Advisors and Counsellors

Posted under The Rectory Bulletin | Providence

“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will…” (Ephesians 1:11)

“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 33:10–11)

I am rather fond of books, but I am fonder of the authors. When I turn to some tome or other I am usually in need of some wisdom from someone who is trustworthy. The shelves which stand sentry around my study are lined with a great cloud of witnesses, a treasury of the wise throughout the ages. Rather than assuming that the modern day is the absolute highpoint of theology (it isn’t), great riches are to be found in long dead authors who spent lives in contemplation of the living God. Since God is eternal, those who write about him are of ongoing relevance.

There is a danger in not seeking the wisdom of others, as the book of Proverbs is quick to point out: “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22). Going it alone in the spiritual realm is a hazardous path, and if you are not careful you find that it is not so much God you believe in. It is yourself.

For God, though, the story is rather different. Who might offer him counsel? Who would presume to take God to one side and offer a gentle piece of advice? He acts on his own advice, and gives his own counsel. He does not rely on others when he acts, nor is his course swerved by events. Rather God acts as he wills.

This gives us a God who is reliable and trustworthy, not swayed by first one adviser and then another. God acts according to his own nature, and is dependable. A solid rock on which to stand.

The God who Foresees

After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written, ‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things known from of old.’” (Acts 15:13–18) - From his vantage point in eternity God knows all things, and is not trapped as we are in the narrow tunnel of time. To trust in God is not to place your hopes in one who will be surprised by a turn of events. It is to trust in one who already knows. It is to trust in one who writes his great plan of redemption on the fabric of time, and who brings to fruition plans laid centuries before.

To the Praise of God’s Glory

“Like livestock that go down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest. So you led your people, to make for yourself a glorious name.” (Isaiah 63:14) - “… so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 3:10) - “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”” (Romans 9:17) - “They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.” (Psalm 145:7) - To give God glory is to understand that he is full of a weighty holiness. To give him his due. It is also to recognise God for his goodness, wisdom and power.

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