Tag Archives: COUNSEL

Be Thou my Vision

Bible Journaling Art by The Jesus Chick

Proverbs 29:18

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

One of the very familiar verses often quoted from the Bible, and quite often completely out of context. I have no doubt been guilty of the same. But this morning this verse caught my attention and gave me the desire to dig a little deeper into its meaning for my own personal application.

I consider myself quite the visionary when it comes to life. I love new and exciting adventures and I’m open to the Lord’s leading down unfamiliar paths without hesitation. The problem with me is that quite often it’s a Shari vision, not a God vision. So those paths have many times lead to disaster!

The Word of God is a book like no other in the world. It’s the living, breathing, Word of God that can speak life into its reader. Another book may excite you, and inspire you, but it can’t speak life. It’s also why we shouldn’t read the Bible in a haphazard manner as to take scripture out of context or apply our own definition to it.

When Proverbs 29:18 is quoted, the word “vision” is often thought of as a prophetic vision that renders itself to personal direction. But in this context vision is “an inspired revelation of wisdom from God.” Which may be personal direction, but in its full context, which people tend to ignore, it is followed by “keeping the law.” So… when you take someone like me who is apt to be a free spirit, the law has a connotation of control. And that doesn’t fit well with my application of the freedom of vision.

I’m somewhat telling on my rebellious heart. But it’s good to be real, because it will help you and me both. Nothing is worth doing unless it is the will of God. And the will of God will never be outside the Word of God. So if we want the reality of it, we can’t just say we have a vision without searching the Word of God for the truth of His will. Woah… that’s a pretty deep thought for me.

2019 is on the horizon, and I have big plans, as always. But are they God’s? Good question.

Three points for me to ponder, and perhaps you as well, from Proverbs 29:18

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

No Instruction leads to Destruction

Proverbs 1:5

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

I received a call from my good friend Dewey last week, who asked if I minded some counsel. The Lord knew I was in need of it, and He even sent the messenger, so who am I to say no. And so I listened. But I’m not always that wise. Some of my greatest failures in life have been not seeking or heeding the counsel of others. It’s not that I feel I know best. It’s usually that I just don’t know and I’m too excited to slow down.

But not today. Today I’ve taken it slower and asked God for some insight into the vision He has given me for 2019. The year of our Lord 2018 has been quite difficult. For more than the obvious health reasons. I had an appointment with my cardiologist today and was discussing the frequent, steady chest pains that cause me concern. After listening to me, and running the appropriate tests, it was discovered that I’m under too much stress. Shocker! 2018 has been filled with stress, and I need a reprieve in the coming year. That will require some changes in the vision of The Jesus Chick Ministries.

First… I need to treat it like a ministry. Not a hobby.

Godly Instruction leads to Construction

Council can often be constructive criticism, and that’s okay with me too. So long as it leads to construction and things get built rather than being torn down. The problem with my ministry is I’ve been building it alone, and as God told Adam, it’s not good for man to be alone, or woman as the case may be. I’ve partnered with many others in their ministry work, but I’ve soloed my own, missing the counsel of Christ where He told the disciples to go two by two.

So I need to build my ministry so that it’s more productive. I need to expand my ministry reach, and believe God that my ministry work will be rewarded with financial provision; which has been most of the stress of 2018. I need focus. I need counsel. It’s why I appreciate ministry friends like Dewey who love me and feel comfortable to follow the leading of the Lord to say things like, “slow down.” Or encourage me to seek a 501c3 which would make the Jesus Chick a bonified ministry for contributors and provide me with counsel through a board of directors.

Vision is God’s Provision for the Journey

And so I search His word for direction.

Proverbs 12:28

In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.

There is but one job one pathway for me, and the way of righteousness is through Jesus Christ alone who will be my vision. There is a song written by Ian Lynn entitled “Be Thou My Vision.” It’s words stir my soul today.

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art

High King of Heaven, my victory won
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heav’n’s Sun
Heart of my own heart, whate’er befall
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all

And so that’s my prayer today. “Be Thou my Vison Lord.” I seek not riches or man’s praise, I seek a pathway that will allow me to share Christ through the talents that God has given me.

I covet your prayers and would love the privilege of praying for you.

But Now… are you willing?

chick content

Judges 6:13

And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? but now the Lord hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.

Far be it from me to be disobedient to God and then wonder why I feel forsaken. (…yeah right) And I have on more than one occasion claimed the latter part of Hebrews 13:5: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” ignoring the prefix of that statement where it says  “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have” and then it says “I will never thee, nor forsake thee.” I for certain want God not to forsake me, but I don’t want to have to do without stuff! That was a side bar on the Gideon story, but the truth of the matter is, God had allowed Israel to get into bondage again with the Midianites because they had traded Him for the gods of the world. Tell me that doesn’t ring familiarity to the church today and in our individual lives.

We want God in a crisis, “but now” that’s it’s over we’ll see what we can do about penciling Him in. We don’t have to ask ourselves why the circumstances of America are playing out as they are; it’s because the nation as a whole has turned their back on God. Gideon hadn’t turned his back on God, because God called him a “mighty man of valour.” So why then was Gideon the mighty man of valour hiding in the wine press to thresh wheat? The logical answer for me is, because he was human. Even those of us who desire to stand up and fight against the wickedness of the world find ourselves cowering down somewhere because the enemy seems too much and we seem so insignificant by comparison.

Through God’s counsel Gideon and Israel had victory but there were a few steps in between.

He questioned God’s judgment on using him.

Vs 15 – behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.

To country quote it, “I ain’t got any money, and I don’t have the strength to fight that battle Lord.” God doesn’t’ need our money or our muscle! He wants a man willing to use what He’s equipped with. That’s why in Hebrew 13:5 Jesus tells us to be content with what we have, because that’s what God needs. What we have.

Gideon didn’t have much, but what he had he was willing to give to the Lord. In verse 18-19 of Judges 6 Gideon said. “Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and set it before thee. And he said, I will tarry until thou come again. And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it.”

 In reading chapter 6 we discover that he sacrificed what he had, sought God’s counsel, and followed His instruction. The very same thing that we too have to offer God.

  • What we’ve been given… a little, or a lot doesn’t matter.
  • Time in His presence (costs nothing)
  • And obedience to His instruction (and He’ll equip us with the rest)

But now… America is here. But with a few Mighty folks of Valour, willing to be content with what we have, and listen to God, we could be a far better nation. Are you willing?

Upon their advice… One step away from a bad ending

BAD ADVICE

2nd Chronicles 24:27 –  Now concerning his sons, and the greatness of the burdens laid upon him, and the repairing of the house of God, behold, they are written in the story of the book of the kings. And Amaziah his son reigned in his stead.

At seven years old Joash was crowned King. It’s unfathomable to us today to think of someone so young being put in that position, but he was and he began to reign well under the strong spiritual guidance of Jehoida the priest. He rebuilt the house of God and turned the people’s hearts back to serving, but then Jehoida died.  And upon his death it is written in verse 16 of this same chapter “And they buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, both toward God, and toward his house.” But of Joash, a few verses and a long story later we find that he has been murdered by his own servants (vs. 25) And when they were departed from him, (for they left him in great diseases,) his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and slew him on his bed, and he died: and they buried him in the city of David, but they buried him not in the sepulchres of the kings.

One chapter and a tale of two leadership teams in a ministry left me thinking this morning about the importance of those we surround ourselves with. With the guidance of Jehoida, Joash had accomplished great things which are written down for all to read.  But as is often the case it matters most on how you finish. Following Jehoida’s death, the princes of Judah became his advisors; they began “making obeisance,” flattering him with words and his sites were no longer toward God but toward serving idols. Spiritual advisors tried to step in, he had them killed, and low and behold the King dies at the hands of his servants, diseased and ashamed; not even buried with an honorable death.

Since salvation I have been blessed with strong spiritual leaders who advised me in the paths I should take and trained me in the ways of the Lord. To God be the glory, it was His leading and placement that got me to that place. I’m grateful, and after reading this story, very cautious. Any of us are just one decision away from enacting the next chain of events that could lead to a bad ending to our story. If Joash had harkend to Johoida’s son, Zechariah, when he told him to turn back to God, if he had not listened to the lies and flattering tongue of the political powers he could have lived a blessed life. But he chose the temporal feel good paths that lead to his destruction. God’s ways are not always the easy ways (they seldom are actually) but they’re always the right way.

Everyone has advice, but it’s not all good, and it’s certainly not all in your best interest. When making any decision it’s important to surround yourself with godly people, and to be wary of flattering tongues. King David knew it when he penned the words in Psalm 12:1-2, “Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.

Is this the hour of decision for you? Pray! Seek godly counsel and then decide. Remember you are one decision away from a bad ending. Finish well!