Jan
11
2015

A regular practice?

You have read the same book or seen the same video many times. You know what’s coming next. Yet, when you get to that familiar part of the plot, you are still fascinated by the truth it portrays. This is the way to describe this week’s post and no doubt I must have written a few posts on this topic in the past.

This week’s truth is found in Joshua 9. The book of Joshua records the journey of the Israelites through the wilderness. Then in Joshua 9, they come near the territory occupied by the Gibeonites. Realising that the hand of God was upon the Israelites, the Gibeonites devised a strategy to preserve themselves and generations to come. They pretended that they had come from a far country and asked the Israelites to make a covenant of peace with them. They showed the Israelites their carefully mocked-up provisions and then we read in verse 9:

‘Then the men of Israel took some of their provision, but they did not seek the counsel of the Lord.’

In other words, they looked at the natural but did not seek counsel of the Lord. We all know what happened afterwards. The Israelites realised that they were neighbours but the covenant had been made and there was no going back.

So what exactly is its application for us as we move into the New Year? What exactly does it mean to seek God’s counsel? It simply means to ask God what He thinks about any situation. Seeking God’s counsel helps us to walk with God and make the right choice. Seeking God’s counsel empowers us when we face life’s difficulties.

Let’s look at a few other examples:

  • When three armies joined against Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat enquired of the Lord (2 Chronicles 20:3)
  • When Moses was asked a question about celebrating the Passover, he answered ‘Wait until I find out what the Lord commands concerning you’ (Numbers 9:8).

Perhaps nobody better exemplifies this for us than David as recorded in numerous places (1 Samuel 23:1-5; 4-5; 10-11, 1 Samuel 30:9, 12-14, 2 Sam 2:1-2, 3:17-21, 5:22-23, 21:1. The reason I listed all the scriptural references for David was because he is showing us that this practice is possible. It’s a habit that needs to be cultivated.

Seeking God’s counsel was a regular practice in David’s life and direction. Whenever he faced a situation, he enquired of the Lord as he wanted to know God’s will for each occasion. Every time, God answered him. No wonder God says of David in Acts 13:23:

‘I have found David a man after my own heart, who will do My will’. Many times we stop after reading the first part but God actually says that David does His will. It’s not difficult to see why he did God’s will – he was always enquiring of God.

If I was to do some self-reflection based on today’s post, I would have to admit that I sometimes seek God’s counsel. I cannot say that this is something I practise all the time. Why not do some self-reflection yourself and the truth might surprise you. Remember, this is more than just praying about things. This is about enquiring and waiting for an instruction – a harder practice sometimes, unless it is something we have cultivated.

Seeking God’s counsel is actually an act of humility whereby we are given the ability to frequently showcase our dependency. The invitation is open, but the question is whether we will take advantage of it. When we need direction and the path is unclear, we need only apply this simple principle from the scriptures. It really is that simple.

As we move into the year ahead, maybe there is a prayer that we need to pray – O Lord teach me to seek Your counsel in every situation.

So until I appear again in your inbox with more insight from the scriptures, stay blessed

 

Ola

About the Author: Ola Aroyehun

Ola Aroyehun editor of The Christian Business and Professional Magazine: a magazine dedicated to helping Christians apply biblical principles to their professional lives.

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