Faith

The Secret of Growing Closer to God

Seeking counsel from this faith-based group could be the extra spiritual push people need in their lives

“What do you think?”

“I don’t know … what do you think?”

“I know! Let’s ask _____! She knows everything!”

“The way of fools is right in their own eyes, but those who listen to advice are the wise.”

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Who has God placed in your life as your “go to” — your lifeline?

The Bible states in Proverbs 12:15: “The way of fools is right in their own eyes, but those who listen to advice are the wise.”

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According to the Alpha Course, one of the five “CS” ways that God guides us is not only through commanding scripture and a compelling spirit, but also through the “Counsel of Saints” (using the term “saint,” as Paul often does in the New Testament describing believers who are still living — “holy ones,” “leaders,” or “Lord’s people.”)

Proverbs 15:22 goes on to say: “Plans fail when there is no counsel, but they succeed when advisers are many.”

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In my own life God has used many wise people in various ways all along my journey to guide me towards what I feel has been His will; His good and loving plan for me. You can read about some particularly spectacular events where God spoke loudly and clearly to me through others in the story of my conversion to the Catholic faith in my book Metamorphosis of a Soul.

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In my life I have a posse, a team, if you will, of people who God uses on a daily basis to give me wise counsel. Some of them are quite different from me, as I have found it beneficial to seek counsel from those who vary in many ways from myself, politically, in age, even geographically.

I tend to be overly cautious in the area of feelings. Therefore, one of my trusted advisers is particularly analytical. I have men I speak to, as well as women: my beloved and wise husband; a layman; and my spiritual director, who happens to be a priest. I also seek counsel from other priests whom I trust. They are always an endless resource from which to draw sound judgement. My rule of thumb: When in doubt — ask!

But the one thing all of these “saints” have in common from which I seek advice is their great love of God, their prayerfulness, their familiarity with His Holy word, and their knowledge and love of me and the ministry we are doing. Therefore, whether I agree with them or not, I know that I can trust their wise counsel.

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Who do you have? Being a part of a Bible study is a great place to start to form a circle of trusted and wise friends. Joining a church and establishing ties of friendship and accountability with your pastor or priest is imperative in this topsy-turvy world of moral chaos. Seeking out mentors and friends who will help guide and pray with and for you is a blessing beyond measure.

Ask God to help you find these in your own life because…

“The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom; his tongue speaks what is right. God’s teaching is in his heart; his steps do not falter” (Psalm 37:30-31).

Dear Lord,
I want to be guided by You through all the means that You make available-not only through Your Holy Word and Your Holy Spirit Who compels me, but I also want to have an open and teachable heart and ear, ready to hear what You have to say through wise counselors. I ask that You would bring me into friendship with “saints” who would give me Godly advice. I ask for the grace of overcoming my root sins of pride, vanity, or sensuality in order that I might hear Your voice spoken through these individuals. Lord, take my heart, my mind and my will and make it pleasing to You, whom I should love above all others. Help me Lord. Lead me to Yourself and into Your will for my life, for only there will I be truly happy.

I ask this in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Melissa Overmyer is founder of Something Greater Ministries in Washington, D.C., and has been teaching the Bible for over 30 years. This article is based on information presented at an ALPHA course. 

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