Have you ever been in a situation where you are unsure of what to do? Where it seems that you are in between a rock and a hard place? A situation that throws you for such a loop that your head hurts from thinking? Perhaps your heart and head are fighting each other and it is driving you crazy! Perhaps you are trying to decide whether or not you should go ahead and marry your fiance! Perhaps you can’t decide whether you should take back an ex – has he or she really changed or has he not?
In times of trouble or uncertainty, many of us go to our friends, our family (usually parents), our pastor (man of God) for wise counsel. And so we should! Yet how do we know that what we are getting is godly advice?
When I put this question to a number of people, the answer I got ranged from “the advice must be in the bible” to “I trust my pastor”. So we decided to look at 4 instances in the bible where ungodly advice was given.
Ungodly Advice from Family and Friends
Jesus family could not understand why he left everything behind to start His ministry. Being a sinless man, all the blessings of the old covenant followed Him. As such, we know that Jesus was blessed in His carpentry and in all that He did. So it was a shocker when for His family when he called it quits at the age of 30. So much so that they thought he had gone bonkers! Here is what Mark 3:21 says: But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold on Him, for they said, “He is out of His mind”.
See, their advice to Jesus was for Him to quit all the works of love that He was doing. Why did they say this? Perhaps they did not understand. Perhaps it was because they were more worried about their own livelihood – for Jesus was the first born and so was the head of the family after the death of Jesus. What if Jesus had listened to their advice instead of following the will of God for His life? Buy buy salvation for man!
Just because your family cares about you does not mean they know what is best for you!
Ungodly Advice from the Prophet (man of God)
1 King 13 tells of man of God who went to warn King Jeroboam to turn away from his idolatry. On his way back home, he met a prophet who told him that God had spoken to him and told him to bring him (the man of God who went to King Jeroboam) to his house. The guy was lying! Here is what 1 Kings 13:18 says: The old prophet answered, “I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the LORD: ‘Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.'” (But he was lying to him.).
Unfortunately, the man of God listened to this prophet and followed him home instead of following the command that God had spoken to him (see 1 Kings 13:17). See, he trusted the word of the man of God instead of trusting in the words God had spoken to him. The end result is that the man of God was mauled by a lion for his disobedience! Ironically, his fate was revealed to him by the man of God who had earlier lied to him! This time the prophet truly revealed the word of God
Just because the advice comes from a man of God does not mean that the advice is from God!
Ungodly Advice from Many Counselors
When King Ahab and King Jehoshaphat asked the many false prophets whether they should go to fight the Syrians, they all said yes and promised victory! Here is what 2 Chronicles 18:11 says: All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. “Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious,” they said, “for the LORD will give it into the king’s hand.”
Only Prophet Micaiah told Ahab not to go and fight. Note that Prophet Micaiah had been advised to agree with the other prophets who said to go fight against the Syrians (see 2 Chronicles 18:12). Prophet Micaiah was thrown in prison for telling the truth and King Ahab went into battle because of the multitude of counselors. He died in battle! Prophet Micaiah was right after all!
Just because everybody agrees with the advice does not mean everybody is right!
Ungodly Advice that Seems to Line Up With the Bible
Wanting Jesus to jump, Satan quoted Psalm 91:11-12 to Jesus! Indeed, Satan did not misquote this verse of the bible. At face value, it seems as if this bible lined up with the word of God. At the very least, it certainly lined up with what was in the bible! But Jesus said no to Satan.Why? First, Satan was trying to use what was written in the bible to manipulate Jesus. Second, Satan speaks nothing in love. Third, to listen to Satan would have been to obey Satan (a sin).
We must not allow people to use what is written in the bible to manipulate us. We have the Holy Spirit so that we can discern the spirit. The word from the bible that the Holy Spirit will speak to us for a particular situation will always bring life. Conversely, the word from the bible that Satan will speak to us is designed to produce speak. For example, Satan will speak righteous anger when the Holy Spirit wants us to exercise mercy!
Just because someone uses the bible to prove their point does not mean it is godly. The bible should be used to prove God’s point for the situation as directed by the Spirit!
Goldy Advice from An Ungodly Man
Conversely, King Josiah who was a righteous King died in battle because he would not heed the word of God spoken by a heathen king – King Necho of Egypt (see 2 Chronicles 35:24). Here is what 2 Chronicles 35:22 says: Nevertheless, Josiah did not turn away from him, but disguised himself in order to fight with him. He did not listen to the words of Necho from the mouth of God, but came to fight in the plain of Megiddo
See, a righteous King died because he did not believe that godly advice can come from a heathen King
Just because the person is not a believer does not mean God is not speaking through them
Friend, godly advice is any advice that comes from God. Moreover, godly advice can come from anywhere or anything. Remember how God used a donkey to speak to Balaam (Numbers 22:28)! The only way we to decipher if an advice is godly or ungodly is to through the Holy Spirit. He is the one who will guide us into all truth! Without a close relationship with God, we will find ourselves making many mistakes! There is never any good substitute to hearing from God yourself!
Godly advice is advice that comes from the Holy Spirit. The only way to decipher it is to have a close relationship with God!