Sounds good to me

“Sounds good to me.” A statement I have uttered countless times. People have ideas; some people have good ideas. And when those ideas are presented to me as a leader, I often think they sound like good ideas. But sometimes, after putting some more thought and prayer into it, I realize the idea is actually not a good idea. What do I say then? I have to go back to that person and let them know that their idea was not actually as good of an idea as I said it was. That’s awkward; I don’t like it one bit.

This actually happened to a prophet in the Old Testament by the name of Nathan. One day, King David came to him for some advice. You see, he thought since he had a nice house, that he should build one for God, too. Not exactly for God, but for the ark of the covenant. Here’s the answer that Nathan gave him.

1 Chronicles 17:2 Nathan replied to David, “Whatever you have in mind, do it, for God is with you.”

What a great confirmation for David. He asked a prophet of the Lord what he should do and he got the green light. Surely this brilliant idea came from the Lord. Except for what happened next. In verse 3 it says “But that night the word of God came to Nathan…” Hold the phone! You mean Nathan “the prophet” didn’t actually inquire of the Lord? He simply said, “sounds good to me.” That’s a problem.

God in his faithfulness spoke to Nathan what he should have told David. So Nathan had to have that awkward conversation. “Remember when I said, ‘sounds good to me?’ Well, it actually isn’t good. That’s not what God wants.” Back peddling is not fun, especially when someone is enthusiastic about your advice.

We will end up in the same back peddling situations as Nathan if we are too quick to answer. If we don’t call upon the Lord for His word and His guidance, we will be saying “sounds good to me” to things that are no good at all. So if we want to actually live in wisdom, we need to go to the Lord before we answer. We need to inquire of Him before we make our move. If we do, He will lead us in the way everlasting.

Now THAT sounds good to me!

Advice in the wrong places

We all need good advice from time to time. Now there are good places to ask for advice and there are not so good places. The last thing you want to do in your time of need is go to a bad place for advice. Yet we can easily fall into that trap. How? By going to people who are simply going to tell us what we want to hear. The truth is, advice isn’t always fun to receive. It may cause you to rethink your course. It may cause you to see things in a new way. It can determine our next steps. So get good advice!

In the Bible, Saul didn’t get good advice. He made bad decisions, often because of bad advice. He went to the wrong sources. And because of that, it led to him not following the word of the Lord. 1 Chronicles 10:13-14a Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance, and did not inquire of the Lord. 

Ok, I get it. Sometimes you are desperate for an answer. God isn’t answering fast enough. But please, do not go to searching for advice from the wrong places. The horoscope is not the right advice for your day. A fortune cookie is certainly not going to give you the answer you need. And if getting direction from a fortune cookie isn’t bad enough, do NOT seek out wisdom from a fortune teller. The last thing you need is to inquire of a medium like Saul did.

Why does this all matter? It matters because as God’s children, He desires to lead us to places of life. He is to be the voice that gives us direction. He is the one who is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. When we start doing things like consulting horoscopes and mediums, we are essentially consulting the devil for our future. We are looking to a person who has some kind of power, but that power is not from God. That’s dangerous.

So if you need advice, inquire of the Lord. Make that your way of life. Don’t search for advice in the wrong places.