“Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
the plans of his heart to all generations.” Psalm 33:8-11
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
but a wise man listens to advice.” Proverbs 12:15
“Listen to advice and accept instruction,
that you may gain wisdom in the future.
Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Proverbs 19:20-21
When we fear others and evil forces in the world, we tend to stand in awe of ourselves as superior and able to figure it out or overcome. We need no higher counsel because ours is the better opinion and right worldview. But when we fear the Lord as He calls us to do, (and of which He alone is worthy) our whole perspective shifts. We are humbled and bowed in awe of Him who made heaven and earth. We begin to see the world as He does, unseen forces as cruel and strong, and we know we are no match for the formidable and wily prince of darkness. We cannot on our own discern the Spirit’s mind and confidently make right decisions. We need God Almighty’s help. (Psalm 121:2; 124:8; John 8:44; Romans 8:27; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 6:12)
All through history, man has elevated self to a throne of pride. Our Sovereign knows better when we calculate our plans, and though He allows us to choose our path, He holds contempt for our godless plotting. Man conferring with the counsel of man comes to ruin, never considering that will be his end. (Genesis 11:1-8; Psalm 2:2-4; Acts 4:26)
In the daily hum of life, whose counsel do we seek? In decisions with raising families, caring for the needy, dealing in our workplaces, managing hardship, whose counsel do we trust? The media, popular experts, thinkers, authors, and influencers will each offer a view, but are they aligned with Scripture? We may tend to follow our own gut instincts, yet they are imperfect and subject to the whims of emotion. The One who spoke the world into being speaks into our every situation and conundrum today, and His counsel deserves our ear. If we truly desire to know and follow God’s will, we must seek Him first.
“Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that thou art–
thou my best thought, by day or by night;
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.
Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord.
Thou my great Father; tI thy true son,
thou in me dwelling and I with thee one.“ Old Irish, translated by Mary E. Byrne (1880-1931)
Father, help me fear You above all, and seek Your counsel before all other. May I know and appropriate the plans of Your heart, for the unfolding of Your will and praise of Your glory.