WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 1, 2021
TOPIC: LISTEN TO GODLY TEACHINGS AND COUNSEL
BY T. O. BANSO
“The godly person gives wise advice, but the tongue that deceives will be cut off” (Proverbs 10:31 New Living Translation).
One of the ways people ruin their lives is by listening to ungodly teachings and counsel. Sometimes one looks at the people some persons are listening to and what they are teaching them or advising them and one is afraid of their future. They are a disaster waiting to happen.
I have talked to people before who would not listen to godly teachings and counsel. They were receiving contrary teachings or counsel from other sources. Nothing you told them made sense to them. Some were so full of themselves that they had no regard for anyone. They had no teacher and they were their own counselors. They listened to nobody except themselves.
When you talk to some people who should listen to your counsel, they could tell you that they’ve prayed about the issue at stake and God has told them to go ahead. What do you tell someone who tells you that God told him to do something? Are you going to tell God He is wrong? But time will tell if God spoke to them or not.
The truth, however, is that many people who said that in the past did not hear from God. Some were deceived by the devil while some deceived themselves, thinking they were silencing people or keeping them from getting involved in their matters. In other words, they didn’t want anybody’s teaching or advice. Nevertheless, these people regretted it later. Some people have told me later that they should have listened to the counsel I gave them.
It is unfortunate that people who have no record of making the right decisions on major issues in their lives, considering their series of past failures, could be rejecting godly counsel. Wise people profit from the teachings and counsel of others, especially when making major decisions. They are not over-confident or proud.
If you’re going to succeed in life, make progress, or fulfil God’s purpose for your life, you must listen to godly teachings and counsel. These can come from parents, Christian leaders, mature Christians, and experienced people. “And I will give you leaders after my own heart, who will guide you with wisdom and understanding.” (Jeremiah 3:15 The Living Bible).
God leads us through the wisdom and understanding of godly leaders. Proverbs 24:6 says, “For by wise counsel you will wage your own war, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety” (New King James Version). But I need to emphasize that not all teachings and counsel are from God and it’s not even every idea that seems good that is godly. Be sure your teachers and counselors are God-fearing. These include ministers of God you listen to or read these their messages. Avoid those whose sermons/messages and counsel are contrary to the Word of God.
Most of the leading when people are young will come through their parents. God uses them, including those not born again many times, to preserve us. But there is a greater advantage when parents are Christians – their teachings and guidance are almost always going to be Bible-based, unlike unbeliever parents whose teachings and guidance will often be based on morality, intuition, and personal preferences, which may not always agree with God’s will.
But all the same, God is merciful. He has a way of intervening on behalf of their innocent children, especially on critical matters. If you’re under the guidance of unbeliever parents, my prayer is that you will not become a victim of their sincere but wrong teachings and counsel in Jesus’ name.
But there is an age that a child gets to that he has enough revelation and knowledge to reject wrong teachings and counsel of parents without necessarily being rude to them or dishonouring them. A child must follow God’s will once he/she convinced about it.
Proverbs 6:20-23 says, “My son, obey your father’s commands, and don’t neglect your mother’s teaching. Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck. Wherever you walk, their counsel can lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. When you wake up in the morning, they will advise you. For these commands and this teaching are a lamp to light the way ahead of you. The correction of discipline is the way to life” (New Living Translation).
Moses benefitted from the godly counsel of Jethro, his father-in-law. He taught him the right way to judge the people through the principle of delegated authority. He taught him how to delegate authority without abdicating his responsibility to God and the people, thereby saving him from burnout. Moses became more effective (Exodus 18:13-26)
Moses, as Jethro’s former staff, might have respected his leadership skills and experience as the priest of Midian. Moses was teachable. Some persons would have rebuffed Jethro claiming that God knew that they were the best man for the job and the most qualified before He chose them. Therefore, they didn’t need the counsel of anyone. This attitude has made many people fail in life.
Teachable people are open to guidance from others without necessarily surrendering their destinies to others to run. Learn from others, especially, those more knowledgeable than you or with good track records. You don’t have to follow all they say but first listen to them and evaluate what they say. Even you can learn from ordinary people. Don’t feel you know it all. “Live in harmony with each other. Don’t try to act important, but enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!” (Romans 12:16 New Living Translation).
In 1 Kings 1, we see how Bethsheba profited from the wise counsel of Nathan, and thereby was able to turn over the kingdom to Solomon, her son, when Adonijah had already been proclaimed king without the knowledge and approval of David.
1 Kings 1:11-14 says, “So Nathan spoke to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, “Have you not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith has become king, and David our lord does not know it? Come, please, let me now give you advice, that you may save your own life and the life of your son Solomon. Go immediately to King David and say to him, ‘Did you not, my lord, O king, swear to your maidservant, saying, ‘Assuredly your son Solomon shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne’? Why then has Adonijah become king?’ Then, while you are still talking there with the king, I also will come in after you and confirm your words” (New King James Version).
Bathsheba was a wise woman; she recognized wise counsel and followed it. That wise counsel turned out to be God’s leading. Nathan’s and Bathsheba’s plan went smoothly without any hitch. “Then King David answered and said, ‘Call Bathsheba to me.’ So she came into the king’s presence and stood before the king. And the king took an oath and said, ‘As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life from every distress, just as I swore to you by the LORD God of Israel, saying, ‘Assuredly Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place,’ so I certainly will do this day.’ Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, and paid homage to the king, and said, ‘Let my lord King David live forever!’” (Verses 28-31 New King James Version).
Solomon was eventually anointed king while David was still alive just because Bathsheba listened to and acted on wise counsel from a man of God. Is there somebody’s wise and godly counsel you have been despising or rejecting in your life? For how long do you want to continue this? Can’t you see what it’s costing you already? Or maybe your rejection of this godly counsel is yet to have an adverse effect. You may need to have a rethink and do what is right in the circumstances in which you are.
Do you remember Rehoboam? He rejected the advice of the elders and chose to go with the advice of his fellow youths. He paid dearly for it. The kingdom was divided during his time because of his foolishness, His father was the wisest man that ever lived but he demonstrated extreme foolishness that would make his father shudder in his grave! He promised to add to the burden of the people and not reduce it as the people had requested as a condition for serving him (1 Kings 12:8-11)
Consequently, the people revolted against him. “Now when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying: ‘What share have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Now, see to your own house, O David!’ So Israel departed to their tents. But Rehoboam reigned over the children of Israel who dwelt in the cities of Judah” (verses 18-17). The utterance of Rehoboam was a needless provocation of the people. A wise person would have handled the situation differently and sustained the loyalty of the people.
Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many counselors bring success” (New Living Translation). It is not just any advice but good advice. For Rehoboam, his problem was not lacking good advice but foolishness in following wrong advice from fellows suffering from youthful exuberance.
In Proverbs 10:21, the Bible says, “The godly give good advice, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense” (New Living Translation). The chapter says further in verse 31, “The godly person gives wise advice, but the tongue that deceives will be cut off” (New Living Translation). Be careful whose advice you follow.
Do you remember Amnon, the oldest son of David? He died prematurely because he didn’t have a godly counselor who would counsel him against raping his stepsister. 2 Samuel 13:3 says Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, was a very subtle man. He advised Amnon how to rape his sister, Tamar. Two years later, Absalom, Tamar’s brother from the same mother, murdered Amnon in revenge (verses 23-34).
Don’t ruin your life by rejecting godly teachings and counsel. Don’t run your life without godly teachings and counsel.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, deliver me from the foolishness of rejecting godly teachings and counsel. Let me not be over-confident or proud. Help me to humble myself and be teachable. Father, protect me against ungodly teachings and counsel that will ruin my life.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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