Trust in the Lord With All Your Heart
One of the areas the Holy Spirit offers us is the spirit of counsel. “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).
Trusting in the Lord with all your heart means getting your soul in line with your spirit. Another way of saying this is, getting your mind listening to the Holy Spirit that dwells in you.
Let’s examine why we are exhorted to lean not on our own understanding. In the natural, our understanding is fed from the five senses. It looks at what it sees. It listens to what it hears, and it reacts to what it feels. But, we have to remember that our natural eyes were not designed to lead us spiritually. Also, our natural ears were made to hear with, not to believe with. God doesn’t guide us through the sight of our eyes or through the hearing of our ears. Thus the essence of this verse is that when we need guidance, we are not to go to the outside, we are to go inside. We are sufficient from within when we are guided by the Holy Spirit. When you turn inward to the Spirit of the living God, you turn to the source of all counsel, the source of all wisdom, source of all guidance. The Holy Spirit is the sum total of all counsel.
Proverbs 3:6 continues, “in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” This is a simple principle to follow in order to receive guidance. Notice that we are not told to fast, intercede, or agonize. We are simply to acknowledge the Lord in all our ways. Just say, “Lord, I choose to acknowledge You in all my ways today. You said that if I will do this, You will direct my paths; therefore, I accept it by faith that everything I do today is led by You.”
Let’s take a simple example of this working in your life. Suppose you need a new shirt. True, you can buy it yourself, but you have already acknowledged the Lord and expect Him to direct your paths, so why buy the shirt yourself? With God’s guidance you could walk into a store that “just happens” to have the shirts you wanted on sale at one-third the regular price. I know that some of you are thinking, “Well, God can afford the best.” Sure, he can, but why not pay less for the shirt and put the rest into the ministry? If you put your money into a shirt, all you get is a shirt. On the other hand, anything you put into the ministry you get back good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. Think of all the shirts you can buy with a running over return.
General Guidance and Specific Guidance
God’s guidance comes in two ways, general and specific. General guidance constitutes 95% of the guidance you will receive, so don’t expect specific guidance very often. There are times when we receive specific guidance such as God speaking in an audible voice, or our feeling a distinct pull of the Spirit of God in a certain direction so that we know with a surety what we are supposed to do. But, the other 95% of the time we will receive general guidance and have to rely upon the counsel of the Holy Spirit.
Although often quoted as a salvation scripture, Isaiah 12:2-3 actually concerns guidance and is directed to those who are born again. but who have never tapped into the source of counsel. Let’s look at the principle put forth in these verses, “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘for Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation’. Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”
Salvation is a well of water you can continually draw from with joy. Remember Jesus told the woman at the well that she would never again thirst if she accepted the water He had to give her. This is because the water Jesus gives actually lives in us; it is the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, this Holy Spirit which lives in us, is the well of water mentioned in Isaiah 2:3 Springing up into everlasting life. The trouble is, many of us who are born again have never taken the time to dip into the well and draw out the waters of counsel. Instead, for years we have been taking our buckets and trowing them into the world when we should be dropping them down into our spirit where we can draw from the waters of salvation. From our salvation the Holy Spirit wants to lead us in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge as well as in counsel.
Proverbs 20:5 says,” Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” Where is counsel? It is in you. The Holy Spirit in you continually produces counsel so that no matter how often you draw from the well, you can never exhaust it.
Counsel Begins With the Holy Spirit
Let’s look at some scriptures which seem to contradict the point we just made. Proverbs 11:14 is one of these scriptures because it says, “Where there is no counsel, the people fall;
But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” This scripture indicates that if you make plans without first getting counsel from others, your plans will fail.
Proverbs 15:22 says basically the same thing, “Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.”
Then again, Proverbs 24:6 tells us, “For by wise counsel you will wage your won war, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety.” Don’t think that because you are walking in counsel everything will go smoothly. The devil is always ready to attack and you will have to make war.
The key word in these scriptures is “counselors.” While it is good to get counsel from others, you should make sure that the people you go to truly are counselors. If they aren’t, all you will get is five opinions. Counselors are those people who will get into the Word to find answers and who are led by the Holy Spirit within them.
Psalm 119:24 tells us that, “Your testimonies are my delight and my counselors.” The Word is also a counselor, therefore, just as there is safety in a multitude of counselors, there is safety in a multitude of scripture.
If you are in a situation where you cannot turn to people as counselors, you can still receive counseling by surrounding yourself with the Word. The point of these scriptures are not contradictory, because we can receive God’s counsel from others as well as from the Holy Spirit within us.
When we go the world for counsel, we may get wisdom from a person who read about it in a book or got it from someone else who read it in a book and so on. But why get secondhand advice when we can turn to the Holy Spirit who is the sum total of all wisdom?
Isaiah 40:13 asks, “Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or as His counselor has taught Him?” The answer is no one gives the Holy Spirit direction. He doesn’t need it. Counsel begins with Him.