For You Lord GOD, know your servant. (2 Samuel 7:20)
All around us we are bombarded with people giving us advice. "Eat this - and you will be healthy." "Buy this and you will save lots of money." "Invest with our company and you will earn lots of money." "Study this course and you will get the degree you need." "This is how to raise your kids." Advice abounds everywhere about nearly every area of our lives.
As Christians, where do we get our advice? Where do YOU get your advice?
We can read a very interesting passage of scripture in 2 Samuel chapter 7 about a godly man's advice to King David. The Prophet Nathan was a godly man. He was a prophet of God during the reign of King David. In his role as prophet, he would often be asked for advice. One day, King David asked Nathan for some advice. David had been thinking about the fact that he had built a lovely house of cedar for himself and all his family. There was now a time of peace in the kingdom. David thought of the fact that there was no permanent structure for a house of God (a place of worship). The place of worship had been a tabernacle, a portable tent-type structure. The Ark of the Covenant was the special box that contained the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments, the pot of manna, and Aaron's rod This was kept in the tent tabernacle. David thought it would be great to build a beautiful temple for God. So, he went to tell the Prophet Nathan of his plan.
When David told Nathan his plan, Nathan said "Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you."
But, that same night, God spoke to Nathan and said that He did not want David to build a house of worship for Him. God asked Nathan if He had ever asked anyone to build Him a house? God very clearly told Nathan that because David had been a man of war, that He did not want him to build this house of worship. God said that He would have someone who would come from David's family build this one day. And through David's descendants would one day come a kingdom that would never end. By this He referred to the coming of Jesus one day.
So, Nathan had to go to King David and tell him what God had said. How embarrassing that must have been to Nathan!
How could this situation been avoided? Instead of just doing what they thought was a good thing to do, neither David nor Nathan asked God! After all, it was God's house they were considering building! Instead of going first to God in prayer, David went to ask Nathan. And, instead of Nathan asking God, he simply thought that David had a great idea, and told him to do it. They both forgot to pray.
There is a little saying "If all else fails, read the instructions!"
The Bible is our "Instruction Book." What does the Bible tell us to do if we need to know what to do in our lives? "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6) "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind." (James 1:5-6)
Are you putting God first in all areas of your life? Are you depending on your own understanding of things or on His will? He has promised to direct our paths if we keep things in the right order.
Admit your mistake, like Nathan and David did. "Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said, 'Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that you have brought me this far?' (2 Samuel 7:18)
Thank God that He cares about all you do.
Ask God to help you.
Read 2 Samuel 7:18-29
Do we really believe that God will show us what He wants us to do? Do we really believe in prayer? Do we really have faith to trust God to take care of us? Another important thing to remember as Christians, is that we all have a responsibility to pray for each other to make the right decisions. As much as we might think our idea is right - we must know from God what He wants us to do. No one else should be consulted until we know God's will in a matter.
Also, we need to pray for one another's protection and help. We may not be fully aware of why God puts people on our hearts to pray for.
I recently read about an amazing answer to prayer, written by Nigel Merrick, the National Director of Far East Broadcasting Company.
"I would like to share with you an incident that occurred some years ago in Malaysia, before it became an independent country. Two missionaries had traveled to a nearby town through rough country to collect money from a bank. They set off for their field in early morning and hoped to reach their goal by evening but grew tired and they decided to camp on a hillside and soon fell asleep. The next day they moved on to their mission station. Some weeks later, a man came into the hospital seeking treatment and stared at the missionary. He related how with several of his companions, they had followed the two missionaries after leaving the bank and decided to rob them when they were resting on the hill but when they emerged from the jungle they decided not to BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS! The missionary laughed when the would-be bandit was adamant that there were SIXTEEN SOLDIERS with swords drawn. Returning to England on furlough some months later, he was telling the incident at a gathering in his home town. After the meeting a man came to him and asked as to the date the event occurred and the Christian worker turned to his diary and responded as to the night. His questioner responded: 'That night, we had our weekly prayer gathering and your name was brought forward by someone in prayer. They had this burden for you and do you know THERE WERE SIXTEEN OF US IN THAT MEETING!'"
Where do you get your advice? Do you go to the Lord in prayer and pray until you have His peace that you are making the right decision? Do you believe that God answers prayer? Do you put your faith in Him to answer your prayers?
Unless otherwise stated, all Bible quotations are from the New King James Version.
Holiness, godliness, righteousness, and Christ-likeness in personal and church life