A couple of days ago, I asked my Father, “What shall I write?” The topic of seeking godly counsel came floating into my mind. As I consider the topic, emotions gradually became stirred up within me. The source became apparent; as I recalled a particular memory.
Years ago, I needed advice about buying a home or continue renting an apartment in Phoenix, AZ. This incident occurred in the year, 2000. I was asking, “Is this a wise idea?” I talked with a real estate agent, who is a sister in Christ. We thought it, a great idea. Was it?
The purchase was made at the height of the housing bubble. The housing market was deregulated and a mess. It was too easy to qualify for a loan. How does this relate to godly counsel?
What is godly counsel? True godly counsel has three main characteristics. For one, it needs to line up with the Word of God. In this case, I was seeking to buy a home. On the surface, the decision was fine. There was nothing immoral about the decision.
Though I’ve been blessed by my experiences in home ownership; I had plenty of headaches that came with it. Why? I didn’t get the full counsel of my Father. I started off, the right way. I prayed and sought guidance from what I took to be a knowledgeable source. She was a real estate agent!
What’s the problem. It was one source of counsel. According to Proverbs 11:14, trouble comes from a lack of guidance; however, there is safety in a multitude of counselors. Proverbs 15:22 says the same thing. I did not do that. I needed a close circle of spirit filled Christian friends, to talk with and receive guidance..
Sounds good? It would have sounded better; if not for some special problems. For one thing, I was seeking to get into the IT field; as a contractor for a temp agency. Do you recall the year? Do you recall the Dot Com Bubble? I do.
Because of my disabilities, I was wary of advices from anyone; who I really didn’t know. I have had my shares of well meaning but bad counsel. This comment brings up the second characteristics of godly counsel. It’s the Holy Spirit. He needs to be a part of the equation.
Would a close relationship with a circle of Christian friends have helped in those circumstances? Though we could easily comb the Scripture, it would be of limited help. There wasn’t anything immoral about a disabled person having his own house.
We would have been resting in our fallible opinions and limited experiences and not God’s infinite wisdom. My Father knew about the impending demise of the tech bubble and the dangerous snares in the housing bubble. We did not know these things.
How could we? We would have needed the Holy Spirit, to shed light on the situation. On our own, such counsel would have been “hits and misses”. The Holy Spirit is not limited to the written Word of God.
The Spirit can speak directly through spiritually gifted men and women. Each person has a spiritual gift and the Spirit uses these gifted men and women to benefit the Church. The challenge is hearing through the noise of our daily lives.
As for the Holy Spirit, please recall that Jesus did say the following;
13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. [John 16:13]
Would not the Holy Spirit have warned us? Would not the Spirit have given a word of knowledge or wisdom about the situation? It’s true that God could have spoken directly to me; however, I was hampered by my personal emotions and other noises. Hence, the need for real fellowship with other believers.
That’s right. I can’t get godly counsel in a vacuum. I most certainly need the Word of God and I need my brothers and sisters in Christ. Why do you suppose Hebrews 10:23-25 speaks of the importance spending time with fellow believers in Christ?
If you read the verses; you’ll discover that we are not to be content with a typical Sunday gathering. I am certainly guilty of not picking up the phone and spending time, with someone else. How are you doing?
Here’s something to consider. We are still human beings and still prone to missing the boat. This is why it’s so important to seek God, the Father before you act on any advice. It sounds cliche; however the Spirit is able to provide a check in your heart: Here’s some Scripture that speaks to this check: Isaiah 26:3, John 14:27, Phil 4:9, Col 3:15 and my favorite:
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. [Philippians 4:6-7]
What’s the third and final characteristic of godly counsel? It must be TRUE. What do I mean? Godly counsel must begin and end with God, the Father. It needs to reflect God, the Father’s characters and line up with the Word of God. It needs to show the love of the Father; as expressed through the Son, Jesus.
In John 13:34-35, Jesus gave the disciples, this commandment:
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Is your love light on? Is it given in the spirit of love, gentleness, humility and kindness? Are you receiving it, in a like spirit? In case you missed it, I am alluding to the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23.