Have you ever asked someone for their advice and then had them completely ignore everything you said and do the opposite of what you suggested? I have, and I find that many people will do whatever they feel like doing even if the advice given to them is “sound.”
I was reading a Bible Scripture in the book of Jeremiah the other day and came across this text:
Remnant of Judah, the Lord has told you, ‘Do not go to Egypt.’ Be sure of this: I warn you today that you made a fatal mistake when you sent me to the Lord your God and said, ‘Pray to the Lord our God for us; tell us everything he says and we will do it.’ I have told you today, but you still have not obeyed the Lord your God in all he sent me to tell you. So now, be sure of this: You will die by the sword, famine and plague in the place where you want to go to settle.” Jeremiah 42:19-22
In this story, the people had asked the prophet to get advice from God for them. Then they ignored it and the consequences were dire — death, famine and plagues.
It’s one thing to ask another person for advice and then ignore it — quite another to ask God for advice and ignore that. After all, He knows all things and wants what is best for us.
Yet, I have found myself to be no different than the remnant of Judah – ask God and ignore what He says. I don’t know why I do it except that I like to feel like I’m in control of my life. The times I have ignored God’s advice, I’ve crossed my fingers and hoped and prayed that in spite of going against the direction He has told me to go, things will turn out right. Have you ever done that?
I haven’t encountered sword nor famine nor plague — yet. Or perhaps I have and have failed to see it for what it is. The famine can be in the form of starvation from His word, the sword could be in the form of bad consequences from my decision and the plague could be in the form of anxiety and/or troubles that come my way because of choosing my own path.
My prayer is that God will give me the strength to make decisions based on His advice and not my own. I’m sure that by so doing, I will spare myself a lot of grief.
How about you?