We have the choice daily as to whose counsel we will choose to seek. The Lord gives us wisdom and discernment to see the fruit of others so that we know what type of counsel we will receive from others. There are those in my world who choose to mock the Lord and my trust in Him. They choose to mock me behind my back for caring enough for the eternal souls to point them to the only way to the Lord, through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. God’s Word tells us over and over again where our first place to look for counsel should be: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you.” (Matt 6:33)
But we aren’t to just show up and begin to ask Him about ourselves and situations. We just finished looking at how Jesus taught the disciples to pray. In order for our fervent prayers (James 5:16) to be effective, we must learn to enter into the presence of God with a grateful heart, no matter what we are going through in life. “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courtyards with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.” (Ps 100:4) Every prayer should start with thanksgiving and praise.
In the psalm I studied this morning, the writer begins by extolling the joys of obeying God and refusing to listen to those who discredit, mock or ridicule Him. If we insist on friendships with those who mock what God considers important, we might sin by becoming indifferent to God’s will. I heard in a sermon the other day (I’m paraphrasing) that anytime we exert our will over the Lord’s will, we are sinning. As we pray to the Father, hallow His name and ask for His will to be done, and yet not do His will then we ourselves are mocking Him. So again, we must ask ourselves to who’s counsel are we listening?
“Blessed is the person who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the Law of the Lord, and on His Law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.” (Ps 1:1-3) God doesn’t judge based on any outward appearance, He judges us on the basis of our faith in Him and our response to His revealed will.
Those who diligently submit our will to His, and keep His Word in our hearts so that we don’t sin against Him (Ps 119:11), will be blessed, and will be like healthy, fruit-bearing trees with strong roots (Jer 17:5-8), and God promises to watch over them. Only two paths of life lay before us–God’s way of obedience (John 14:15) or the way of rebellion and destruction (2 Pet 2:4). The path we choose determines how we will spend eternity. In order to choose obedience, we must know what His Word says, spend time meditating on His Word and ask the Holy Spirit to help us apply it to our lives. The more we delight in His presence, the more fruitful we are for His kingdom (Ps 1:3).
For those who don’t choose God’s way of obedience, He gives this warning: “The wicked are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” (Ps 1:4-6) Chaff is the outer shell that must be removed to get to the valuable kernels of grain inside. After the plants were cut and crushed, the pieces were thrown in the air. Chaff is very light and was carried away by the slightest wind, so it’s a symbol of a faithless life that drifts along without direction.
If we truly belong to the Lord, it is His counsel we must seek first, and we must not seek counsel of the wicked and scoffers, because their behavior may rub off on us and cause us to sin. If spending time with those who scoff at our Lord is a problem for which you are seeking a solution, pray about it and thank the Lord He sent you to read what His Word says about it.