To whom do you go for counsel? If you were to seek advice about God’s path for you, whose guidance would you listen to?
Yesterday, I read an odd story in I Kings 13—one that I didn’t remember reading before. It told of a prophet whom God sent to prophesy against King Jeroboam. Afterwards, God gave him strict instructions to leave by a different route than he came and not to eat anything while he was there. But on his way home, an old prophet from the town came after him. The old prophet contradicted God’s directions to the man, but because he was a prophet, the man followed his counsel. This decision ultimately led to his death.
The story piqued my interest. I found myself identifying with the prophet, knowing that I would likely have done the same—listened to the counsel of someone whom I perceived to be from "the same school” as me. I am more susceptible to believe another’s counsel who is like me, who speaks my language. What the story underscores is how important it is to know your own heart’s counsel, what God has made clear to you. Even people who think like you and come from a similar place can lead you off-track.
Here are some questions for spiritual direction:
- What do you know to be God’s values and directions for you today?
- Whose advice are you listening to? Does it confirm what you already know in your heart?
- Have you veered away from following God’s path? If so, how can you return to the path he has called you to follow?