Seeking Biblical Counsel

I have heard Proverbs 11.14 quoted many times, “…in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Usually this is quoted as proof that we should seek counsel from other people before we make a serious decision about our life. Two recent incidents have caused me to see how people try to obey this verse but still get their own way.

I had a friend that was going to make a serious change that would have dramatically affected his children and it also involved finances. He is a well grounded Christian and knows that he should seek counsel. But in order to get the counsel he wanted, he sought it from friends that were Christians, but were not necessarily serious about their walk with the Lord. My friend ignored the godly people of his own church and sought counsel from Christian co-workers who go to another church in the area. Thankfully some godly people found out about the decision just before it was made and gave their counsel. That godly counsel along with a gracious revealing from the Lord showed my friend that the decision he originally wanted would be disastrous. That situation turned out fine, but revealed to me that our sinful nature wants to be obedient to the Scriptures but also get our way. Lesson: never seek counsel from ungodly people.

I had another friend that did make a change of ministries that will probably cause him to compromise his doctrine (in my opinion…only time will tell). Again, he is a very godly fellow and I am sure that he sought the Lord in prayer and also sought godly counsel of others. But he and I had discussed the ministry he moved to before. He knew that I would not encourage him to be involved in it. He never asked my thoughts on the move. Now, I understand that I may not have been one of his trusted counselors, so I am not accusing him of doing anything wrong. But it made me think of times where I have sought counsel only from those I knew would agree with me. In those cases I am just like King Ahab.

So the king of Israel summoned the prophets, 400 of them, and asked them, “Should we go to war against Ramoth-gilead, or should I hold back?” They all replied, “Yes, go right ahead! God will give the king victory.” But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not also a prophet of the Lord here? We should ask him the same question.” The king of Israel replied to Jehoshaphat, “There is one more man who could consult the Lord for us, but I hate him. He never prophesies anything but trouble for me! His name is Micaiah son of Imlah.” Jehoshaphat replied, “That’s not the way a king should talk! Let’s hear what he has to say.” (2 Chronicles 18:5-7, NLT)

Lesson: we need to seek counsel from godly people whether we think they will agree with us or not.

How can we keep from making these mistakes? Well, I believe that we need to have 2 or 3 godly people that we ask counsel of when we have a major decision to make. And then when we have that decision to make, we need to ask them regardless of whether we think they will agree with us or not.

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