So often we say one thing with our mouths and another with our actions. We listen to one side and not the other. We form ideas, strategy, methodology by impulse, think tanks, town halls, emotion and not by faith. It is the human condition. i am not chiding any side, any person, any idea, i am highlighting our lack of faith in faith alone.
i fully understand and want you to understand the Scriptures stance and wisdom in counsel. For example; Proverbs 11:14; 15:22; 24:6; in a nutshell, its better to seek counsel than to go it alone. i in no way want to contradict that here. However, i will aim at convincing you that sometimes we put to much faith in counsel while leaving the “Wonderful Counselor” out of the conversation. Even if we are having the conversation with Him!
Here is my historical claim to present my thesis, John 11:17-44 (you can click the link to read the passage in your browser). i will point out the facts to highlight my point. First, Lazarus has died. He has been dead roughly 4 days. Second, Martha is the first to greet Jesus and basically said, if you had only been here sooner! Third, Mary greets Jesus and basically says, if you had only been here sooner! Fourth, Mary and Martha had around them many consolers and counselors. Neither understood Jesus fully and both wanted to have faith, both claimed belief in Him, both followed after Him.
Jesus, was and remains patient. He asks Martha, a question, “Do you believe?” Jesus asks concerning resurrection. Martha responds in the affirmative, “Yes, Lord; I believe…” Jesus doesn’t always explain His methods. He saw the sadness and the emotion of those mourning the loss of Lazarus and He, Himself wept. He inquires of the body. They still don’t understand. He asks for the rock to the tomb be rolled away, they protest, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.”
Sometimes our lack of faith is evidenced in our actions. Our lack of understanding fuels our lack of faith. So i submit for the record this, “Who can know the mind of the Lord?” We find this question sprinkled throughout the Word, Romans 11:34; 1 Corinthians 2:16; Isaiah 40:13; Just a few examples. What is my hope in pointing this out? Simply, that we do not, nor can we fully understand the ways of God, we are simply called to believe, to have faith. Let me submit this exchange between a Centurion of a sick servant and Jesus, found in Luke 7;
“’Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.’ When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick.”
This remarkable exchange occurs just before Jesus raises from the dead a son of a widow, found in the same chapter of Luke. Prior to, from what we can gather of timetables, scripturally speaking, of Lazarus’ death and subsequent resurrection. This had to have followed Him, Jesus; as many brought their sick, possessed, dying to Him. Yet, for some reason when forced to believe outside of our understanding…we faultier in our faith.
Now, all is not lost my friends. i am not in anyway writing to you to suppress any hope you have in yourself, or your cadre of counselors. In fact, the opposite is true, i am writing to affirm, that you are fully capable of the this faith the centurion displayed. That even in our doubts, like Mary and Martha, Jesus is still Lord and He is still able. That even when the counsel we have assembled disagrees as in the case of King Saul, we can be like his son Jonathan, armed only with faith, “Come on now, let’s go across to these uncircumcised pagans. Maybe God will work for us. There’s no rule that says God can only deliver by using a big army. No one can stop God from saving when he sets his mind to it.” (1 Samuel 14)
By all means have counselors, i have counselors. Please, seek advice and formulate plans, i seek advice and formulate plans. But, and i say it again, BUT, do not forget to sincerely seek the counsel of God, do not forget to seek His Wisdom, His plan, His ideal…DO NOT FORGET to consult the WONDERFUL COUNSELOR, the PRINCE OF PEACE. And when in doubt, as it surly will arise remember this exchange between a father of a boy with an unclean spirit and Jesus in Mark chapter 9; “Jesus said, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.” No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, “Then I believe. Help me with my doubts!” Seeing that the crowd was forming fast, Jesus gave the vile spirit its marching orders: “Dumb and deaf spirit, I command you—Out of him, and stay out!”
Be willing to live on the edge of belief, on the cliff of faith, in the pool of dependance, and lie in the bed of trust…against all odds, proclaim, “I believe Lord, help my unbelief, for there is no rule that says God can only deliver by using a big army. No one can stop God from saving when He sets His mind to it!”
you are LOVED,