Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
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Seeds of the Kingdom

Whose Advice Are You Taking?

by Malcolm Wood

Isaiah 30:21, NIV

Whether it is how to grow the best runner beans, install a new app on a computer, unblock a drain or soothe backache, at some time or another we all need to seek advice. In these days, the first port of call for many is probably Google or You Tube where there seems to be a perpetual flood of advice on every subject imaginable: some good, some bad and some extremely doubtful and dangerous. User beware!

With more serious problems, when we have tried the self-fixes, either with or without the help of the internet, with little or no success, we may turn to an instruction manual, or reference book for insight on how to solve the problem. Or we may have to seek advice from someone who has experience and an understanding of the particular problem and how to solve it. There are many sources of help and advice, such as doctors, solicitors, accountants, vicars, pastors, electricians, plumbers, gardeners, and mechanics.

But if we are wise, we will be discerning where we seek help and from whom we take advice. Although we may take advice over the garden fence from our neighbour on how to grow beans, it is best not to take their advice on how to deal with a lump on our arm. In that case, we should only take advice and help from trustworthy, reliable sources.
During this time of Global pandemic, it seems that few, whether outside or even inside the Church, are asking God for His advice in all of it. Although we are extremely grateful for all that is being done by the armies of medics, scientists, carers, key workers and communities throughout the world, the truth is, as the old hymn says, ‘God holds the key to all unknown.’

In Isaiah 30:21, God promises His people, ‘Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it”’. He says to His people that when they pass through times of adversity and affliction, if they cry to Him and turn in repentance to Him, He will guide and direct their way (Isaiah 30:19-21). If only we could see that happening today!

God is willing to help, guide and direct anyone who, with sincerity and humility, will seek His face, whether that person is a global leader, or you and I. The Psalmist learnt this. He confessed his sin before the Lord, and then received this assurance; ‘I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye upon you.’(Psalm 32:8).

God, who is the source of all wisdom and understanding, is our loving heavenly Father and wants to help us, advise us and guide us. He is reliable and doesn’t change. He does have all the answers. He is interested in every area of our life, whether small or large, our relationships, our homes, our money, our employment, and our health. He uses all sorts of ways to convey His advice to us, such as His Word, His Spirit, a friend, an expert, or circumstances.

But so often we are guilty of trying to fix it ourselves and of doing it our way, instead of taking the advice given in Proverbs 3:5-6, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.’

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You that You are always willing to help and to advise. I am sorry for the times I have not sought Your ways but have looked elsewhere for help. Please forgive me and help me to rely more on You. Amen.

Malcolm Wood and his wife Anna became part of the Ellel family as House Managers at Ellel Grange in 1990. Since then they have been involved with many aspects of the developing Ministry. From 2001 until 2015 they were Directors of Ellel Scotland where they hosted several International Schools and Operation Blairmore and helped pioneer the exciting Creative Inspiration Weeks. They have three sons.


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