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(Presented by Lisa Bishop)
When you are facing a difficult situation and you don’t know what to do, who or what do you turn to? Is your first instinct to cry out to God? Do you attempt to figure things out on your own? Or perhaps you turn to a friend, relying on their advice? For the record, seeking the advice of wise friends is a sound thing to do as Proverbs 12:15 reminds us, “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.” The thing to consider is, do you run to people before turning to God? I know I can be tempted to seek counsel from friends before sitting with the Lord. After all, it takes patience and courage to cry out to God and trust that he will hear and that his Holy Spirit will be your guide.
When I am facing uncertainty in life, one of my favorite verses to meditate on is 2 Chronicles 20:12. Here we find the story of Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, facing war being waged against him by the Ammonites and Moabites–Judah’s enemies. In the midst of a vast army coming against him, we read that Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord before seeking the counsel of men.
““Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’…For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chronicles 20:6-9, 12).
In the midst of uncertainty, Jehoshaphat acknowledges God’s power and authority and recalls his faithfulness as he courageously cries out, “We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
When you face uncertainty, how do you make God your first go-to? First, be in the Word of God daily so that you are more and more convinced of the truth of God and his character. We tend to seek advice from people we trust. Do you trust the Lord? That can be a tough question. Maybe your trust wavers. If that is the case, you are not alone. That’s part of being human as you seek to grow more in your knowledge of God and encounters with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. But before you seek counsel from friends, discipline yourself to sit before God. Talk to him. Cry out. Be vulnerable and mirror the words of Jehoshaphat. “Jesus, I don’t know what to do but my eyes are on you.” As James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
Seeking counsel from godly people in your life is wise. Just be mindful that you are not cutting God out of the equation. Have the courage to go to him first. He is the one who sees all, knows all, and whose counsel you can always trust in.