(NET) Proverbs 24:6 for with guidance you wage your war, and with numerous advisers there is victory.
While this Proverb seems to be about military strategy and leadership it contains a deeper truth that if used will lead to a healthier Christian walk.
War and battle was a big theme in the Old Testament. Israel was often at war, they were constantly being judged by God through attacks from other nations. Satan also opposed Israel since they were God’s nation. The Devil tried to take them down but when they were right with God they won and when they were not right with God they failed and were defeated. Many scriptures refer to this part of the culture that existed in those times and when non believers or new Christians read these scriptures they are confused or turned off when they see killing and war in the Bible. While I don’t have the perfect answer as to why God seemed to condone war but I do know that today, in the days of the New Covenant, our struggle is not one against other people but against spiritual powers. This world is currently influenced and to some amount controlled by the Devil. So what do we do about that? Spiritual warfare.
2Cr 10:3 – For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.
2Cr 10:4 – For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
2Cr 10:5 – casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
Eph 6:11 – Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 – For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual [hosts] of wickedness in the heavenly [places].
But back to the scripture, it says that one who surrounds themselves with guidance and advisers will be better off in the battle than someone who goes in alone and thinks they can manage it without help. Similarly in the battle of life and more specifically the spiritual battle of the Christian life we need help. Now, the first and best adviser is the Holy Spirit and His Word. So obviously you’ve got to be listening to God’s voice and reading His Word. People who chase after leadership, prophets, and pastors yet don’t pursue a relationship with God first and foremost are out of balance and turn this powerful principle in to their own spiritual destruction. So God is first, but here I want to emphasize the importance of Godly friends, pastors, and accountability.
Ecc 4:12 – Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
1. Keep God as your primary source.
If any advice you are given contradicts what the Word clearly says, then you have a problem. You need to have friends and influences that speak the Truth of the Word but I’ll get to this later. Because God is the authority you cannot bypass Him for some human opinion or understanding. But when it comes to something that isn’t clearly outlined in scripture or you have a question about something you have not received an answer on you need someone to talk to. You’re out of balance if you have no human relationship that challenges, checks on, and helps you out through life circumstances.
2. The guidance and advice has to be good.
If you have friends advising you and helping you that are off track, wacky, or not in tune with God than forget it. You’re better to have no helping people than to have people who will lead you astray and hurt you in the name of “helping” you. So make sure these people are people you can trust, ones that have integrity, and have an active relationship with God themselves as you should have. I’m not merely saying “You need Christian friends that will pat you on the back and make you feel better”, but that you need people who will bring up the tough issues and ask the hard questions. Will they correct you if you are in sin? Will they help you through some deep personal issue or just tell you want you want to hear?
Many times in the scriptures we are warned about false teachers, false prophets, and false gospels. This is because there are many people out there that are not walking in the truth or the complete truth and they can hurt your relationship with God. The tough part about it is that most don’t mean to. So know your friends and be careful who you let speak in to your life. So whatever your friends tell you it still needs to be compared to the Word of God. If something is even the least concerning in what someone has advised and you can’t find a clear scripture to clarify their decision, keep it in prayer and wait on it.
3. Be a part of something larger.
God created us as relational beings. He made us for relationship with Himself first and also for each other, shown in how Adam in his perfection still needed a helper – Eve. And I’m sure there were no complaints! We need to establish accountability with those around us and at the same time hold our friends up to the standard of holiness that the Bible commands. Christian relationships are paramount in the growth of a Christian. It’s easy to get “Elijah syndrome”, where in the midst of the war of spiritual living you say “God, I’m the only one!”. But when you are linked up with other believers it not only assures you that you haven’t lost your mind but enables you to all be sharpened by each other. This is where a local church fits in. I believe the assembling of believers is the launching pad for them to go out and change their world. Just as Jesus gathered, taught, and sent people on their way – church serves a similar purpose as well. We go to a church – focus on God, get challenged as well as encouraged and then we go to our weekly life and do our best. But it should not stop there. I know plenty of believers who only go to church, not receiving the Christian relationship aspect they were designed for. These “solo-Christians” either give up, dry up or become very religious with their Christianity. There’s no depth to it because they only see it as a Sunday thing. But having believers who check on us and encourage us throughout the week helps so much. Beyond this people who you can do life with that are on the same page as you can be life changing and make all the difference.
2Cor 6:14 – Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
Pro 27:17 – [As] iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.