HARBOR LIGHT #2: HOLY SPIRIT AND OTHER COUNSELORS – 10%
Nothing can take the place of getting into God’s Word ourselves. But what if we are new to the Bible and have little experience in testing inner impressions against Scripture? This is when it is helpful to know Godly Christians who live the Word. If we know someone like this, we need to ask them to be our spiritual mentor. The Word tells us, “Where no counsel is, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Prov. 11:14 KJV).
The First Counselor is Holy Spirit
The first counselor we have is the Holy Spirit in our heart. The question is, “What does our heart tell us?” The Psalmist writes, “I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel . . . .” (Ps. 73:23-24). “Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors” (Ps. 119.24).
Again, we see the Word as our main counselor. When the Holy Spirit works in conjunction with the Word, they bring peace to our heart, and we know we are on the right track.
Still, there is a need for other counselors. Even mature Christians continually need confirmation from others in Christ’s one body to help solidify decisions of guidance. The Bible tells us we should seek confirmation in order to let every matter be established by the testimony of two or more witnesses (see Matt. 18:16). God honors these requests for confirmation to make a wise decision. This is all a part of asking God for His wisdom in the matter and then not second-guessing it when He gives it; yet, we are not to test God.
Both Matthew and Luke record Jesus’ words to not put the Lord to a foolish test (see Matt. 4:7 and Luke 4:12). This can be likened to asking God to cause a blue car to drive by next if we should do such and such, or like the lady who altered her drive to work to avoid passing her favorite bakery. She accidentally forgot one morning, approached the bakery and prayed, “Lord, it’s up to you . . . if you want me to have any of those delicious goodies, create a parking place for me directly in front of the bakery.” Sure enough, on the eighth time around the block, there it was!
Godly Counselors can be God’s Vessel to Bring His Guidance to Us
Marlene waited for God’s voice of confirmation. She had her first harbor light–God’s Word. But, her initial attempts at finding a publisher failed and she found it hard to finish her task. Well-meaning friends only discouraged her more. Next, a leader at a writer’s retreat which she had not planned to attend, said, “God chose you. As you abide in him, your life will bring forth fruit.” Marlene knew in her heart God was speaking directly to her through this speaker. She was challenged to make a goal of completing her book in one year, which she did.
Followers of Christ can be God’s vessel to bring His word to us. For those at the river’s edge, the officers, God’s messengers, relayed the words of guidance to the people. After the three days were complete, they went into all the Israelite’s camps and commanded them, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, who are Levites, carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it” (Josh. 3:3). The ark of the covenant contained the Ten Commandments on the tablets God gave Moses and the people, and it represented His presence. In the wilderness, the people followed the cloud that went before them. Now, they were to follow His Word.
“Keep a distance of about a thousand yards between you and the ark; do not go near it,” (Josh. 3:4) the officers told the people. They had to wait still longer until they could visibly see the ark before taking one step. If they got too close and touched the ark, they would die. We have to be ever so careful not to be hasty. Running ahead of God can be fatal. It is a serious matter. If He is not in a situation, we can lose everything: finances, friends, family, and freedom. Haste truly does make waste (see Prov. 21:5).
This point of haste cannot be overemphasized. This is what God personally explained to Joshua, Chapter 1:3-4 . Satan is constantly attempting to side-track us from our divine destiny by distracting us with “things” on the right and left-hand sides. These temptations of hasty major purchases such as a new house, a new car, more of this and more of that–time-consuming “toys” take our minds away from pursuing God’s purpose for our lives. Major changes in life are always necessary, but only with prayer, patience, and rational research processes do they bring peace. Wise King Solomon gives God’s wisdom, “The plans of the mind and orderly thinking belong to man, but from the Lord comes the [wise] answer of the tongue” (Prov. 16:1 Amplified, emphasis mine).
Satan uses three areas to tempt us: the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, then he says, “You deserve it. Do it now!” This do it now urgency is no less than being pursued by the Egyptians who pursued the Israelites crossing on the dry ground of the Red Sea.
This is why Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matt. 6:13).