Sometimes people make decision they later regret because they listened to ungodly counsel. Here are four suggestions to help you discern what is wise, biblical advice:
- Look for counsel that references God, the Bible, and Jesus. If it neglects or contradicts the principles of Scripture, the best thing to do is retreat.
- If there’s a lot of talk but little prayer, think twice. Even with a great exchange of ideas and wisdom, a prudent advisor should ultimately defer to God and pray for His direction. Prayer is essential for attaining the whole counsel of God.
- Avoid a counselor who compromises Scripture. People sometimes soften God’s requirements by saying things like, “Nobody’s perfect, so a little gossip, gambling, or other ‘fun’ won’t hurt.” Such rationalizing can quickly lead to destruction.
- Beware of counsel quick to criticize the church. Someone who readily discredits the church may have a hurtful bias and a tendency to leave God out when giving advice.
Remember, living within each believer is the Counselor Himself – the Holy Spirit – who wants to help with all our decisions. Seek Him first and often.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, November 21, 2020.
In Isaiah 55:8, God declared, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.” And in fact, one of the biggest frustrations of the Christian life stems from a lack of understanding about God’s ways. There are times when we could really use a miracle, but He does not come through for us the way we think He should. Our unmet expectations lead to confusion, disappointment, and even anger. We might think, Why did the Lord let me down?
Some people don’t believe God performs big miracles at all, while others are convinced that if He’s not doing the miraculous every day, then something is wrong with their faith. Neither belief is true. We need a balanced perspective, which we find in the Bible.
God works in both supernatural and ordinary ways, and He determines the method. Elijah ate food miraculously delivered by ravens, but his water supply from a brook was completely natural. When the water dried up, the Lord could have made more spring from the ground, but He didn’t.
Sometimes God uses ordinary means to move us in a new direction. The curtailment of Elijah’s water supply opened the door for his next assignment. When the Lord withholds miraculous intervention and lets your brook dry up, He has something else planned for you.
Seeing the work of God in the miraculous is easy. But He’s just as involved in the everyday aspects of life as He is in any supernatural event. Look for His fingerprint in the day’s mundane activities. He is there, opening and closing doors, drying up one opportunity but initiating another.
Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch Devotional, August 2, 2017.