Pastor’s pulpit with RL Calhoun
You are facing a major decision. You’ve been reading the Bible; you’ve been praying but, as of yet, no answer has come. You want to do the will of God. You recognize that He has a wonderful plan for your life, but what is the next action you should take? Very simply, you must be willing to seek wise counsel.
The importance of seeking counsel from others is a recurring theme in the book of Proverbs. For example, Proverbs 12:15 says: “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.” Proverbs 19:20 says: “Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days.” The first part of Proverbs 20:18 reads: “Plans are established by wise counsel….”
There is no doubt whatsoever that God’s word encourages us all to seek the counsel of others when we are faced with making important decisions. However, we must be certain that the counsel we seek is wise. Obviously, not all counsel falls into that category.
Furthermore, not all believers can offer wise counsel. If you want advice from a fellow believer, be certain that individual walks in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Never seek counsel from someone who is out of fellowship with the Lord. And, certainly, don’t seek spiritual guidance from those who do not know the Lord – they are the blind leading the blind.
When Rehoboam succeeded his father Solomon as the king of Israel, the people appealed to him: “Your father made our yoke hard; therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you” (1 Kings 12:4).
Wisely, Rehoboam did not give a quick answer. He called his father’s most trusted advisers and asked for their counsel. They said: “The people aren’t exaggerating. Although your father was a great man, he pressed too hard. Do what the people asked you to do and they will follow you anywhere you lead them.”
Instead of following their counsel, Rehoboam talked to some younger men. They said: “The people are testing you to see if you’re a real leader or an easy pushover. You’ve got to show them who’s boss. If you give an inch, they are going to want to take a mile.”
Tragically, it was this advice that Rehoboam followed. He told the people: “My father was a wimp compared to what I am going to be.” The result was a revolt. The kingdom was torn in two. Rehoboam was credited with causing a civil war that destroyed Israel.
Let me share other warnings regarding seeking wise counsel. Don’t let seeking the counsel of others be a spiritual cop-out. Don’t let it be a crutch or means of escapism. So often, the real problem is not discovering but doing God’s will.
Don’t blindly accept the advice of others as automatically being a word from the Lord. Many times, well-meaning fellow believers can be totally wrong. Square the counsel you receive from someone else with the word of God. God does not contradict Himself so, if someone counsels you to take an action that is contrary to the teaching of God’s word – trash the counsel and go with the word!
Finally, when you receive wise counsel and you know it in your heart, act on it. To hear good counsel and then not to act upon it is like hearing no counsel at all. Never forget that the Lord has a plan for your life that He wants to reveal to you one step at a time. Be blessed as you seek the Father’s will.
RL Calhoun is pastor of New Life Fellowship church in Texas City.