When We Lean On Our Own Understanding

A.W. Tozer said, “Whatever keeps me from my Bible is my enemy, however harmless it may appear to me.” Tozer knew how powerful and profitable time in God’s Word is, and therefore knew what was at stake if he let his time in it get crowded out by the other activities of his day.
 


Wisdom for Today by Chuck Smith (The daily devotional I use and love!)

Just one way we benefit from being in God’s word is by learning what God has to say regarding any situation we are in, and anything we may face. Being that He knows all past, present, and future, who better than the Lord to turn to for wisdom and counsel? This was the failure of Joshua. (Joshua 9)

You see, Joshua had been faithful to seek God’s counsel, and heed it, at the Jordan River as well as the taking of Jericho and Ai. Because of it, God’s people were victorious, and their fame spread throughout the Promised Land to the other territories they would go into conquer next. So the Gibeonites, who probably were next on the hit list, since they lived so close to the camp of Israel, came to Joshua in rags and pretended to be foreigners from far away. They certainly looked the part. (Joshua 9:3-5)


On the surface, their story appeared believable. (Joshua 9:9-13) However, when they propositioned Joshua to make a covenant with them, Joshua just took their word for it that they were being honest and didn’t seek God’s insight and counsel about these people. Had Joshua did, God would have told him “These people are your enemies who live nearby. Don’t be deceived by them. Certainly don’t make a covenant with them.” I wonder how much trouble I create for myself, and would be spared, if I just make it a point to first seek God’s counsel on a matter instead of assuming something is a no-brainer and just going ahead with a decision based on the facts in front of me as I know them to be.

After making the covenant with his neighboring enemies, the Gibeonites, Joshua learned an important lesson that day. No matter how victorious we may be, we still need God to weigh in with how He sees the situation, and seek His counsel on what we ought to do. (Proverbs 3:5-6) Sure seeking Him, may delay us from making snap decisions in our busy lives, but given the choice, I’d rather be delayed and make the right decision than to make a decision based on appearances, and suffer the consequences. Consider the different decision Eve may have made in the Garden of Eden had she checked in with God first about the words the serpent spoke to her, instead of simply taking the word of the serpent as Joshua did of the Gibeonites.

As A.W. Tozer said, “Whatever keeps me from my Bible is my enemy, however harmless it may appear to me.” Being that the Bible is God’s Word, Joshua and Eve’s enemy were leaning on their own understanding (Prov. 3:5-6) rather than first going to God and asking Him to reveal the situation to them as He sees it, not as they saw it.  May we not repeat these mistakes, esteeming anyone’s words over those from God, and failing to check in with God first, even when the outcome of a decision appears harmless. 


As we are faithful to go to God with the things we are faced with, He will certainly be faithful to reveal that which we need to know, that we otherwise would have missed without His counsel. So what are you facing today that you could use some counsel on? What does God say, though His Word, to do or avoid regarding your situation? (James 1:5) Whatever we are facing, whatever decisions we must make, whatever we may need, the Bible has all that we need in our time of need.

Question for you: How do you guard yourself from leaning on your own understanding, so you do not create otherwise avoidable problems for yourself?



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Copyright © 2013 Brooke Espinoza.

16 comments:

  1. God provides direction for me through his Word, through prayer, through other believers (the Church). Currently our precept Bible study is going through 1 Thessalonians. Paul gives examples of the community of believers working together--the encouragement they receive from each other.

    Lately I have been called to prayer more and more.

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    1. That is wonderful, Carol. I totally agree, "God provides direction for me through his Word, through prayer, through other believers (the Church." I love Precept studies. I'm currently going through the names of God study, also by Kay Arthur, "Lord, I want to Know You" with the ladies at my church. God bless you lots!

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  2. Hi Brooke
    I am very fond of the work of A.W. Tozer as well! His book, The Pursuit of God, to me, will always be a classic.
    Bkessings

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    1. Yes, Mia, The Pursuit of God is a classic for sure. I had the pleasure of reading it when I was attending Bible College. God bless you much!

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  3. Thank you for this reminder. Today in Jesus Calling it talks about waiting on the Lord in all things. I struggled this morning reading His word and really feeling the presence of the Lord. In my own understanding I ask why the Lord lifted His presence from me, but I know that it is not my understanding that is always accurate. I know He lives in my heart and I will continue to press in a seek Him! He is faithful when my faith is smaller than that mustard seed. Thank you for your encouraging words. Blessings!

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    1. Thanks, Rachael! That is so neat that this post coincided with the devotion from Jesus Calling. I love how God works like that! I love that book, too. You are doing exactly the right thing, turning your thoughts from what you are feeling "the Lord lifted His presence" from you, to what you know to be absolutely true about the Lord, "He lives in my heart and is faithful when my faith is smaller than that mustard seed." And as a result you are pressing forward by faith, seeking Him all along the way. Beautiful! There is no better way to overcome discouraging thoughts. Well done, Rachael! God bless you richly!

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  4. “Whatever keeps me from my Bible is my enemy, however harmless it may appear to me.” This quote really made me stop and think. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks, Susan! That quote stopped me in my tracks, too. It's one of my favorites. God bless you abundantly!

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  5. Beautiful post and wonderful reminder to not lean on our own understanding. Thank you for these precious words. God bless you!

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    1. Thanks! So glad this blessed you! God bless you lots!

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  6. Again, God uses you to speak to me. I often jump first like Joshua without asking God for His guidance.

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    1. So glad this spoke to you, Michelle. I, too, am guilty at times, of forgetting to check-in with God first, and making snap decisions that I believe to be a no-brainer. But I've learned from Joshua here that even when a situation looks perfectly clear, I still need to run it by God, in prayer, and double check that everything is truly as it appears to be. And more importantly, ask God what He'd have me do with the circumstances before me. God bless you much!

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  7. Hi Brooke! Coming over from Rachel's linkup~ I love your heart for God's Word. I connected with you via FB and Twitter so I can read more of what God places on your heart. Blessings!

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    1. Hi, Tracy! So glad you came by! Thank you for your encouraging words. God bless you richly!

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  8. Love Tozer's quotes. So thankful we have God to turn to for counsel. He's never failed me!

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    1. I agree, Pamela! " So thankful we have God to turn to for counsel. He's never failed me!" We are so super blessed to know personally God Almighty, who freely welcomes us to turn to Him with whatever we may need. And like you said, He has a perfect track-record. Never has he failed to perfectly deliver on all His promises. He is so faithful and we are so blessed! God bless you abundantly!

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Thank you for taking the time to share. May God bless you richly!