Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the LORD. So Joshua made peace with them, and made a covenant with them to let them live; and the rulers of the congregation swore to them.

—Joshua 9:14-15

We are often as guilty as Joshua when we make decisions based on outward appearances and the wisdom (lies?) of the world without asking counsel of the Lord.  How?  First the back story.

Israel was to make no covenants with the inhabitants of the Promised Land.  The Gibeonites (who were local inhabitants) lied and said they were from far away, tricking Joshua into thinking he could make a covenant with them.  He did and it cost Israel dearly for generations.  What was Joshua’s mistake?  He relied on how the matter looked and he believed a lie.

So how do we do the same thing?  We hear the world’s wisdom all day long every day.  And the world’s wisdom, when it isn’t completely lies, is always laced with lies.  When we look around, virtually everybody around us going along with the world’s lies, so outward appearances say, “go for it!”

We are like Joshua in that we do “not ask counsel of the Lord” when making decisions.  Asking counsel of the Lord is not a mystical practice based on “feelings” or “signs.”  It is first and foremost  (a) immersing ourselves in the truth of God’s Word every day, (b) listening to biblical preaching every chance we get, so that we have the wisdom of God’s Word in our hearts and minds.  Then we must ask the Lord to give us His wisdom (James 1:5-8) so that we can test all things against the truth of God’s Word.  Only then can we “...hold fast to what is good and abstain from every appearance of evil.” (1 Thess. 5:21-22).

Let us realize that God’s Word addresses every question in life.  Some directly, and many more by way of biblical principles that we must know and apply wisely.