Proverbs 15:22, Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.
Why do we need counsel?
What in me causes me to require the help of others?
Isn't the Word of God sufficient to rely on for help and advice?
Can't we by prayer and study come to a conclusion on a matter without consulting with others?
Why do we have to seek the advice of men?
The answer lies in the basic nature of man.
Man is a sinner and his heart is not to be trusted.
Your heart is not to be trusted. It will lie to you.
You were born with a lying heart and your old nature has nurtured a lying heart.
So have I. The word of God tells me so.
I did not come to that conclusion by discovery because my heart would not let me. I had to be told.
Your heart will tell you what you want to hear to satisfy your real motive for desiring to do a certain thing or carry out a certain purpose.
But wisdom lies in self-distrust; at least leaning to the suspicion that we may be wrong.
If our judgments were perfect, our first impressions would be infallibly right.
But we are children of Adam and we are not infallible.
Pride in self limits our ability to seek the help of others.
The proud and selfish man thinks himself above advice and counsel and his purposes will meet with disappointment.
So a poor understanding of our nature blinds us to our fallibility, our tendency toward error.
I can do it myself. I can figure it out myself. Or just me and the Lord!
But that is not the Lord's job. He has assigned that to others.
We are designed by our creator to give and to receive and by an exchange of wisdom to enrich one another.
Counselors are available.
God has help for you through his people and even from people that are not his people.
We are to try to make our knowledge and wisdom useful to others and we are to benefit from others wisdom also.
We are to use the helps that God has provided and we are to judge the validity of those helps by his word.
Don't seek council from just anyone though.
Use the tools that God has provided to seek council.
Isn't your Pastor a counselor?
Are there not godly people that you can discuss purposes with and gain wisdom.
What your purpose is should determine from where you seek counsel.
Do you shy away from the helps that God provides and instead pray and seemingly get no answer?
The answer may be sitting next to you.
God tells us in this proverb that purposes are established by counsel.
God does not expect you to be a loner in this world.
He did not design you to function by yourself.
He designed you to need help from others and to give help to others.
You are a part of a body.
Just as the hand helps the foot you are to seek help from others in the body of Christ and many times from out of the body of Christ.
He has given counselors and he expects that they be used.
Do you have a problem that does not appear to have an answer?
Have you consulted with many counselors?
Proverbs 20:18, Every purpose is established by counsel.
In my line of work I must depend upon many counselors if I am to accomplish a purpose.
For instance what if my purpose is to have a building built for a particular use.
How do I go about it? Do I sit and pray about it.
Do I search the scriptures to gain insight as to what the building should look like; how it should be put together?
Perhaps I should sit at a drafting table or a computer and start drawing the plans for the building.
Am I capable of that? Can I complete the task by myself or will my purpose be disappointed?
I can be proud and self centered, thinking of myself more highly than I ought, and not admit I cannot do it but most likely with this attitude my purpose will be disappointed.
Remember Proverbs 12:15, The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
I need help. I need council and in this case I need a multitude of counselors.
I need an architect to give me an overall look and floor plan,
a civil engineer to prepare site plans,
an electrical engineer to determine the electrical requirements, a mechanical engineer to help with the heating and air conditioning,
an environmental engineer to access the site to see if it is clean.
What about a landscape architect?
Because of my fallibility I need help.
If I am to succeed with my purposes I must consult with many counselors.
Can these counselors be anyone? How am I to judge their counsel?
By what standard must I go?
Well, in the building business there are codes, and building standards by which to judge their success.
They are to provide counsel by providing their part of the building plans in accordance with the appropriate codes and standards.
They are not free to counsel as they please but are restricted to design within acceptable boundaries.
That is how I test their counsel. Against the accepted industry standards.
If their counsel passes the test the building will be built in the right manner and my purpose will not be disappointed.
My purpose will be established.
In matters of life our standard is the great counselor that God has given us; the Word of God, Jesus Christ. Isaiah calls him Counselor, the Mighty King.
Ultimately all counsel is to be judged by the Word of God.
Is the counsel received in conformance with the principles of the Bible?
Does the counselor operate within the framework of the scriptures?
That is why it is so important to know the scriptures.
Can you rely upon the counsel that you receive as being in conformance with the word of God?
Just receiving counsel does not guarantee that your purpose will be established.
You must be watchful that the counsel is within God's order of things.
Be careful of the pride of relying on yourself lest the course that you take leads to disappointment and possible disgrace.
The humble soul acknowledges God in all his ways, and engages the wisdom of others along with his own and his way will be prosperous because it is wise and it is safe.