The psalmist wrote, “We took sweet counsel together” (Ps 55:14). Do we know what the word counsel means anymore? What caused me to ask such a question comes from an incident my wife and I witnessed at a restaurant. As we were eating our attention was drawn to a young couple on a date. She was beautiful in dress and appearance; he managed to put on some clothes. What caught our attention was how the young man was absorbed through their entire meal with his phone and missed the presence of his beautiful date. The scene spoke to me of how connected to the world we have become, yet we no longer seek the counsel of each other, or God.
The psalmist said, “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps 46:10). A beautiful thought not realized anymore. We no longer take the time to seek God’s sweet counsel, for we don’t have the time, inclination or belief that God hears, cares, or answers. We are so connected to the world that we miss the beauty of God’s counsel.
Be still and seek his counsel. Discover God is speaking to you, but not through any mechanical contrivance or priestly intervention.
In Luke 9 Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. On his way three men approached him separately and stated a desire to follow him. To the first man Jesus laid down the severity of the decision, “… the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” The other two men responded to Jesus’ invitation with, “I will follow you, Lord, but…”
My wife and I once took a guided tour of Italy. On the first day of the tour our guide took possession of our group to lead us through that ancient land. Our guide said, “You must give your luggage to me. Your possession will be safe with me, and you will be safer without them.” We trusted him and turned our possessions over to him. Each night we found our luggage in our rooms safe and secure.
When we chose to follow Christ there are to be no caveats; no buts. Discipleship means everything is to be remitted to Christ. All that we have, as well as all we are, must be handed to Him; that in all things He may direct, control, suggest and master. Some bristle at such an idea, but we are much safer with him then without him.
The Bible teaches the whole of human personality is that of spirit and flesh. One of the forty-seven verses that teach this dualism is Ps 63:1, “My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You.” Of our two parts which one is more important?
If the flesh is more important to one’s life then one spends their life minding the things of the flesh. Such a life is limited, near-sighted, and deaf to the voices of eternity, for every attempt to satisfy the flesh ends with a thirst for more; a burning desire with no satisfaction.
The person of the spirit recognizes their finality is not dust, but that God has wrapped their eternal spirit in a temporal shell, and when the temporal is gone the spirit goes on. Therefore, fulfillment in life comes from answering the call of the spirit.
What do you think of death? If you live for the flesh you should be afraid, for at death your spirit passes into eternity unclothed with its unquenchable desires of the flesh. If you live for the spirit you are not afraid, for you step off this mortal ball clothed in Christ and enter into God’s eternity.