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SEEKING GOD’S COUNSEL FIRST

SERMON STARTER

In the time of trouble or distress we tend to first exhaust all our human, rational alternatives to solving conflicts before we finally seek the Lord’s wisdom and counsel.  Like King Jehoshaphat of Judah who wants to reclaim some property rights, but wants to short cut the humiliation of seeking a power greater than himself. The Bible narratives are loaded with examples and instructions on how to seek and find the Lord’s Will on difficult issues. Here are some approaches to seeking God first: pray, seek God with your whole heart, fast, meditate on the Bible, private worship and devotion are just some of the traditional ways to seek God’s counsel first. I urge you to do it in the midst of your next conflict and do it without delay!

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

January 27, 2008

Sheepfold Ministries, Pastor Phil Roland

SEEKING GOD’S COUNSEL FIRST

                      1 Kings 22:4-5
God’s people have trouble seeking Him first.  We tend to exhaust our own means before we seek Him.  We must seek Him before anything.  Pastor Phil


So he asked Jehoshaphat, "Will you go with me to fight against Ramoth Gilead?" Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, "I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses."  But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, "First seek the counsel of the LORD."

 

LESSONS FROM THE TEXT:

I.  WE TEND TO SEEK THE WRONG PEOPLE FIRST - v. 6

“So the king of Israel brought together the prophets--about four hundred men--and asked them, "Shall I go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?" "Go," they answered, "for the Lord will give it into the king's hand."

          A. Even Four Hundred can be wrong

                   1. Wrong People - Majorities can be wrong

                   2. Wrong Advise - Prophesy for Financial Gain

                   3. Simon the Sorcerer – Acts 8:14-24

                   ”When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the

 apostles' hands, he offered them money. . .”

B. False Prophets tell people what they want to hear for money

     Num.22:18

              “But Balaam answered them, "Even if Balak gave me his palace filled with

       silver and gold, I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the

       command of the LORD my God.”

          1. End Time Prophets and Itching Ears - 2 Tim. 4:3,4

                   “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.

Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great

number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will

turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”

          2. Contemporary Psychics do the same

                   a. John Edward - Necromancy

                        b. Sylvia Brown – Psychic Medium and Necromancer

                        c. Jean Dixon - Prognostication

 

II.  TAKING WRONG COUNSEL LEADS TO DEATH -

          A. Jehoshaphat Listened to both false and real prophets

          B. Made Wrong Choice

                   1. God Decreed the Battle Lost – 2 Kings 22:17

                        Then Micaiah answered, "I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like

   sheep without a shepherd, and the LORD said, 'These people have no             

2. Jehoshaphat Went to War Anyway

          C. Jehoshaphat Nearly Lost His Life

 

III. JEHOSHAPHAT FINALLY CHOSE HIS OWN WAY - Prov. 14:12

 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”

          A. We want our own Short-Cuts to Worldly Success

                   1. Remember the OT example of Balaam – Numbers 22                                      a.  Simon the Sorcerer in NT - Acts 8:9-24

b. Simon practiced sorcery for money and fame -

                   2. Cannot “Pay for” or “buy” the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

          B. We don’t like “Knee-ology”

                   1. Prayer - Seeking God w/whole Heart

                   2. Fasting

                   3. Bible-Meditation

                   4. Private Worship and Devotion

          C. Seek First the Kingdom of God - Matt. 6:33

            “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

 

 

  

SEEKING GOD’S COUNSEL FIRST, TEXT:

1 Ki 22:1  For three years there was no war between Aram and Israel.

1 Ki 22:2  But in the third year Jehoshaphat king of Judah went down to see the king of Israel.

1 Ki 22:3  The king of Israel had said to his officials, "Don't you know that Ramoth Gilead belongs to us and yet we are doing nothing to retake it from the king of Aram?"

1 Ki 22:4  So he asked Jehoshaphat, "Will you go with me to fight against Ramoth Gilead?" Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, "I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses."

1 Ki 22:5  But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, "First seek the counsel of the LORD."

1 Ki 22:6  So the king of Israel brought together the prophets--about four hundred men--and asked them, "Shall I go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?" "Go," they answered, "for the Lord will give it into the king's hand."

1 Ki 22:7  But Jehoshaphat asked, "Is there not a prophet of the LORD here whom we can inquire of?"

1 Ki 22:8  The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, "There is still one man through whom we can inquire of the LORD, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah." "The king should not say that," Jehoshaphat replied.

1 Ki 22:9  So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, "Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once."

1 Ki 22:10  Dressed in their royal robes, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting on

their thrones at the threshing floor by the entrance of the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them.

1 Ki 22:11  Now Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had made iron horns and he declared, "This is what the LORD says: 'With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.'"

1 Ki 22:12  All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. "Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious," they said, "for the LORD will give it into the king's hand."

1 Ki 22:13  The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, "Look, as one man the other prophets are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably."

1 Ki 22:14  But Micaiah said, "As surely as the LORD lives, I can tell him only what the LORD tells me."

1 Ki 22:15  When he arrived, the king asked him, "Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?" "Attack and be victorious," he answered, "for the LORD will give it into the king's hand."

1 Ki 22:16  The king said to him, "How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?"

1 Ki 22:17  Then Micaiah answered, "I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the LORD said, 'These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.'"

1 Ki 22:18  The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "Didn't I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?"

1 Ki 22:19  Micaiah continued, "Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne with all the host of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left.

1 Ki 22:20  And the LORD said, 'Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?' "One suggested this, and another that.

1 Ki 22:21  Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said, 'I will entice him.'

1 Ki 22:22  " 'By what means?' the LORD asked. " 'I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,' he said. " 'You will succeed in enticing him,' said the LORD. 'Go and do it.'

1 Ki 22:23  "So now the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The LORD has decreed disaster for you."

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ACTS 8:14-24

When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them.

15  When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit,

16  because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.

17  Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

18  When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money

19  and said, "Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit."

20  Peter answered: "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!

21  You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God.

22  Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart.

23  For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin."

24  Then Simon answered, "Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me."