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Getting wise advice is the key to making good decisions. The input we receive from others before we take action can guide us into the right choices; however, the opposite is also true when we follow foolish advice. Therefore, we must be mindful of who we go to for guidance. Following advice from the world leads us astray; following advice from godly people allows God to give us His wisdom.
In the Old Testament, one of the reasons why David was so successful was that he routinely sought out God’s counsel before battle and prior to making any important decisions. When he went to war with the Philistines he wouldn’t make a move without consulting God, first. David succeeded because he trusted God for leadership (1 Samuel 23:2-5). We need the same kind of wisdom.
Surrounding ourselves with godly advisors greatly boosts our chances of success. Life has many hidden pitfalls we’ll never see with our own limited knowledge. What can appear calm on the surface may be completely different underneath. Whether we blunder into a bad situation or stay safe depends on who we listen to. “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14).
There’s a cost to everything we do. Gathering information before taking the first step in something gives us the insight we need to calculate the best course of action. When everything is on the line, we can’t afford to make the wrong decision.
For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? (Luke 14:28-31).
The wisdom to see something through to a successful finish comes only from God.
Accepting advice can be humbling, but it enables God to give us the guidance we need. He knows much more than we do. Depending on God to tell us where to step, and what to avoid, gives us a tremendous advantage over others who depend on themselves to make the right call. “Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end” (Proverbs 19:20).
Taking godly advice is difficult, if not impossible, for proud people. Refusing to listen to others’ warnings against doing something that will end badly can cause us to make avoidable mistakes. God calls such prideful people fools. “Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others” (Proverbs 12:15, NLT). Often our willingness to accept a course correction from other believers is an indication of our spiritual maturity.
Life has too many moving parts to successfully navigate it on our own. Sometimes the best advice is to simply rely on God to lead us where we need to go. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5, 6). He’ll never steer us wrong.