Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By William Campbell
A servant of Christ 

Best advice ever...

 


Often we receive advice: advice from friends; advice from family; advice from fellow workers. 

Advice generally comes in two types: good and bad. Though usually well intended, it is not always sound advice. We should always take care to seek advice from Godly people. People we know will give Godly counsel.

I recently did just that. As I struggled with a problem, I received some of the best advice I’d ever received. This longtime friend of mine advised, “Pray about this!” But, he continued, “...as you pray about it, pray in the Spirit, not in your own intellect.” 

It’s all too easy to slip into praying for some desired results rather than to seek God’s desired results.

As I went home and contemplated those words, I was reminded of the words of Isaiah, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” And as I thought on those words of Isaiah I was reminded of the words of one of my favorite songs, “Let me be like you Lord...mold me and make me, let me be more like you.”

As I began to pray, I found my prayers changing from, “Lord please change this person,” to, “Change my heart oh God. Let it be like yours!”

I began to see that, however well intended I was, it was easy to slip into my own feeble attempt at acting as the Holy Spirit. To do what only God can do - change another person’s heart.

Often, when things don’t go the way we’d like we attempt to intercede, to in effect take over and attempt to do God’s job, to somehow speed up God’s plan. In counseling this can easily become “enabling”, as our interference can often lead to an “enabling” of bad behavior.

For example, if my children were to get in financial trouble and I simply bailed them out, I would have effectively removed the consequences of a bad habit. I would have enabled them in effect, to continue on spending without any kind of budget or stewardship on their part.

So, as a Christian, my focus needs to continually be on God’s heart, God’s desire, God’s plan, lest I interfere with what God intends.

And so the best advice I’ve ever received is to not pray out of my own intellect or interests, but rather to pray as my Lord prayed, “Yet not my will, but yours be done.” And to pray “Change my heart, oh God, make it more like yours.”

No wonder I always love that song. It speaks the words of my heart.

 

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