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December 27, 2011 – Professional Advice
14 So the [Israelite] men partook of their food and did not consult the Lord. – Joshua 9:14 AMP
At the beginning of the nation of Israel they faced a major test. The people of Gibeon, rather than face the insurmountable task of fighting the Israelites, decided to deceive them. They sent ambassadors in disguise, in old clothes with rotten food, to make a peace treaty with them. Everything looked legitimate. But Israel failed; they didn’t ask God about their visitors. Christian life is the same today in some respects; many times believers act before they ask.
Very often society and the Christian world as well act for seemingly godly reasons. God gives us wisdom and our children even attend great institutions of learning to have knowledge imparted into them. God would have us use those gifts so we wouldn’t have to bug Him about everything, right? I mean, let’s be serious; some things are just easy.
When people get sick many times they automatically seek out a doctor for a cure to their ailment. When people need legal advice they look for a lawyer. People even seek professional advice from psychiatrists to give them advice about their life or marriage. I have absolutely no problem with people seeking out advice from these professionals, but I wonder if Christians seek professional advice before or after asking God about their problems.
Now I am by no means saying that Christians should never seek out professional advice. I have seen doctors over the years from everything from a head cold to a hernia. And no, I never asked God if I should go. I don’t say that with pride; I say it with regret. I can also say with regret that I have attended churches and sought supposed godly friendships which I never asked Him about. In each situation I thought that God was just trying to grow me, or even more foolish, that I was there to help someone else. The bottom line was that God wanted me to seek Him out first and ask. He didn’t want me to rely on individuals or institutions for that part of my life that only He could fill. What was the result? The result was absolute and total failure. I left each situation feeling as if I had been taken advantage of. Like the Israelites, I ate the proverbial food from each situation and did not consult the Lord.
Don’t misunderstand me here. I’m not saying to always be on the defensive at church or around people. That would really make you into a crass and even harsh human being. The examples of church and friendships are something we can all relate to and I had personal experiences I could share. What I am saying is that we should ask God about everything in life. When we do, we can rest easy knowing that there is no need to worry; His advice is factual and needs no second opinion.
Many times when we seek the advice of professionals we may not like what we hear. In turn we seek a second opinion. If this information reaffirms the first opinion we do one of two things: we either accept the prognosis and take appropriate action or we march off in a tantrum and continue to seek an opinion that supports our own. None of us like to be wrong. But next time you find yourself at odds between your own opinion and seeking that of a professional, stop and ask God. He will tell you the facts of your situation.
The fact is that God’s counsel outweighs any personal or professional opinion. He knows more than your doctor, lawyer, accountant, psychiatrist, or even you. He can bend you back into shape better than your chiropractor. You may think you’re in too bad of a shape for Him to use you. Take it from someone who knows firsthand; if you seek Him first, He will set you on the right path.
Not seeking God first is when Christians often fall. Have you ever attended a church because all your friends did, it was closer to home, or your children wanted you to go? Did you take the first job that came along without asking God if it was the right one? Did you allow your children to go to a party at a friend’s house without knowing anything about the friend or their parents? In all these situations, the most important step has been left out. God’s counsel was never sought.
What about you? Do you seek God first? Are you relying on professionals in the world to help you in every aspect of life? Is there something you just can’t let go of in your life that you want a professional to explain away for you? Are you full of hope in Him, or do you need help from them? Just remember that God’s advice is factual and never needs a second opinion.
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