Love you all, praying for you,’
11 Things You Need To Know About Counsel:
#1 – God said to Seek Counsel. God says above all else, get wisdom. And counsel is one of the ways you get wisdom. Listen to advice and accept instruction and for the rest of your life you will be wise. It’s how you gain wisdom, and victory. Many advisers make victory sure. Humility is the key. If you are not humble, you will never receive counsel anyway, it’s why many people don’t seek it. Why don’t people seek counsel? #1 They don’t realize God’s Command to get counsel – or the benefits it brings. #2 They think they don’t have the time, or they didn’t recognize the need for counsel early enough in the decision process #3 They think they know better and they don’t want anyone’s opinion that’s different from theirs. #4 They think they know what that person is going to say – so they don’t bother asking #5 They don’t want to disappoint or upset someone if they end up doing something different than the counsel they shared. #6 – They don’t really have any friends who are Obeyers... who fear God, who are filled with the Holy Spirit, and whose lives reflect the wisdom of God. They don’t have a trusted set of counselors that want God’s best for them, without personal gain.
#2 – There’s two kinds of counsel - the wisdom that comes from God, and the wisdom that comes from the world. One seems right, the other is right. What is wisdom to the world is foolishness to God, He laughs at it. And God’s wisdom often seems foolish to man. In everything in life – especially wisdom, there’s God’s Way and man’s way. When seeking counsel, you’ll get one or the other. Ask God to help you discern between the two.
#3 – Timing is everything - “Mom & Dad, today I joined the army. What do you think?” This is not seeking counsel, this is seeking approval. It is making a decision without gaining counsel, and wanting people to agree with the decision you made. Seeking approval, does not give you any of the vast benefits that seeking counsel does. “When” you seek counsel is a key factor. The time to seek counsel is before you make a decision, not after. Seeking approval or agreement is not seeking counsel.
#4 - Don’t Predetermine. That is a counsel-killer. It eliminates the benefits of counsel. Many people seek counsel – because God said to, but really, they have already made up their mind. They are not seeking counsel – they are seeking approval. At least they are doing it before they walk into the Recruiter’s office and join the army – but they have already decided what they are going to. It’s not really seeking counsel if you’ve already made up your mind.
#5 – Plan Ahead and Prepare. Know when you face or are about to face a choice or decision that would benefit from Godly Counsel. Every decision you make would benefit from God’s counsel, and many of the decisions you face, you could add to your wisdom, by seeking counsel from others on this decision. Plan ahead. Know what decisions would benefit from counsel, and ask God who to seek counsel from. They may have counsel for you immediately, and some may want to think about it and get back to you. First Prepare – One thing that really helps before you ask others for their counsel - is your PiVAT Decision Tool. It will help you seek God and others, and add great clarity and peace for you. It will help you ask God first, (your #1 Counselor) and help you clearly understand both the specific decision you face and what is at stake. It will also help you more clearly articulate the challenge or opportunity you face to those whose counsel you seek.
#6 – Choose Carefully. Some people seek counsel but from the wrong people. If they aren’t obeyers, if they don’t walk in the fear of the LORD… You will not find knowledge on their lips. They’ll have an opinion, but it’s not wise counsel. It’s not God’s Counsel. Who should you seek counsel from? Who’s in your circle of obeyers have proven themselves faithful to the LORD, whether “experts” in this area or not. Additionally – what ‘experts’ might share valuable insight even if they are not believers in God? If I need heart surgery, they don’t have to be a believer, I’d rather have a great cardiologist. Same thing with a car mechanic. Third – there’s a difference between a church goer, and an obeyer. Many people go to church and claim the name of God, but don’t really operate in their life according to His principles. Obeyers are always the best counselors.
#7 – Know The Priority Order of counsellors. The Number One Counselor is the Holy Spirit. He operates by the Word of God. He gives you the mind of Christ, and the heart of God for you. He’ll give you counsel in the night season. If you lack wisdom, God said ask, and He will give it. He won’t compete with all the other voices. He’ll try, but He won’t override you. He will let you make the choice. The number two counselor you have is your spouse, or finance, or spouse to be. Your number three counselor is your parents, whether they are believers or not. It’s a way you can honor your parents. Then comes, obeyers and experts in whatever field the decision lies. Whether believers or not, their advice you can discern through the Holy Spirit. Know also that just because they are a sales rep, doesn’t mean they don’t have some good advice to share with you. But be aware that advice from people on commission is always tainted with self-interest – it’s human nature. The best counselors, are obeyers, who love you and have nothing to gain. Another thing to remember about counsel. Counsel confirms what God is prompting you to do – if you are walking in the Spirit. It enhances or shares more effective ways to do what God is leading you to. Rarely will God use counsel to introduce you to something He wants you to do. They really might think that joining the Foreign Legion is perfect for you – but if God has never put that in your spirit – it’s unlikely Him talking now… Ask God for a “goto circle” of Godly counselors – who fear God, whose lives reflect the wisdom of God, the fruit of the spirit, and the joy of the LORD, who love you and have nothing to gain personally. Their counsel will benefit you greatly in your obedience walk with God. They will help to confirm God’s path for you, and give wisdom and encouragement that will help you succeed.
#8 Ask Strategically – When asking others for their counsel, If you did a PiVAT Decision Tool – you will be able to clearly communicate what you are asking them about. It might also be a good idea to set the table by telling them the timeframe you have to make this decision, ask them when would be a good time to get together with them to talk about it. Also, you might want to ask them for their thoughts, feelings, opinion and also their counsel. And ask them for anything they feel that God wants them to share with you regarding this – at this time? This will help them remember themselves the difference between opinion and counsel. Opinion is what you think. Counsel is what you recommend in light of God’s truth, your personal experience of your own results of obedience in this area or a similar one, and specifically what the Holy Spirit is leading you to share with them.
#9 Qualify Accordingly – When asking them, let them know how much you appreciate anything God wants them to share, whether opinion or counsel. And just let them know you are trying to obey God by seeking a multitude of counsel. That encourages them to seek God themselves about what He wants them to share with you. And also reminds them that others will also be giving counsel – so they understand that theirs will be one part of a larger whole. Immature counsel-givers might be tempted to be offended if you don’t follow their counsel, or all of it exactly as they recommended. This reminds them that God will use their counsel as well as others’ and your decision will possibly the same, or different, or become a combination of them all.
#10 Don’t assume that everyone’s counsel will agree, sometimes they differ. This is not “ask the audience” on Who Want’s To Be A Millionaire. You’re not polling for the highest percentage, you are obeying God’s Word – and letting the Holy Spirit lead you, not anyone else. God just may use them to confirm, and add practical wisdom from their obeying experience, to help you succeed in the most effective way. Nine out of ten people might say one thing but God may clearly tell you to follow the counsel of the tenth. Or God may tell you to do something that no-one agrees with. But be very very careful. If you have Spirit-Filled Obeyers in your circle of counselors – this will be extremely rare. When possible – gather a few of them together when seeking counsel – one person’s counsel may be confirmed or expanded on by another as the Holy Spirit leads.
#11 – Follow Through - Seeking counsel from someone honors them, if you really are seeking counsel, not having already made up your mind, or having done it already. If you qualified accordingly – a follow-up note or conversation explaining your decision and thanking them for their counsel and how it helped you form your decision would be an appropriate way to honor them. Especially if there is already a testimony as a result of that decision and their counsel helped bring success. If your decision differed somewhat from their advice, you may share how God led you a little differently, but how grateful you are for the part that they shared.
Two Final thoughts - about God’s direction to seek counsel.
#1 Become a good counselor yourself – and you will better discern God’s counsel through others. The value of the counsel you give is directly proportional to level of your obedience. The more you obey, the better counselor you become. The more you know His Word, the easier it will be to hear and obey. Slow to obey – and you’ll give weak counsel. Instant and complete in obedience, and your life will reflect the wisdom of God, and your Godly counsel will come from personal experience, and the testimony of God. Your words for others will be timely counsel – like apples of gold in settings of silver. God will be able to use you to give them that word aptly spoken, that well timed counsel that so greatly helps and encourages them.
#2 – A Daily Call – is great for built-in Godly counsel. That’s one of the reasons God said Exhort one another daily. When you have a Daily Call with another obeyer – their testimony is giving you counsel on what you face right now, or may face soon... And the proximity with each other gives opportunity for timely counsel and prayer – from someone who is probably familiar with the background or opportunity. The more you obey the better the counsel you give, and the more you walk with another obeyer, the better the counsel you receive. Praying that you will grow in obedience, grow in maturity as you share counsel, and grow in humility so you seek the counsel that God has for you through others - that will help bring your victory.
Love you all,
Kelly Kamentz - Jesus follower, husband, father, and friend, helping others surrender time, thoughts, money, and testimony, to fulfill their purpose!