4. Listen to the Man Who Listens to God
If while hearing a sermon we can fix on but one real jewel of truth we may consider ourselves well rewarded for the time we have spent.
One such gem was uncovered during a sermon which I heard some time ago. From the sermon I got one worthy sentence and no more, but it was so good that I regret that I cannot remember who the preacher was, that I might give him credit. Here is what he said, "Listen to no man who fails to listen to God."
In any group of ten persons at least nine are sure to believe that they are qualified to offer advice to others. And in no other field of human interest are people as ready to offer advice as in the field of religion and morals. Yet it is precisely in this field that the average person is least qualified to speak wisely and is capable of the most harm when he does speak. For this reason we should select our counselors carefully. And selection inevitably carries with it the idea of rejection.
David warns against the counsel of the ungodly, and Bible history gives examples of men who made a failure of their lives because they took wrong advice. Rehoboam, for instance, listened to men who had not listened to God and the whole future of Israel was affected adversely as a consequence. The counsel of Ahithophel was an evil thing that added greatly to the iniquities of Absalom.
No man has any right to offer advice who has not first heard God speak. No man has any right to counsel others who is not ready to hear and follow the counsel of the Lord. True moral wisdom must always be an echo of God's voice. The only safe light for our path is the light which is reflected from Christ, the Light of the World.
It is especially important that young people learn whose counsel to trust. Having been in the world for such a short time they have not had much experience and must look to others for advice. And whether they know it or not, they do every day accept the opinions of others and adopt them as their own. Those who boast the loudest of their independence have picked up from someone the idea that independence is a virtue, and their very eagerness to be individualistic is the result of the influence of others. They are what they are because of the counsel they have followed.
This rule of listening only to those who have first listened to God will save us from many a snare. All religious projects should be tested by it. In this period of unusual religious activity we must keep calm and well poised. Before we follow any man we should look for the oil on his forehead. We are under no spiritual obligation to aid any man in any activity that has not upon it the marks of the cross. No appeal to our sympathies, no sad stories, no shocking pictures should move us to put our money and our time into schemes promoted by persons who are too busy to listen to God.
God has His chosen men still, and they are without exception good listeners. They can hear when the lord speaks. We may safely listen to such men. But to no others.
From The Root of the Righteous by A. W. Tozer. Lightly updated to the language of the 21st century by D. N. Pham. (c) 2012.
Insights of the past for the present
Root of the Righteous - A.W. Tozer
ON THE BOOK SHELF
May your insights be worthy.