Over the years, I have sadly had a large number of people talk to me with tears in their eyes about how they lost everything they owned because of bad advice from well-meaning friends and family members..
Couples who got in on the ground floor of a ‘can’t miss,’ explosive money-making opportunity at the urging of a family member or friend only to watch the company go belly up and their money disappear faster than an ice cube on a hot summer’s day.
Dreamers who were robbed of their dreams by the doubts of someone who’s biggest decision is whether to have next Saturday’s breakfast at iHop or Cracker Barrel.
Listening to the wrong people give unwise advice.
I could go on with other sad stories I’ve heard but let’s move on with seven reasons not to take their word for it.
First, when I say don’t take their word for it. . .let me clarify who ‘they’ are.
“They” are any person who doesn’t believe the promises of God are true and available to every person on planet earth.
“They” are those who buy into get rich schemes on the basis of what others say against what the Word and seasoned advisors say about the futility of such endeavors.
“They” are those who have an excuse as to why what God says can and will happen. . . won’t happen to them.
“They” are the people who doubt or worse. . .don’t want you to succeed in their dreams because it will reflect poorly on them. . .because they haven’t.
“They” are the people who are content where they are. . .doing what they’re doing. . .just missing opportunity after opportunity.
“They” are those who talk about what they going to do but never do it.
“They” are the ones who’d rather complain about the way things are. . .than make the changes necessary to ensure a better quality of live for them and their families in the future.
In short, “they” are the ones who sometimes make stupid decision. . .so you don’t want to list to them.
Now let’s look at the 7 reasons not to take their word for it.
1. They may not understand everything and what they know…they may have misunderstood.
Have you ever posted something on Facebook or Twitter which you thought was crystal clear only to have someone. . .offer a comment or Tweet. . .and you went. . . “where did that come from?”
The posted response was totally different than what you had written. . .and you just can’t figure out why they put what they wrote.
Sadly, it happens more often that I’d like to say. . . I’ve come to the place where I respond by suggesting they re-read the post.
Sometimes people think they understand. . .but their ability to understand is compromised by what they perceive to be their current reality.
This happens every day in homes. . .and in the workplace. . .even in churches where people say one thing but it’s misunderstood and/or misquoted.
Over the years, I’ve consulted for major ministries, non-profits and humanitarian groups. I know of one organization where everybody on the staff who was close to the principal owner always took pot shots at the new person. . .so as to solidify their own position.
As Brother Hagin would say. . .”bless their darling hearts and stupid heads.”
And yes, it is a stupid head that tries to advance themselves or protect their position at the expense of someone else .... much less compare themselves to that person.
Galatians 6:4-5 in The Living Bible says:
“Let everyone be sure that he is doing his very best, for then he will have the personal satisfaction of work well done and won’t need to compare himself with someone else. Each of us must bear some faults and burdens of his own. For none of us is perfect!.”
When it comes to making sure you understand. . .let the realization of Proverbs 3:5-6 in the Amplified Bible be your guide.
Proverbs 3:5-6 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.”
2. On Judgment Day. . .you will answer for what you said…what you did and what you knew to be true.
Matthew 12:36-37 in The Living Bible says:
“And I tell you this, that you must give account on Judgment Day for every idle word you speak. Your words now reflect your fate then: either you will be justified by them or you will be condemned.”
An idle word. . .is also one that has no basis in scripture.
The Message Bible translation of Matthew 12:36-37 says:
“I promise you that on the day of judgment, everyone will have to account for every careless word they have spoken. On that day they will be told that they are either innocent or guilty because of the things they have said.”
You will be judged by what you knew. . .what you said.
Yes, on Judgment Day you. . .nobody else but you will be held responsible for your actions or your words.
When you reach the age of accountability and you’re old enough to hear and read the Word of God. . .then you’re accountable for your actions.
Excuses don’t work on Judgment Day. . .regardless of what “they” might have said.
1 John 2:28 in the Message Bible says:
“And now, children, stay with Christ. Live deeply in Christ. Then we'll be ready for him when he appears, ready to receive him with open arms, with no cause for red-faced guilt or lame excuses when he arrives.”
I’m going to Galatians 6:4 again. . .this time in the Amplified Bible which says:
“But let every person carefully scrutinize and examine and test his own conduct and his own work. . .”
Regardless of what “they” say. . .Judgment is coming.
3. Jesus will be your advocate. . .defending what you did. . .not what somebody else did for you.
In the world system, men fight legal battles with lies, exaggerations, evasions, and cover-ups. The main job of an defense attorney is not centered on the truth. . .it centers around the protection of the client and doing whatever is possible to get him or her off.
In God’s courtroom, truth prevails because He knows what truth is. Your attorney is the incarnation of truth. He is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
Acts 17:31 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Because He has fixed a day when He will judge the world righteously (justly) by a Man Whom He has destined and appointed for that task, and He has made this credible and given conviction and assurance and evidence to everyone by raising Him from the dead.”
Yes, the Bible tells us Jesus is our attorney. 1 John 2:1 says:
“…we have an advocate (attorney) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
The New Living Translation of 1 John 2:1 says:
“… we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.”
As previously stated. . .you’ll be accountable for what you thought, said and did. . .not somebody else. . .but the good news is Jesus is your advocate and you can be forgiven if you ask.
4. The Word is the standard of Judgment and you will be accountable for what you did with the Word.
It’s not what your pastor, priest or favorite preacher says. . .it’s what you did with the Word.
John 12:48 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Anyone who rejects Me and persistently sets Me at naught, refusing to accept My teachings, has his judge [however]; for the [very] message that I have spoken will itself judge and convict him at the last day.”
While preachers have a responsibility to “preach the word” and in so doing, to “convince, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2), we need to realize that preaching the Word is more than simply telling the audience what’s in the Word.
It’s also “empowering” each listener to study the Scriptures for himself, and to effectively interpret and use what he logically concludes using all the inspired writings
It’s what Ezra and the priests did in Nehemiah 8:8 which says:
“So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading.”
They not only taught what the Law said, but taught the people how to comprehend it for themselves.
Nehemiah 8:8 in the Amplified Bible says:
“So they read from the Book of the Law of God distinctly, faithfully amplifying and giving the sense so that [the people] understood the reading.”
5. If you feel peaceful. . .it’s His idea. . .not theirs.
One of the most amazing facts about my fine wife Bev. . .and believe me. . .there are many . . . is her peace factor.
When the enemy starts slinging fiery darts our way. . .my wife prays. . .in every instant that I can remember when she felt peace. . .the attack ended and everything was all right.
The key to developing a peace factor in your life is to know the Word and pray it. If you don’t have confidence in the Word of God. . .you will never have peace.
Why worry about situations when you can pray the Word and give it all to God. Let Him deal with it.
Worry is prayer in reverse. Praying with confidence in the Word is the antidote for the disease of a worried mind. And as I’ve said for years, if you worry about situations . . . it means you don’t trust God.
Gain strength, comfort and yes, peace with John 14:27 in the Amplified Bible which says:
“Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]”
Notice the last sentence in the verse . . . it’s the bottom line on how you act and react to adversity.
“[Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]”
Isaiah 26:3 in the Amplified Bible says:
“You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.”
The way to keep your mind focused on Him is through prayer and the Word.
The peace about your future should always be from him. . .not them.
6. Follow His plans. . .not theirs.
From the time you’re born. . .it seems that people have plans for you. . .your Mom has plans on how she will dress you. . .your Dad has plans on what sports you’ll be involved in. . .your friends have plans on what games you will play. . .your teachers have plans on what you’ll learn. . .your drill sergeant on how you’ll act. . .your spouse has plans on how your life together will turn out. . .your employer has plans on what your job description will be.
I could go on but the bottom line is this . . . throughout your life a lot of people have plans for you; however, there’s only One person whose plans come first. Those are the plans you want to discover and pursue to find true fulfillment and peace on this earth.
Jeremiah 29:11 in The Living Bible says:
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Your success in life. . .in your marriage. . .family. . .job. . .investments will not just happen to you because you’re a nice person or even because you love the Lord. You must have a plan.
Proverbs 16:3 in the New Living Translation says:
“Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.”
Each day is a gift to you. . .what are your plans for this precious treasure of time that God has given to you?
Will you maximize your time and effectiveness?
Is your attitude. . .another day another dollar or do you have a plan to turn your finances from lack to abundance and your life from one of average to excellence?
If you don’t like where you are in life right now. . .chances are there’s something you don’t know yet. So what’s your plan to move from where you are to where you want to be?
Here’s what I suggest…..
First, seek the Lord. . .his wisdom, understanding and favor.
Psalm 20:4 in the New Living Translation says:
“May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed.”
Next, seek out those who can best help you plan the move out of your personal wilderness into the Promised Land.
Proverbs 15:22 in the New Living Translation says:
“Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.”
God is a planner. . .and so should you be. . .if you want to be successful. . .you will follow His plans. . .not theirs.
7. Somebody is always wanting to tell you what they think. . .but it’s what He thinks that determines your destiny.
If you want to be like Him. . .you must think like Him.
The New Living Translation of 1 Peter 1:15 says:
“But now you must be holy in everything you do. . .”
How do you know what to do. . .it’s simple . . . do what the Word says.
A righteous life is a continual search for His presence and the revelation of His Word.
When you want His Word more than anything else, then you’re getting closer to the righteous life.
Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 4:13 that we’re to “. . .give attendance to reading…”
2 Timothy 2:15 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.”
As we study the Word an amazing thing begins to develop.
Philippians 2:5 in the New Living Translation says:
“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”
What you think determines how you act.
The Contemporary English Version of Philippians 2:5 says:
“And think the same way that Christ Jesus thought.”
How do you shape what you think . . . meaning . . . your attitude? The answer is found in Hebrews 4:12:
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
If you think like He thinks . . . if you focus on the Word of God. . .you will have the most positive mental attitude ever known to the mind of man.
If God wants you to be prosperous . . . and He does . . .look at what 3 John 2 says:
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
If God wants you to be successful and He does . . . look at Joshua 1:8:
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
If God wants you to win every battle and He does . . . 2 Corinthians 2:14 in the Contemporary English Version says:
“I am grateful that God always makes it possible for Christ to lead us to victory. God also helps us spread the knowledge about Christ everywhere, and this knowledge is like the smell of perfume.”
Romans 12:2 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].”
Romans 12:2 in the New Living Translation says it this way:
“…Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
Ephesians 4:23 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude].”
There’s one more thing you need to always remember and it’s found in Psalm 139:17-18 in The Living Bible which says:
“How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly! I can’t even count how many times a day your thoughts turn toward me. And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!”
When we’ve done these things. . .then we will no longer take their word for it. . .but we’ll know His Word on how we’re to live our daily lives.
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