Monday, March 24, 2014

How To Know Good Advice From Bad

It is tough being in the midst of trials. Sometimes it is really hard to know where to turn, who to trust, who really has your best interest at heart. Sometimes we simply turn to whoever appears to be the most available, the person who readily offers their opinion. Often that is the very last person to whom we should listen. Often this person is filled with nothing but the counsel of the world and has no understanding of the spiritual realm to which we belong. Their advice works perfectly well for someone of this world but misses the mark for the citizens of the Kingdom. That is something we should always keep in mind.

People whose roots are in this world cannot see what we see; they do not know what we know; they cannot understand what we understand. A great example of this is when king Sennacherib, the great king of Assyria, tried to frighten king Hezekiah and Jerusalem into surrender. Why fight a battle when you can frighten your enemy into submission? Is that not the tactic of the enemy of our soul? He says to Hezekiah:

“What confidence is this in which you trust? I say you speak of having plans and power for war; but they are mere words. Now in whom do you trust, that you rebel against me? Look! You are trusting in the staff of this broken reed, Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him." (Isaiah 36:4-6)

This king could not figure out why Hezekiah was resisting him so he looked around for the obvious. He guessed wrong that Hezekiah was hoping Egypt would come to his rescue but Hezekiah's only plan was to trust Yahweh. This king saw Hezekiah's confidence and assumed it was according to the plans of the world. But he didn't leave Hezekiah's faith alone either:

“But if you say to me, ‘We trust in the Lord our God,’ is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and said to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar’?” (Isaiah 36:7)

He had heard of Hezekiah's reforms but misinterpreted them. Hezekiah had inherited a messed up kingdom that worshiped every god of every neighbour and then some. He brought in revival with his reign because he loved the Lord our God with his entire being. He did a cleansing of the land and threw out every idol, teaching the people the Law and having them return to the proper worship at the Temple. This was a good thing that provoked the love and protection of Yahweh.

Yet the world look on this and did not understand. They misinterpreted his actions of love and devotion. They figured Hezekiah had blown it and was now at the mercy of the gods he had offended. Hezekiah stuck to his trust in Yahweh and Yahweh himself delivered them from the king of Assyria.

People without Jesus can only evaluate your situation from their experience, from what they know, and what they know is the wisdom of man. It will sound reasonable because it is, for those who are without Jesus. They are only following the rules and habits that they know. However, we belong to another set of principles established by Father. We belong to another place, the Kingdom of Jesus. We have a different ruler than the false prince of this world and he is the true King of creation. We are no longer governed by the patterns of this world and so cannot receive counsel based on it. We need wise counsel and direction from those planted firmly in Jesus.

Be very careful because since we live in this place temporarily we can become accustomed to its rules. We can be tricked by the sound arguments of this place. Everything we hear makes sense by what we see, but we do not walk by sight. We walk by faith in Jesus, in the Word, by the Spirit, according to the principles of the Kingdom. More than any other book ever produced by man we should be in love and know the one book produced by the Holy Spirit. Above all else, allow it to be your guide as taught to you by the Spirit. He will never fail you, even in the face of the kings of this world.

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