40 Days of Discipline

40 Days of Discipline: Day 29 – Counsel

11 Comments

13The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood round him from morning till evening. 14When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, ‘What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand round you from morning till evening?’  15Moses answered him, ‘Because the people come to me to seek God’s will.  16Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.’  17Moses’ father-in-law replied, ‘What you are doing is not good.  18You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out.  The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.  19Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you.  You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him.  20Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave.  21But select capable men from all the people – men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain – and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.  22Let them serve as judges for the people at all times, but let them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you.  23If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.’  24Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said.  25He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.  26They served as judges for the people at all times.  The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves.  27Then Moses sent his father-in-law on his way, and Jethro returned to his own country.  (Exodus 18:13 – 27)

 

We have now considered eight Disciplines: Bible Study, Spiritual Warfare, Prayer, Fasting, Worship, Fellowship, Service and Stewardship.  As we enter the last week before Passion Week and continue to consider the theme God’s Glory, we have three more Disciplines to cover: Counsel, Creation and Sabbath. We will start with Counsel.

Based on our discussions of the Discipline of Counsel over the last few years, it is clear that many of us approach seeking advice with a fair amount of hesitation.  It is not always clear to us that soliciting advice will result in God’s glory.  The hesitation is understandable but it is important that we do not avoid this Discipline altogether.  To encourage us to use this Discipline more, over the next two days we will consider two necessary underpinnings of God glorifying Counsel: 1) Humility and 2) Discernment.

Humility

The story captured in our passage today, describes an interaction between Moses and his father-in-law, Jethro.  As you read this, recall that Moses had already developed a special relationship with God that allowed him extraordinary access and direct exposure to God’s miraculous works in rescuing the Children of Israel from Egypt.  In contrast, Jethro had only recently acknowledged God’s greatness.  Yet, God in His wisdom honored Jethro’s counsel to Moses.  Fortunately, Moses was humble enough to take the advice Jethro offered.

Please prayerfully reflect on the Bible passage above and answer the question below.

 

Question:

What are your ideas for fostering the kind of humility that facilitates receiving wise advice?

11 thoughts on “40 Days of Discipline: Day 29 – Counsel

  1. I have no problem humbling myself to receive advice. I don’t even call it “humility”. I call it being smart. I have grown in the area of being faithful in leaving things to God, knowing He has my best interest in mind. However, if I have prayed to Him about something, and I feel like I am still unsure of what to do, I will not hesitate to call on people I trust to pray with me and help guide me to make the right decision(s).

    I don’t seek Godly advice very often, not because I know everything, but because the Bible is my perfect guide. However, It is a blessing to know that I have people I can count on. I am fortunate that they happen to be some of my own family members who I consider God-following, God-directed, God-loving, God-fearing individuals.

    If pride is holding anyone from seeking Godly wisdom, drop the pride, pick up humility, and feel a sense of peace after receiving God-inspired counsel.

  2. My idea is a simple one: aging 😊. Over time I have seen how things could have gone differently in some situations if I had listened to the counsel of those who were older and wiser.
    I’m not where I want to be or should be but I have learned to get the advise of godly family and friends God has placed in my life. I have learned and continue to learn to “take everything to God in prayer”. I am learning to pray more, block out the noise of life and listen for His instructions and talk less.

  3. I believe being a good and willing listener fosters humility. Sometimes we “tune out” people who can actually add value to our lives. Respect for others is also important to facilitate the receiving of advice. Moses listened to Jethro and gave him the respect he was due.

  4. A wise man is strong, yes, a man of knowledge increases strength; for by wise counsel you will wage your own war, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety.” (Proverbs 24:5)
    “Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” (Proverbs 15:22)
    “Every purpose is established by counsel; by wise counsel wage war.” (Proverbs 20:18)
    “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” (Proverbs 11:14)
    Christianity is about interdependence. No man is an island. If we recognize this I think it would help us with humility. This is why discipleship in community is so powerful because it provides a platform for you to talk on a deep level and thus receive the required counsel.

    • Agreed! No man is an island. Recent events have taught me that. Also don’t get irritated when someone questions your judgement. It may be God teaching you something new.

      Proverbs 13:18 If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept correction, you will be honored.

  5. The Bible tells us that Moses was the most meek man on earth (Numbers 12:3). Moses was a great man with a terrible temper. What made him so meek? The Bible tells us not to think more highly about ourselves than we ought to (Romans 12:3). I believe this is the key. An inner quality that allows us to understand our own limitations and humanness, and the keenness to understand where others can help give greater insight or encouragement into a person, place or thing.

  6. Very interesting all these wise comments.
    Did not know Moses had a bad temper.
    I am wiser with aging as was mentioned.
    If only I had listened to some advice.
    Learning and trying to give some of same but alas no one really listens.
    But yes seek advice and heed.

  7. I always appreciate when my sster or brother in Christ would give me advice. I also like it when my mistake is point to me in a way that really shows the love amd concern for me by that friend/s. Hearing advice from fellow believers have helped me grow in my faith, and truly treasure the bondibg I have with my Christian friends. They just don’t give ne advice but they do pray for ne as welll. Usually, I update them
    of my situation when I shared or asked for advice That way, they can see how God works in my life and that is a testimony.

  8. Yasmin. Don’t think that NO ONE listens when you ask. ASK Him he hears and will guide and answer all. You have to meditate wait and listen in Him. You are a delicious beloved child of God.

  9. Thank you J.
    That’s so true.

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