Do we have a perfect reason and the right to say that the Lord our God speaks to us? We know His desire. He wants to live in and with us. He wants to have the sacred intimacy with us which He availed by offering Himself on the cross. Yet, many among us do not value the importance of His desire. A great many things happen over intimacy with Him. He is not after our offerings and sacrifices, but a perfect relationship with Him. He wants us to hear Him and do accordingly. He did not cleanse us with His blood that we should satisfy Him with our thoughts and ways. On the contrary, He cleansed us so that we would follow after Him like sheep after their shepherd. His word is the power to have a perfect relationship with Him. He is the word so that He may come to us in the word. “But who has stood in the council of the LORD, That he should see and hear His word? Who has given heed to His word and listened?” (Jer. 23:18).
Certainly, there is a perfect reason and the right to say our Lord God desires that we hear Him and obtain His council. This is not an ostensible saying, but God’s will. Men in doubt will say – can or will a man stand in the council (company) of God? But when He says that to stand in His company is His wish, He gave the possibility to believe it; belief will lead us to see and hear His word. Remember that belief is the only trait that keeps us in communion with Him. Everything a man obtains from Him is by it; there is nothing else. Ask yourself of your salvation. It is by belief in God, who appeared in the flesh. Whatever you have in relation to a heavenly place, it is by belief in Him. Yet, many do not consider its essence. It is because they are with intellectual faith, i.e. knowledge based belief rather than realistic faith, i.e. a belief that communicates with God.
Knowledge based belief cannot provide an answer to who can stand in the council of God. It is superficial and its continuance is solely based on works. Many have fallen into this trap or what is called false doctrine. Some even embrace it, as it suits their desires. They believe in the God who came in the flesh and because they believe, they perform works for salvation and incline themselves to work to stand in it. On the contrary, realistic faith is much different. It is born in the company of God. It not only provides an answer to who can stand in the council of God, but also allows one to give heed and listen to all He says. Can you say that you see and hear His word on a regular basis? Then, you know what it means to heed His word and listen. When you fellowship with God, that is to say, you speak with Him regularly and seek His word, you see the word God has availed you; and His Spirit gives you the appropriate understanding, i.e. you hear His word. This is the reason behind the saying – “faith comes from hearing the word of Christ.” Therefore, it is also written that “we walk by faith.” But those who do not stand in His council walk by sight doing works, because they believed.
Intimacy with God is possible only by standing in His council. It gives you His thoughts and ways. They lead you safely to His eternal dwellings. You will have lived your life by faith as you depart for the precious crown of life. Hence, Jesus said, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able” (Luke. 13:24). Why cannot many enter? Is it because the door that Christ opened is not wide enough? Yet, it was said that God desires for all to repent. Those who enter through the narrow door are those that grabbed the way by which God lives with them. They knew it to be the only way. They do only that which God requires of them. They habitually stand in His council to see and hear His word. At one time they are seen climbing a hill and at another time walking in the valley or on a smooth surface. They do not seek any man’s advice nor look to right or the left for help. They strive to receive God’s council for their faith in Him is not based on intellect or rational.
See to it that you do not fail in your striving for an intimate relationship with Him. God loves to live in you and to be with you. For He died and rose up that His image, you, should not be left desolate. His presence in you will produce a world of difference. You see His glory, power and righteousness; He judges the world around you for your well-being. So, consider the value of being intimate with Him with an allegory. “When they had eaten enough, they began to lighten the ship by throwing out the wheat into the sea” (Acts 27:38). Had they not lightened their ship, they would have drowned. The ship was full of food that must sustain them for a long journey. Yet when they were faced with a choice between keeping it and saving their lives, they ate enough and threw the rest into the sea. Striving to enter through the narrow door is not any dissimilar to this. Men and women who want to have more and more or hold on to their possessions always walk by sight. On the other hand, those who have the council of God know what they want and how much more God is willing to give them. They know God has created them for His purpose. So, they constantly stand in His council.
Listen, to enter through the narrow door does not mean perpetually losing everything. God does not call men with intent to make them beggars; never has He intended it or never will He. But when He asks us to enter His door, He wants us to give Him the priority, stand in His company and deliver that which He desires from us. And, this is for our well-being. For this purpose He may ask us to leave anything or anyone dear to us. It is to show to the world through us His love for mankind. In all of His asking He will not leave us without provisions, though for a time they become limited. For He said by way of promise that everyone leaving his family, house or belongings, etc for His sake will again find them along with eternal life. How wonderful is His plan for those who trust Him! He makes them a spectacle to the world in order to turn them into a marvel. Is this not to turn many men and women into His children?
Many do not receive this knowledge. Hence, they do not seek an intimate relationship with Him. They do not trust Him. They fear the word that calls for striving to enter through the narrow door. They fear, because they have not found the word that produces belief in them. And, they find ways to substitute their striving with their words and works. What does striving really bring? If you strive in the field, what does it bring? A produce or harvest that supplies you, your family and even others. It brings you knowledge to become better at your work. You make better choices. You act wise for greater produce and thus, have better livelihood. Your striving to enter the narrow door does the same for your life and soul, the life and souls of your family and even others. You learn from God and of God and become God’s provision to others. This is realistic faith. It helps you to lighten your life by removing your many thoughts and works, and stand in God’s council. For this reason, God appeared as the Son of God, “who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Gal. 1:4).
If they lightened their ship to escape the impending death, we lighten the capacities of our flesh to escape eternal death. And the One through whom we do it is the Son of God. His blood is able to remove everything that comes in the way of our intimacy with God. It empties us so that God fills us with His word. If we truly desire this, the present evil age cannot harm us. For it can only thrive on the capacities of our flesh. When our thoughts and works do not flourish it, it is as good as dead. It is trampled under our feet, as we stand in the council of God. There will be nothing detrimental in us to ruin the life of our families and the life of those around us. Furthermore, God’s council enables us to perform His desire toward them. “And all who lived at Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord” (Acts 9:35).
We perform the will of God through the power of His Son’s blood and they will turn to the Lord. See the effect of lightening ourselves. The provisions of God that enter us will shine through us. Many will find it impossible to ignore them. They will see the power and glory of God. To this end God has called us that we first become a spectacle to the world for His sake and then be turned into a marvel. Are you and I up for it? We are, if we steadily stand in His council. We shall hear everything pertaining to us. We walk when He says we should, we sit when He says we should, we speak when He says we ought to and we perform when He says we must. God’s kingdom will surpass all boundaries. “And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘See to it that no one misleads you’” (Matt. 24:4).
So, do not drift away from what you found. For you found the means to stand in God’s council; you found His desire for you. You discovered the intent of God. Avoid the man that works according to the present evil age. He brings with his intellect the things that God did not ordain. He does not deliver God’s plans or council for you. “By smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength and take action” (Dan. 11:32).