Do You Listen to Others Before You Listen to God?

Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

(Proverbs 19:20-21 ESV)


If you are going into a battle, who would you want to come fight with you?

  • Someone who doesn’t want what’s best for you and may even harm you
  • Someone who is fearful and will restrict you
  • Someone who will stand with you and fightsocial media_black and white

The answer is clear–the last person is ideal. You want someone who’s on your side to fight with you. The reality is, in the day to day battles we fight, we don’t always see people’s true colors or intentions–at least not at first. Even with social media today, everyone has an opinion, everyone will have advice to give you, but not all advice is right.

 

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world (1 John 4:1 KJV).

Proverbs 19:20-21 instructs us to listen to wise advice but also to know God’s Word stands above everything. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what anyone says or plans out if it’s contrary to God’s will. He has the final say every time!

It’s essential that we listen to God’s voice before we listen to the voices of others. People will be quick to tell you what they think you should do–and even base their advice on their own experiences. However, you don’t know if this person is advising you based on their own fears or based on wisdom. Their story is their story. Your story is your story. What happened to them won’t necessarily happen to you. God’s got you covered with a unique plan.

“The Lord of hosts has sworn: ‘As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand’” (Isaiah 14:24 ESV).

This doesn’t mean we should be skeptical of everyone we come across. God needs us to care for each other and build each other up!

“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14 KJV).

If someone is living a godly life, you’ll know based on the fruit of their lives. We just need wisdom regarding who we follow–whether that’s online or in real life. God’s Word will always reign true, and His commandments don’t change. It’s OK to take notes from those you admire and to learn from other people’s past mistakes. Discipleship is valuable, and it’s a commandment. Make sure what others tell you lines up with what God tells you. God will give you the discernment–you just need to go to Him first. Learn the Bible for yourself. Check and see what God says about your problem before you try and consult the Web or someone else.

Stay teachable, but know why you believe what you believe according to the Word.


My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:  For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

(Proverbs 3:1-4 KJV)

On Increasing Your Faith

Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.

(Micah 7:7 KJV)


Lately, I’ve realized how easy it is to forget God’s promises. Unanswered prayers and continuous trials are circumstances in which the enemy can slip into our minds and cause us to doubt or limit God. It’s key to acknowledge that this is deception. The enemy tries to infiltrate our thoughts by any means possible especially through negative situations, because he does not want us to reach our full potential in Christ.

Nevertheless, whom God calls, He equips. By taking practical steps to increase our faith, we can stand firm in His promises and persevere:

1) Ask

Go to God in prayer. When we have a relationship with Christ, we have access to actually communicate with the Creator of the Universe (which still blows my mind). It can be hard to believe that He is working things out for good, but we do not have to stay in this struggle alone. We are told in the Word that we can ask for godly qualities in which we might lack such as wisdom–surely we can ask for better faith as well.

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:13 (KJV)

2) Replace

Replace negative thoughts. This is something even society teaches us in order to think positively. Any form of discouragement can be replaced by the truth. We can hold onto thoughts like “Things will never get better” or we can claim “Things will get better.” Catching yourself in these moments of negativity and making effort to correct them will dramatically change your outlook on your situation. In my experience, I’ve found that this change in mindset is a process, and it can take time. Our minds constantly want to doubt when we do not see transformation in our lives. However, declaring the truth is not a one time thing. It’s a daily thing. Keep claiming it. There is great power in rejecting lies and deception.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

3) Praise

You have gone to God in prayer, and you have been claiming the truth of His promises. Get excited, because He has already been working in your life! Every year, during Thanksgiving dinner, each member of my family shares things that they are thankful for. When I hear even my youngest cousins thank God for “food” or their “house” or “parents,” I realize how easy it is to forget that these “little” things (things that are so common to us that we take for granted) come from God. At college, I’ve realized the things that have drawn me closer to Him, such as godly relationships, a solid church, and Bible studies are all blessings from the Lord. There are even so many things God has brought us out of, such as sickness, stress, etc., that we should praise Him for.

Acknowledging the things that have been provided in our lives is a great reminder for us that we can trust God. We can take our minds off what has not yet come to pass, give power to Him, and have security that He will never fail to meet our needs.

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. Hebrews 13:15 (KJV)

4) Thank Him

Claim your victory. Claim His promises. Thank God for what He is going to do in your life. God has answered your prayers before, and He will do it again. Yes, sometimes prayers are not in the way you expected. Rejoice in that, because as humans, we are 100% fallible, and God sometimes answers our prayers in unexpected ways to correct what would have otherwise gone wrong (if we had our way).

Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Micah 7:7 (KJV)

For me, I’ve found that I love to discuss God’s goodness with others. It allows me to see what He’s done in my life and how He’s blessed others, and it’s always super encouraging for me.

Remember that God loves you. It’s a concept that seems easy to grasp, but if we really understood that, we’d understand that His promises are true. Every last one of them. That we have no reason to fear (Joshua 1:9). That we will be provided for (Philippians 4:19) That we have no reason to fear death (John 11:25). And so on.

Through Christ, we have victory. We have already conquered the challenges that seem near impossible. Seek after Him during these “impossible” times. Seek after Him during times in which everything seems possible. Study the Word, obey God’s commandments, and dare to live righteously in a world that will tell you otherwise.

I have security in understanding that the God I serve is not bound by this world. He works things out supernaturally in ways that no human can imitate.