When I want to get my own way, I make sure no one is in my way. What I mean is I don’t seek the counsel of others; in fact, I avoid it. The Bible warns against such foolishness:
“A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he rages against all wise judgment.” (Proverbs 18:1)
Why would I do something I know the Bible clearly warns against? It is because I know if I do seek counsel, I’m going to be told to do the opposite of what I want to do. What this means is that I already know I shouldn’t be doing or do what I desire. If someone does try to warn me against it, my usual reply will be a rebuke. What I should be doing is thanking that brother for wise counsel:
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.” (Proverbs 12:15)
What is it that makes me do the opposite of what I know I need to do and that which the Bible commands? It is the same thing that made Eve eat the forbidden fruit. It is the root of all sinfulness.
It is pride.
Pride makes us believe we know what is best for our lives. Pride makes us rebel against wise counsel. Pride seems to have power over me. In truth, pride must be surrendered to just as I must surrender to the Holy Spirit’s leading.
I must choose who’s leading I will follow. Will I follow down pride’s path that leads to nothing but heartache and defeat? Or will I follow and pursue wisdom to where I am constantly on the path of righteousness and in my Father’s will? It’s not really a difficult concept to grasp. In fact, the Bible clears it up nicely and succinctly:
“By pride comes nothing but strife, but with the well-advised is wisdom.” (Proverbs 13:10)
How many times have you laid out plans to do something and not seek God’s counsel? I can testify to many, and even if I realized I hadn’t, I bring my finished product to God and ask Him to bless it. Notice I don’t ask if I should even be doing what I desire; I want to do it so I want God to bless it.
Here’s the most pathetic part of this; I know God is not going to bless my plan. I know this because it was conceived in selfishness and pride. Furthermore, I know that what I desire will not bring glory to God, and yet I still go forward as though I know best.
The truth is, I already know what the outcome will be if I go it alone versus seeking wise counsel from God, His word, my wife, and the counselors He has put in my life:
“Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” (Proverbs 15:22)
I am very aware of the Bible’s teaching, especially Proverbs, on the importance of seeking wise counsel. I try to read the Proverb of the day (there are 30; one for each day), and I have read through Proverbs over a hundred times.
The teaching of needing wise counsel is not a foreign subject to me. I have literally been studying from the Book of Proverbs for nearly two decades. With this knowledge, one would think my first impulse would be to seek counsel.
Praise be to God that is usually my first response. However, when my wicked heart takes over and I surrender to my desires, then I find myself hiding from those very people who love me and want the best for me.
Okay, I don’t literally hide from them, but neither do I seek them out.
I would do well to establish in my heart not its own desires but God’s.
That will happen when I fervently seek Him and His word.
Once I do that, the rest will fall in place.
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Copyright © 2015 David Jeffers