Greetings! In today’s class, we shall discuss more about how we can be guided by God. Find out what it means to successfully get guidance from God, and find out what the best human counselor should do.
You Can Be Guided By God
God often cuts us off from certain avenues, in order that we may be drawn to Him, driven to Him for advice, for counsel, for guidance. Notice the fifth verse of Proverbs 3. What does it say? “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” Proverbs 3:5.
Well, I wonder why not. Why not lean unto your own understanding? Don’t even lean that way. Balaam went to God for guidance, but he leaned hard to his own understanding, didn’t he? Did he finally get his way? Yes, he got it. Did he get to go over there, to Balak? Yes. And did he finally get in with the king in an endeavor to curse Israel? Oh, yes. If you don’t know how he succeeded, read that chapter in Patriarchs and Prophets called “Apostasy at the Jordan.”
My point is, friends, people who dare to go to God for guidance and yet lean unto their own understanding, are only asking for more problems. That is all. To successfully get guidance from God means that we simply lay aside ourselves and look to Him: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” Proverbs 3:5, 6.
Well, someone says, “Sure, I know I don’t know much, but then I know some people who know a lot. I think I will go to them.” Well, turn over to Jeremiah 17. We will see what it says about that: “Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD” Jeremiah 17:5.
Now, don’t misunderstand me, friends. There is a place for asking counsel. But I want to tell you something. (And oh, don’t miss this!) Older people as well as young people, listen: Whenever any man you ask for counsel leads you to look to him as an authority instead of God, you are better off without him. And I don’t care what realm it is in:
“Man’s words, if of any value, echo the words of God” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, page 423.
The best human counselor you can find is one that will simply direct you to a “thus saith the Lord.” You see, on any question that you may have in your mind, God has either spoken or He hasn’t. If God has spoken, how foolish it is for some human being to tell you something else. He is of value only as he points you to what God has said, and then it is God that is speaking, not the counselor. Do you see?
And let me tell you, young and old, be careful about giving counsel. It is surprising how many young people are moved by what their young friends advise them to do. Boys will sit and they will discuss about this or that. This one will give his opinion and that one his opinion. I suppose it looks like a sign of maturity to express what we think somebody ought to do. I am sorry to say that that is because as young people, we hear older people ventilating their views. But it isn’t a sign of maturity to smoke, even though some adult people smoke. Isn’t that right? And it is not a sign of maturity, friends, to just express what we think everybody ought to do. That is a sign of immaturity.
Now, if God has spoken on a subject, the important thing is to find out what God has said. And if God hasn’t spoken on a subject, it is one of two things, usually. It is either something that doesn’t make that much difference, or else it is something that God has reserved to Himself to guide you individually, and He wants you to listen to Him. He has something to tell you in the secret place of prayer.
You will find in Volume 5 some instruction for people who need to be guided by the Lord. It says to go to your closet and there, alone, commune with God: “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD” Jeremiah 17:5. So, we are not to trust in our own wisdom. That is foolishness. We are not to trust in the wisdom of man apart from God. That is foolishness. The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.
What is the purpose of getting counsel from God? It is to please Him. If we have any other purpose, we will probably not get what we are after. If I am asking the Lord for wisdom so I will know how to play the stock market and be a millionaire, I may not get much wisdom. If I am asking the Lord to help me work out my career and plans according to my ideas, He may not help me. The great purpose of seeking counsel is that we may please Him – that we may fill that need in His heart.
I want to give you another little sentence to note. The reference is Ephesians 5:10, but it is the Twentieth Century translation: “Always be trying to find out what best pleases the Lord” Ephesians 5:10, Twentieth Century translation. Isn’t that beautiful? Someone gave me that when I was just a teenager, and I have loved it ever since.
I learned this from a dear friend. He used to have an expression when young people would ask him for advice – “What do you think I ought to do about this? What do you think I ought to do about that? How do you think I ought to wear my hair? What do you think I ought to do about something else?” Do you know what he would say? He would say, “If you will go to God, and if you will just play fair with God, He will guide you.” Do you know what he meant, to play fair with God? Why, he meant to go to God honestly, and openly, and sincerely and say, “Lord, there is just one thing I want. I want to please You.” And then do what you think will please Him. That’s what will please Him.
“Oh,” you say, “but I do that, and I am not quite sure.” Well, if you are not sure, just do what you think will please Him. That is all. Sometimes people give me a birthday present. They don’t come around always and ask beforehand what I want, but they give me what they think will please me. Well, if they are trying to please me, it pleases me. Why? Because they are trying to please me. Don’t you see? It is that simple. And so if you are seeking to please your Lord, you do please Him. What pleases Him is your desire to please Him, your choice to please Him.
Let me illustrate that. Are there some people this week that will be keeping Sunday, thinking it is the Sabbath? Will they keep Sunday trying to please the Master? Does it please Him? Why, sure it pleases Him. Now, someday they will find out about the true Sabbath, and then what will they do? Well, they will keep it. Why? Because they have been wanting to please the Lord. And as soon as they find out that what He said was the seventh day instead of the first, Saturday instead of Sunday, they will change over. And it won’t take them a long time to do it, because all the while they have been trying to what? Please Him.
A friend of mine, a minister, was starting a series of meetings, and some people were coming. And they were so happy with what they were hearing. They wanted to show the minister how much they appreciated it. So they brought him a great big ham. Well, did it please him? Sure it pleased him. He didn’t eat it, of course, but it pleased him. Why? Because the people appreciated him. By and by, they found out that wasn’t the thing to do, and then of course, they didn’t bring him any more hams.
Do you see what I am getting at, dear friends? The thing that pleases God is not the precise thing you do in dress or diet or music or reading or education or Sabbath keeping or any other subject. No, no, friends. The thing that pleases your Lord is that you want to please Him.
But when you have that attitude, you don’t settle back and say, “Oh well, if that is it, I don’t need to study anymore. I don’t need to learn anymore.” No, no. The more you love Him and the more you want to please Him, the more you want to study in the books to find out what best pleases Him. But you won’t be on pins and needles thinking that you can’t please Him until you know it all. You will know that you please Him just because you tell Him you love Him and want to please Him. Oh, friends, I am so glad about that. Aren’t you?
You know, I hear some music sometimes, and maybe you do too, that you wouldn’t choose, some kinds of religious music. And some, I think, to borrow a phrase, is “way out.” And I mean “way out.” But, I want to tell you something, friends, and don’t miss it. If a person is singing that music, and that is the best they know to praise God, I say the dear Lord sifts out a lot of discord, and He hears what the heart is singing.
And do you know He has to do that with the music we sing? Or did you know that? Or did you think we already sang like angels? Ah, friends, whether we have a musically gifted voice or not, our precious Lord loves to hear us sing to Him. By God’s grace, let us each pick a hymn today, to sing to Jesus. As we sing, let each word be a prayer. Please do share the hymn that you chose, in the comments section below! Was there a particular verse that resonated with your soul? Please explain.
What Stands Out To You?
What stands out to you from today’s lesson, that can help you in entering into a C.I.P. with Jesus? Please let us know, in the comment section, below! God bless!
Previous ‘You Can Be Guided By God’ Lesson: Lesson 1
* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.
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