In the past several weeks, we have addressed some topics that revolve around what we think and believe as individuals. In these discussions, we saw how important our thoughts and beliefs are in shaping our character. This is important to understand, but just as important, is the fact that we are our own worst enemies when it comes to controlling our thoughts, emotions, and what we hold as truth.
Again, we will look to the book of Proverbs for instruction on this topic. "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise" (Proverbs 12:15). This verse points out a dangerous principle that should cause us to pause. Our way, the course of action that we think is right, seems right, but all too often is not only wrong, but leads to our destruction (Proverbs 14:12; Proverbs 16:2,25)! We are easily manipulated into feeding our foolishness so we can take the course of action that will satisfy our carnal nature. This can be the path of ease, the path of rebellion, the path of anger, or many other avenues which feed the "self."
An example of this is with the king Rehoboam (1 Kings 12:1-15). As Rehoboam succeeded King Solomon on the throne of Israel, he was presented with an immediate choice. He sought counsel from the elders but rejected their advice. Instead, he accepted the advice of the peers, that fit with what he sought to accomplish. The result was disastrous as the people rejected him as king and the nation of Israel was divided into two separate nations.
Do we fall into the trap of not only thinking we are right, but supporting our own desires by heaping up for ourselves only those teachers and counselors that agree with us? This is the way of the fool. We need to make conscious efforts to gather and take heed of wise and true counsel. This means coming to God: "The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations" (Psalm 33:11). "There are many plans in a man's heart, nevertheless the LORD's counsel--that will stand" (Proverbs 19:21).
If we desire to be wise and find the instruction that will lead to life, we must turn to God. God established truth, justice, and the way which leads to life (Psalm 89:14; John 14:6). Our words, decisions, and actions need to be committed to God (Proverbs 3:5-8). As we abandon the self and submit to God, He is faithful to establish us on the right path (Proverbs 16:3).
The effect of placing God and His Word as our ultimate source of counsel is profound. We can filter all information through the truth of God, and can weigh that which is good, that which is evil, and that which is simply not important. As we grow in our application of this, we will grow in Godly wisdom. Our confidence will shift from being placed on ourselves to being placed on the Creator of the Universe! Let us take this Sabbath as a time to step back and consider from where we gather counsel.
In the Love of God,