Who is able to advise the Spirit of the Lord? Who knows enough to give him advice or teach him?Isaiah 40:13 (NLT)
As a pastor who has served on the campus of a high school, and was the chaplain as well, I got the blessing of mentoring many teenagers. I also got the blessing of giving counsel to many teenagers. Problems that were presented to me ranged from relationship advice to spiritual warfare, and everywhere in between. Over the 10 years of ministry I’ve been blessed with, there aren’t too many questions that catch me off-guard anymore. And, I feel like God also gave me wisdom to impart to people – both through personal experience and through biblical knowledge. But, that wisdom can also be a curse.
In that job, and in my current position, the hardest part is when someone comes seeking wisdom, I deliver it, they disregard it. Their reaction speaks, “Thanks for the advice, but never mind.” Really? Sometimes I just want to grab them by the shoulders and yell, “Why did you come and talk with me for two hours about this and then do the complete opposite of what we discussed?!” Of course, that’s their right. It’s not my life, and they have to live their own.
However, the second piece of this double-edged sword is that when they seek wisdom, then choose to do their own thing, they often suffer the consequences of a bad decision. They then end up right back on my couch complaining about the dumb decision they made. I’ve learned over the years that saying, “I told you so” doesn’t really help. (Though, it does slip out from time-to-time.)
Now, it may sound like I’m griping, and perhaps I am a bit. However, my intention in sharing this thought is this: How much do we do this very thing to God? How often do we pray or search the Scriptures for guidance only to disregard the wisdom found there? Of course, His wisdom is perfect (unlike mine), so we don’t need to second-guess it. But, we do on a regular basis. And, to top it off, we then complain to God about the mess we’ve made and ask Him to clean it up for us. Yup. We all behave like children towards God from time-to-time.
So, let’s do better. When we pray for wisdom, when we find truth in the Scripture, apply it to life. Follow His guidance – it’s never wrong. Accept His directions. After all, He is God.