God Is My Counselor
Chapter taken from " The Very Heart of Worship"
Written By Cypress Ministries
Copyright Material, all rights reserved
Then David asked the LORD, “Should I chase
the people who took our families?
Will I catch them?” The LORD answered,
“Chase them. You will catch them,
and you will succeed in saving your families.”
~1 Sam. 30:8-9~
Welcome back. Let’s get right to our core study verse.
“You came down to Mount Sinai and spoke from heaven to our ancestors.
You gave them fair rules and true teachings, good orders and commands.
You told them about your holy Sabbath and gave them commands,
orders and teachings through
your servant Moses.”
Dear friend, one of the things that is so awesome about God is that at no time does He expect us to go it alone. This is the same God who knitted us together. This is the same God who created the universe. Glory to His Name Most High!
When you think about the complexity of how our bodies are made up or look at nature and the incredible structure of our planet, I have to tell you, God is a God of details! So, in knowing this about our God, we have to know He has complete knowledge and wisdom about what’s up ahead. He isn’t about to take us out into the wilderness and just drop us off and expect us to fend for ourselves. We, as New Testament believers, (and by that I mean that we are on this side of the cross), get to go up and ask for counsel from the Almighty God! At any given time we are welcome to drop to our knees and ask God, “Where do I go from here? What do I do now?”
Before the cross, God’s people were still able to seek God’s counsel; however, they did it through their leaders or the high priest. But whether we are speaking about the people on that side of the cross or our generation now after Christ’s crucifixion, we still are referring to a God who wants to be the God of His people. And that, my friend, means that when we have questions -- when we have problems -- when we have a need for direction or for someone bigger than ourselves; we have a God who is concerned. We have a God who loves His people, a God who is willing to give counsel and put us on course, shed light for us, move mountains for us, and go before us and show us the way.
It is important to be in a walk with God daily, to be in a habit of regular prayer and relationship with God at all times. It is equally important to look to Him for guidance before making an assumption. What God had us do at one point is not necessarily what He would have us to do the next time, though the situation may look similar. Just because something comes our way that looks like something we have dealt with before, does not mean that what worked before will work now. Don’t forget, at one time God had Moses hit a rock to provide water for His people, but then later on a separate occasion God had Moses speak to a rock. However, Moses didn’t obey, and it cost him entrance into the Promised Land.
Another biblical reference I would like you to look at is First Chronicles 14, starting in verse 8. The Philistines had heard that David had been made king so they came up to attack David. But, look at what David did. He asked God, “Is this what I should do?” And God, because He was asked, answered him.
David asked God, “Should I go and attack the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?” The LORD answered him, “Go, I will hand them over to you” (vs. 10).
David did indeed have victory. But later the Philistines attacked a second time. Again we read that David asked counsel of the LORD, and it is a good thing he did because this time God had different instructions for David. Look at verses 14-15:
“David prayed to God again, and God answered him, saying, ‘Don’t attack the Philistines from the front. Instead, go around them and attack them in front of the balsam trees. When you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then attack. I, God, will have gone out before you to defeat the Philistine army.’”
Twice God gave David victory over the enemy, but in different ways. Imagine what might have happened had David not asked. However, before this incident, David didn’t ask God for direction on how something was to be done and it cost a man his life. If you back up to chapter 13 in First Chronicles, David, along with the Israelites, decided it was a good idea to bring the Ark of the LORD back to Jerusalem. This seemed like an easy enough venture so they raced on ahead to accomplish it. But what David forgot, or maybe didn’t realize, was that God had a very specific way for the Ark to be carried. Only Levites were to transport it. And since David failed to inquire of the LORD first, he missed one key bit of information that would have made a huge difference. Later on in chapter 15:11-13 David admits his failure to ask God how to carry the Ark.
Having key bits of information makes a difference! A while back our oldest son had a friend spend the night and the next morning, on the way to a tournament for our other two sons, I was taking this friend home. I have to admit it was getting close to the time I needed to be at the gym, and I was getting really aggravated with the directions I was given to take this young man home. The boys couldn’t seem to give me a clear address or even a clear street name and, unfortunately, we have two bridges in the town we live in and my son got them confused. In my frustration (because I couldn’t understand why this young man couldn’t give better directions on how to get to his house), I turned my head to the right to ask them, “DOES ANY OF THIS LOOK FAMILIAR; AM I EVEN IN THE RIGHT PLACE?” The next thing I know, BAM! I hit a car that was turning through the intersection I was entering.
Luckily, no one was hurt. But an hour later, after the police had finished up everything, I found out my son’s friend had been in town for less than three weeks. No wonder he was having such a hard time telling me how to get home! I told my son later, “That bit of information would have been extremely helpful.”
Going back to our core verse in Nehemiah 9, the Israelites had just spent the past 430 years in Egypt as slaves. They weren’t going to know their way through the desert, much less how to live each day, without some help. God was in no way planning to make them fend for themselves. He doesn’t expect us to either, especially if He is taking us out of one place and bringing us to a new place altogether.
In the last chapter I spoke about my crossing into something new. I shudder to think of what all I would have missed if I hadn’t stopped to ask God for His counsel that Friday. Or even several months later, when things weren’t working out as I had planned. I could have just assumed that I had “misunderstood.” In fact I had several people ask the whole Eve question, “Now did God really say?” I could have, in my discouragement, decided maybe this wasn’t what I was supposed to do. But I kept looking back at my journal of the “Cypress trees” and what followed over the course of the following months.
If I have learned anything, it is that God is faithful and God doesn’t lie. I knew there was no way that the name “Cypress” had just somehow come from me and, by random chance, it was in the Bible verses I was to read the next day. I did not imagine the furnished office and everything that fell into place over the next few days. And let me tell you, I strongly suggest that when God is moving in your life, write it down! Journal it and pick up a few of your own Ebenezer stones to remind yourself, “That thus far, God has help.” (Read First Samuel 7) You will need them. It’s very easy for the enemy to rob you of your memories of God’s faithfulness when you are going through struggles or unexpected battles. It’s very easy for your shield of faith to become a mass of doubts when going through seasons that look like the dead of winter. But if you will journal your “God Movements,” if you will write down the traces of God’s hand you have experienced, then it is easier to hold on to the truth of God’s handiwork in your life during seasons of limited sight.
So when I came to what seemed to be a wrong direction leading right into a dead-end, I asked God, “What is this all about?” Had I somehow misunderstood the direction He was giving me? Did I take a wrong turn? I knew that God had moved me to this point, but I didn’t have clarity or understanding. Instead of throwing my hands up in the air and saying, “Oh well,” I went to God and asked for counsel. I prayed for understanding.
I am so glad I did. Because what I found is that yes, God was moving me, and if I would just wait and spend some time at God’s feet I would see that He had some major plans. Not just for me, but my whole family. Sometimes we, as humans, think we constantly have to be “doing.” We don’t realize that at certain times the most important thing we really need to be doing is following Mary’s example and sitting at Jesus’ feet. (Read Luke 10:38-42) Most often, when God wants to do something new in our lives, He will start off first requesting we spend a season of quietness with just Him. During these seasons we need to take some time to just learn from Him and give Him a chance to come in and clean house -- to let Him revamp some things in us, to restructure us, and most importantly, to heal or repair any needs in us before moving us forward.
While Mary was spending time with Jesus, her sister, Martha, was busy cooking, hosting, and serving everyone. My friend, sometimes we have to realize that every once in a while we need to take a break and tell everyone they can eat sandwiches because Jesus is in the house and we are spending time with Him!
If you don’t take time to get direction from God, then it is very easy to miss a very key step and you can wind up in the wilderness all alone wondering, “Where did everybody go?” Also, spending seasons in quietness with God allows for Him to plant things in us that will grow into amazing events if we will let Him work in us. What you have to know in advance, though, is sometimes God has to go in and prepare our hearts and our minds before He can start doing any planting in us. And if you are anything like I was, sometimes you have to let Him go in and pull some weeds and plow the soil first. But my, oh my, is it ever so worth it! Glory truly is to God!
The other incredible thing about God as our counselor is that we can come before Him in complete openness, as He already knows our hearts, and we don’t have to hide anything from Him. Nothing will shock Him. He welcomes us to come and just sit in His presence and talk to Him. Sometimes the best prayers are not what we are asking of Him, but instead just visiting with Him, opening up to Him, and letting His holiness infiltrate us. Often we miss the most important part of prayer with God, and that is just spending time in fellowship while basking in His warmth.
Don’t wait until you need “know-how” before going to God. Spend some time growing your relationship with Him during the calm seas so when storms do arise or challenges occur you will be ready and adept at hearing and listening to God. You will be more in tune with Him and will know with more certainty what details He is providing to you so that you can follow with sure footing.
The LORD says, “I will make you wise and show you where to go. I will guide you and watch over you” (Psalm 32:8).
In closing of God Is My Counselor,
♥ PRAYING IN FAITH
Father God, how good You are to us. Thank You for the counsel You so willingly give us. Thank You that at any time we can come before You and just rest in Your presence. I praise Your wonderful name, Lord God Most High. You are the creator of the heavens and the earth, yet You still bend Your ear to us to listen and give us the direction and guidance we need.
Thank You, for this time spent in Your Word and for teaching us. Father, I pray that You will continue to be with this reader following along with me. Please help them to hear You and to understand what You would have them to know and are teaching them.
In Christ Jesus’ name I pray,