Following the Recipe. What do you actually rely on?
I have always enjoyed cooking because the art of cooking allows for some room for change before it becomes error. Baking, however, has little to no room for error, which is why I don't bake very often. Generally when a mistake is made in a professional kitchen, whether cooking or baking, the first thing the chef will ask is, "Did you follow the recipe?" Your response shows you what you actually rely on. If you roll your eyes and swear on a stack of cookbooks that you followed the recipe and blame everything else under the sun, then you're not sticking to the basic fundamentals of cooking. Instead, you're relying on your own cleverness and skill.
My question to you is: How do you respond to godly counsel when someone asks you, "Did you pray about it?" or, "What does the Bible say about it?" Do you roll your eyes and tune out everything that person says because of it, or do you stop and examine yourself for a moment?We have all been presented with those same basic questions and we tune it out because we're hoping for some deep philosophical insight we've never heard before. Why is it that we don't want to hear things that we've heard before? Are we afraid of admitting the fact that we still need to learn the basics? Or worse, are we not actually relying on the fundamentals of the faith?
While it's true that when people give basic advice like that, sometimes it's delivered in a condescending manner where they assume you must be doing something wrong. That can be a problem that makes people not want basic advice. Nevertheless, it doesn't change the fact that it's fair and true advice to start with the basics. Those questions are more like troubleshooting, it's supposed to help you gain clarity in your situation.
When you have any kind of problem, always start with the basics: pray about it, search the Word of God for answers, then after you've done those basic things, you should seek godly counsel. This way, you are relying on the Lord to help you with your problems instead of advice from people. Sadly, people, godly as they can be, are still imperfect. People can't know 100% of the story, they only hear what you tell them. That means there's room to hide information so you can hear what you want to hear.
God knows your entire problem before you even bring it to Him, so there's no use trying to come up with a story to make you sound like it's not your fault.
Try it sometime. Just pray to God about your problem. Be open and honest about everything. Don't even be afraid of sounding bad because if you're afraid of sounding bad in front of God, you probably shouldn't be feeling that way should you? God will show you what the problem is and where you need to work with it. Chances are, you'll probably repent of any sin you have.
Also try reading your Bible, not just when you have a problem, but everyday. Chances are also that you'll read something that'll bring clarity to your situation. Since the Bible is the Word of God, God can still speak to people through it, including you!
So the next time you seek advice from a godly person in your life and they ask you if you prayed about your problem or what the Bible says about it, this is what they're talking about. Keep these things in mind.
" Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one." Colossians 4:6