“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers” (Psalm 1:1).
We often listen to those who are not quite who they pretend to be, or who we perceive them to be. Of course, the most wicked of these is our enemy, Satan. He whispers evil to us on a very regular basis, and since he cannot be everywhere at any one time, he employs his demon friends to help him accomplish his evil intentions. Satan and his demons send us messages constantly; often we are not aware of them. They are subliminal in nature, and we listen as if we are thinking up those thoughts all on our own.
But many who we listen to, while perhaps not wicked in the way our enemy is, are still not those from whom we should seek advice or wisdom. There are many reasons, but the point is that we must be careful who we associate with, period. God calls Christians to a high standard of purity, knowledge, wisdom, and living out His Word faithfully. But even as Christians, we are still human beings, with all the failings and pitfalls that accompany that distinction. Because God has called us His own, it is our responsibility to strive to be who He has created us to be. Therefore, we must choose our relationships with care, that we don’t damage our reputations or our walk with the Lord.
The psalmist refers to those who rebuke unwise counsel and questionable associations as blessed. We all want to be blessed by our God. All Christians receive blessings. We just don’t always recognize them as such. When we take the time to define and discover the blessings we already have, then we will see how great our God is to deliver all He has promised to us.
Our God has very specific expectations of those He has chosen as His. And because of this, we must be careful how we walk and talk.
We have all heard of “guilt by association.” This is when we associate with those whose reputations may be questionable. While we may really like them and enjoy their company, they may not have the best intent for us in their hearts. Their form of wisdom may not be God’s. Our reputations can be damaged by these friendships. While we must still treat them with love, we must also draw that line in the sand, and turn to God’s Word for wisdom in those situations.
God has placed people in our lives who will serve us well. Most of us have Christian family members, pastors and other church leaders, employers, and personal friends we know we can depend on and turn to when we need godly counsel. We identify with those we know we can trust with God’s business.
“But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by the streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”
Our first choice for godly and wise counsel should be the Author of our faith, God Himself. His Word is full of the things we need to know to live our lives fully, abundantly, and in a way pleasing to Him. When we look to Him, we cannot fail. We will be stronger, and we will be able to better endure trials and difficulties that come into our lives. Often He will point us to seeking out help from our brothers and sisters in Christ, and when we do, we utilize His wisdom, and the trust and unity for which the body of Christ has been designed and equipped.
Who do you listen to? If it is not God Himself, and those He has put in your life for this very purpose, then you are hearing words that may harm you, steal your peace or rob you of your hope. God has always been Our Hope, and remains so no matter who else is talking to us. Trust His Word, and trust His people. Hope comes every morning, and it comes from Him alone.
Who has talked to you recently, and how has that experience turned you to seek after God’s counsel instead? Please go to www.mystoryofgrace.com and share your insights and victories with us!