, I thank You that You have not left us without information on how we get a grip on Your will. I thank You that we’re not like people who’ve existed on this planet who had to cut out livers and study them in some vain way to try to understand Your will. And Father, we would pray as men and women, that we would be wise people, that we would seek out counsel, that we would listen to counsel, and we would heed counsel as part of Your leading in our life. Thank You for loving us like You do and we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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