Watch Out for Godly Counsel

I learned a wonderful lesson recently on receiving godly counsel. Though the Bible certainly recommends godly counsel, the Bible is altogether clear that we are never to exalt anything or anyone above the Lord Himself. Sometimes we learn lessons from the Bible, sometimes we learn them from others, and sometimes we learn them from our own mistakes. I learned this lesson from the mistake I made, and now hope divulging my mistake might help somebody else not make the very same one.
“Pastor, I need to meet with you to get help with something,” I told my beloved pastor. That was my first mistake. But how could this possibly be a mistake? My pastor is a Spirit-filled, Bible-believing, Bible-teaching, wise man who also just so happens to be my father in Jesus Christ. So what could be wrong with seeking his counsel?

Honestly? I had already sought the counsel of the Lord. The Lord had already answered. The Lord had also confirmed his counsel through someone with whom I prayed who also just so happened to be involved in the situation for which I had sought counsel. And, to top it all off, I had disobeyed the counsel. And, the other person had disobeyed the counsel, too.

What was I really seeking? Yes, I was seeking counsel. But to be perfectly honest, I was also seeking counsel  different than what I had already received. My flesh was uncomfortable with the counsel I had gotten. And, to be equally honest, I had figured since we had already disobeyed the counsel from months earlier that maybe God had “changed His mind.” Ha!

My pastor, meanwhile, gave me good biblical counsel. There was nothing wrong with what he had advised. But as I learned through study of the Old Testament, God does not always give the same counsel for similar situations. In battles in the Old Testament, victories were garnered through different military operations. Does a football team use the same play in every game under the same circumstances? Or is each game different?

In retrospect, come to think of it (and how easily we can forget that which matters most), I had already sought Godly counsel at the very beginning of my situation. The counsel I had received was in agreement with what the Lord had given me as counsel. Imagine that. I cannot remember which came first, their counsel or hearing directly from the Lord, but the answer was as clear as day.

Only months later, after the other person and I had reaped the very unfortunate rewards of our disobedience, did I heed the advice of a woman from whom I had originally sought counsel. “Why not go back to what God originally told you?” she suggested. “Well, hmmmm, ahhhhhh,” I hemmed and hawed. Big time. I continued in my disobedience until the pain was too great to stay the course. It was then I decided to pay my pastor a visit.

The lesson I learned in all of this is actually four-fold.

1. A godly person does not always give godly counsel. We are all human. We are all fallible. Never should I or anyone else put a human being’s counsel, no matter how godly the person is, above the counsel of the Lord. Godly counsel will ALWAYS be in agreement with God’s Word – the Bible – if it is truly counsel from Him.

2. Confusion comes when godly people do not necessarily give the same counsel. I became confused, and overwhelmed, when I heard different advice from different people from whom I sought counsel. Confusion comes from Satan, never from God. And the confusion remained and grew because I was giving more credence to the counsel of humans than trust in God’s counsel.

3. I can open the door to confusion when I seek counsel even though I already know the answer. I had put people in the position of wanting to advise me when I had already received my answer. My disobedience was the problem, not that I needed more counsel.

4. Never, ever exalt a human being above the Lord. Nor exalt a human’s works or words above His. The truth is that I had not only exalted my pastor’s counsel above the Lord’s, but I had exalted my pastor himself above the Lord. I have fallen prey to this sin many times in my life, putting people above the Lord. The Bible is astoundingly clear about how the Lord feels about this. It is outright sin, but then so were the other mistakes I had made in this situation.

It would not surprise me if I learned even more lessons than these, and time will surely tell. But in the meantime, I pray that my lesson may be a blessing to someone else.

Oh dear God, I thank you for your everlasting love and your mercy that never runs out! Not too long ago, I repented for all this. And I made the changes so I would come into obedience with you. And, dear Lord, it was hard on my flesh. But oh so beautiful. Because not only did you forgive me and give me the blessing of a deep cleansing, but I feel at last free. Free because now I can walk in you, and with you. No longer does my head droop to the ground, nor is my soul heavy with remorse. You have forgiven me, and I am walking where you have called me. I have put my trust in you, and I praise you for liberty. I am washed. I am clean. I am filled with your love. Thank you, dear Father. For loving me for always – the same way I love you. Love, your daughter, Lara.

2Co 10:5  KJV “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…”

Pro 11:14  “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.”

Exo 20:3  “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

1Jn 1:9  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

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