GOD GIVES THE ONLY ADVICE YOU WILL EVER NEED

GOD GIVES THE ONLY ADVICE YOU WILL EVER NEED

A long time ago, when Israel was in the desert, there was a time when God gave them this instruction.

“When a prophet or visionary gets up in your community and gives out a miracle-sign or wonder, and the miracle-sign or wonder that he gave out happens and he says, “Let’s follow other gods” (these are gods you know nothing about), “let’s worship them,” don’t pay any attention to what that prophet or visionary says. God, your God, is testing you to find out if you totally love him with everything you have in you. You are to follow only God, your God, hold him in deep reverence, keep his commandments, listen obediently to what he says, serve him—hold on to him for dear life!” Deuteronomy 13:1-4 [MSG]

False teachers were coming into the midst of the community and leading the people astray. And looking at their situation, aren’t we thankful for the modern world that we live in today? In most countries, there is no coercion when religion is concerned. Though in some countries it may still be frowned upon or even illegal to practice religions apart from the state sanctioned one; the active crack-down has significantly reduced. And we thank God for the favor that He has granted and the protection that He has put over His people.

Not only that, we are wise to the teachings of false teachers too, aren’t we? When people tell us to follow a God of another name, when people tell us that Jesus is mere man and not at all God, we know better and we stay away from such people.

And if wonders and miraculous signs were done in the name of disproving God, science has its way of disproving them and showing them for the mere feats of illusion that they really are. So we are smarter now, we are more keenly aware; and really, this passage, this warning, just isn’t really relevant to us now, is it?

“And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” Matthew 24:4-5

Really Jesus? Come on, we know better, don’t we? We know that because You have said,

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Matthew 24:36
We know better than to believe anyone who tells us that they are the Christ. Also, we remember that the angel told the disciples

“Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11

So unless we see those signs, and not some Copperfield or Chris Angel illusion, we won’t believe it. So we’re good, right?

An old man is lying sick in hospital. His body is weak and his organs are failing. His heart can only function at a fraction of its original capacity. The doctors recommend two possible modes of treatment; either put him on medication that would thin the blood so that his heart can still continue to pump the required volume of blood around his body, or put him on an oxygen tank so that his blood gets enriched with so much oxygen, his body can cope with the reduced blood pressure. If you were his family, which would you choose?

A child is failing his exams. He cannot cope with the number of subjects that he is offering and is overwhelmed by the demands that each and every subject is placing on him. His teacher recommends either dropping a subject or getting a tutor. If you were his parents, which would you choose?

A business is failing. The banks are threatening to foreclose and the owner is on the verge of bankruptcy. The creditors have advised the owner to wind up the business, get a job and enter into talks with the banks to draw up a debt servicing schedule. If you were the owner’s spouse, what would you say?

Whether you chose the medication or the oxygen tank, they are both sensible and logical options. Whether you chose to drop subjects or hire a tutor, they are both realistic and pragmatic decisions. Whether you chose to wind up and get a job or press on by trying to look for more customers, they are both things that would serve the best interest of the financial situation. But how many of you would seek God in those situations?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that we should all sit down and twiddle our thumbs, not lift a finger and wait for a miracle to drop down from Heaven. God does not work that way. Of course.

Yet, if our decisions are based solely on what we think those solutions can do for us, are we not buying in to the ‘miracle-signs’ and ‘wonders’ that those solutions seem to bring? And when we begin to think that the medication is the answer, or the tutor is the answer, or the job-search is the answer; are we not ‘going after other gods and serving them’?

Beloved, make no mistake. There is a difference between trusting the solution and trusting that the solution is the option that our Father wants you to take. We need to understand that the medication, the academic help, the financial arrangements, are all just tools which our Father can use to bring about His will in our lives. But ultimately, Jesus said through Paul,

“My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 [AMP]

His grace will be shown through the medication. His lovingkindness will be poured out through the tutor. His mercy will be extended by the financial companies. Indeed, when we are in trouble, when we are facing challenges, even if we were the ones who got ourselves into that mess in the first place, they still serve a purpose for our lives and so

“In this you rejoice greatly, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, which is much more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested and purified by fire, may be found to result in [your] praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:6-7 [AMP]

Think about it. If our Father does not cause the cells in the body to mutate for the better such that the medical condition of the old man improves, the medication which thins the blood could cause uncontrollable hemorrhage; a fate much worse than mere low blood pressure.

If the tutor that is hired is not gifted with sound knowledge and favored with good rapport with the child, the child will still not learn anything and his grades will not improve.

If the businessman neither receives favor with the ones who are looking to employ him nor his creditors, he will not be able to land a job and he will still enter into bankruptcy despite his best efforts.

You see, the best laid plans of mice and men count for nothing if they are not touched with the favor of our Father. Indeed, looking only to the solution and not The Creator of the solution is like retaining the organ from which the goose gives us the golden eggs and killing the goose.

Yes, solutions are good things. And we should give solutions their due consideration. But do so prayerfully. For in the end, you were not put in your trial for no reason. You were put there

“so that the genuineness of your faith, which is much more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested and purified by fire, may be found to result in [your] praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:7 [AMP]

Caught that last bit? That’s right, at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Your situation is meant to allow God to show you just how much He loves you.

So beloved, heed this timeless advice.

“You shall walk after the Lord your God and you shall fear [and worship] Him [with awe-filled reverence and profound respect], and you shall keep His commandments and you shall listen to His voice, and you shall serve Him, and cling to Him.” Deuteronomy 13:4 [AMP]

Walk after our Father. He goes ahead of us to make our paths straight. He goes ahead of us to mark out the pits so that we don’t fall in. And when we walk after Him, surely no harm can befall us.

Listen also to His voice. For there are many voices in this world, and not all of them seek your profit. But remember that our Father has promised,

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 [NIV]

So how can He lead us into any other place but pasture?

Beloved, if you are facing a situation today, if you need advice, there really is only one that is best, only one is needful, and it is this.

“You shall walk after the Lord your God and you shall fear [and worship] Him [with awe-filled reverence and profound respect], and you shall keep His commandments and you shall listen to His voice, and you shall serve Him, and cling to Him.” Deuteronomy 13:4 [AMP]

Listen to your Father who loves you. Walk after Him as He leads and

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.” Psalm 23:6

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