Have you ever found yourself in deep trouble because you did not first ask God’s counsel? I am quite sure every one of us can answer “yes” to that question, no matter how devout of a Christian you and I are.
The book of Joshua tells us about the time the Israelites were deceived by the Gibeonites when they did not seek God’s counsel:
And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord. (Joshua 9:14 KJV)
The Message version of the Bible makes it a little clearer than the King James Version:
The men of Israel looked them over and accepted the evidence. But they didn’t ask God about it. (Joshua 9:14 MSG)
Fortunately Joshua and the leaders of Israel learned their lesson very quickly because in the next chapter of the book of Joshua, God performed some of the most remarkable feats in Israel’s military history because Joshua sought God’s counsel and prayed in front of all the people of Israel:
As the Amorites retreated down the road from Beth-horon, the Lord destroyed them with a terrible hailstorm from heaven that continued until they reached Azekah. The hail killed more of the enemy than the Israelites killed with the sword. On the day the Lord gave the Israelites victory over the Amorites, Joshua prayed to the Lord in front of all the people of Israel. He said, “Let the sun stand still over Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still and the moon stayed in place until the nation of Israel had defeated its enemies. The sun stayed in the middle of the sky, and it did not set as on a normal day. There has never been a day like this one before or since, when the Lord answered such a prayer. Surely the Lord fought for Israel that day! (Joshua 10:11-14 NLT)
In the New Testament, Jesus reiterates how important it is to ask, seek and knock of our Heavenly Father:
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV)
The Israelites blundered when it came to the Gibeonites, but they learned their lesson immediately afterwards. We have that same privilege. That is why daily prayer, bible studying, and examining ourselves for sin are so important. Every day we face problems, challenges, and evil. It grieves me to see so many ministers in the limelight that proclaim all these wonderful things that are going to happen to their followers while failing to remind them that they must seek the face of God with a pure heart each and every day.
Personally, I don’t need someone to motivate me. I can find motivational speakers in the secular world if I wanted one. Or I could get myself a life coach or personal trainer. What I really need is someone to convict me to move on to higher ground spiritually. I hope it’s the same way with you.
If you continue reading in the book of Joshua, you come across a remarkable statement:
But Moses gave no allotment of land to the tribe of Levi, for the Lord, the God of Israel, had promised that He Himself would be their allotment. (Joshua 13:33 NLT)
This is a reminder of what the Lord set in place thru Moses, which encompassed dedicated positions that required around-the-clock responsibilities:
I myself have chosen your fellow Levites from among the Israelites to be your special assistants. They are a gift to you, dedicated to the Lord for service in the Tabernacle. And the Lord said to Aaron, “You priests will receive no allotment of land or share of property among the people of Israel. I am your share and your allotment.” (Numbers 18:6, 20 NLT)
Remember, the fire must be kept burning on the altar at all times. It must never go out. (Leviticus 6:13 NLT)
Being a Christian, just like serving in the Temple, is an around-the-clock privilege and duty!
So my fellow Christian, what do you really want? Do you just want all the blessings God has to offer or do you really want Him first and foremost? Do you want God and His counsel or do you want things your way?
Luke reported this about Jesus:
And He withdrew Himself into the wilderness, and prayed. (Luke 5:16 KJV)
You may fool yourself and those around you, but you can’t fool the demons who are watching your every step to find ways of tripping you up and tempting you to sin. If you can’t fool the demons, you certainly aren’t going to fool God who sees every sparrow that lights on the ground and knows the number of hairs on your head. You can live a pretend Christian Life all that you want to by dishing out the lingo of “Amen” and “Praise the Lord” every chance you get:
“Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.” (Matthew 15:7-8 NKJV)
Let us never forget that our LORD is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5) and we must be ever so careful in the counsel we seek:
Do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord. (Deuteronomy 18:10b-12a NLT)
Unless you’re living within the whole counsel of God, the Gibeonites will crop up and be there to remind you!
So let us pray and seek God the Father’s counsel, first and foremost, just like Jesus did, then get up from our knees and follow that counsel just like Jesus did, no matter how hard the road is:
And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luke 22:41-44 NKJV)
Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward…..(John 18:4 NKJV)