Seek the Lord’s Will First
“‘Woe to the rebellious children,’ says the Lord, ‘who take counsel, but not of Me, and who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin’” (v. 1). - Isaiah 30:1–7
As children in the family of God, our allegiance is to Him as the supreme authority in our lives, as our only true protector, and as the only one who can provide for our needs. It is, therefore, foolish of us to put our confidence in the world instead of going to the Lord to give us wisdom and strength to overcome our enemies. Think about how foolish it is to seek counsel from finite men who are darkened in their understanding, who don’t know the past or the future, and who cannot see into our hearts. God knows the truth about everything. He understands what is happening in our lives and why. He knows what is going to happen to us and is best suited to provide for our needs, both spiritual and physical. Why, then, do we constantly look to the world for insight, advice, and relief from our troubles?
Just as the Jews of Isaiah’s day looked to Egypt for help, we turn to friends, neighbors, “specialists,” psychologists, and pundits for guidance. We do this because we don’t believe that God has the answers. We do this because we don’t believe He will provide for us. We do this because, in a word, we don’t trust Him. Ironically, we seem to be willing to trust sinful people who don’t know His Word and who haven’t a clue about the inner workings of our hearts. Despite the shortcomings of human beings, we feel more comfortable making alliances with them than with our Creator God. This is a type of self-worship, for we trust ourselves rather than the God who made us. But freedom from our sin and security in our lives can come only from God: “You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?” (James 4:2–4a).
The only way we can change is through God’s grace, just as James says in this same passage: “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’ ” (4:6). If we humble ourselves and confess that we have not believed in Him, that we have not wanted to submit to His authority, and that we have doubted His love for us, then He will forgive us and give us the grace to submit to Him, to resist the devil, and to draw near to Him.
When you have a problem, do you seek God in prayer and read His Word first, or do you run to a friend or magazine (even Christian ones)? While there is nothing wrong with going to friends for advice, the point is that you are to make God a priority. Humbly seek His will through prayer and reading the Word.
Passages for Further Study
- Psalm 53:4
- Isaiah 43:22; 64:7
- Daniel 9:13
- Zephaniah 1:6
- James 4:1–10