God’s commands trump everything, and everyone, always. He is the trump card.

It doesn’t matter what title or position they hold. No counsel is higher than God’s. Though it is wise to seek Godly counsel, God’s word should be the final word on the matter. He said that His ways are not our ways. And His thoughts are high above our thoughts. So I’ll say it again. God’s commands trump everyone else.

1 Kings 13 tells of the unnamed prophet God sent to prophesy against the pagan altar built by king Jeroboam. The young prophet began so well, determined to do exactly what God had commanded.

He thundered the Word of the Lord with a great display of power and authority. Then as the king attempted to seize the prophet, the Lord froze the hand of the king. Then the accuracy of the prophet was displayed as he prayed to restore the king’s hand, and the altar cracked and spilled its ashes just as he’d declared.

To thank the prophet, the king offered a reward of eating at the palace. But the prophet refused, saying, “Even if you gave me half of everything you own, I won’t go with you. I would not eat or drink anything in this place. For the Lord gave me this command: You must not eat or drink anything while you are there, and do not return to Judah by the same way you came.” So he left Bethel and went home another way.”

Then while resting, a so-called “old prophet” came to him with a persuasive lie. He told the young man of God that an angel had appeared to him. He declared that the young prophet should come home with him to eat and drink.

Here in lies the error.

Though this young prophet had received the word of the Lord, he allowed a man he didn’t know to persuade him to ignore it simply because of his title. He had no knowledge of the integrity of this man. There was no proof of the accuracy of the word he gave. And worst of all, he didn’t ask the Lord about the validity of this word. That decision cost him his life.

Sadly, we see it happen again in Joshua 7. After following God’s specific commands, Joshua gains victory over Jericho in the first battle of taking their promised land. Ai was next. The commanders of the army came to Joshua. They told him he needed only a small number of men to defeat Ai. Without consulting God, Joshua followed their advice. That mistake cost him the lives of thirty-six men who died in their retreat.

Joshua, grieving, asked the Lord why this happened. God responded that Israel had sinned. Someone didn’t follow God’s commands after the battle of Jericho. Achan’s refusal to follow God’s command cost him his life and the lives of his family, as well as thirty-six innocent men. That was a mistake Joshua wouldn’t make again. Getting the counsel of others can never replace God’s instructions.

Evangelist Tiff Shuttlesworth said, “When we neglect the prayers of consecration, we oftentimes must pray prayers of desperation.” God’s direction before taking action can prevent needed rescue after the action.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, showed this wisdom in John 2 when the water turned to wine. Faced with the problem, she turned to the servants and said, “Whatever He says to you, do it!” That is where the answer lies. The highest wisdom belongs to God. Go ahead and get counsel, but not at the expense of going to God.

So I’ll say, like Mary, do whatever He tells you to do. Be bold and courageous. Stand firm and refuse to be moved. The safest place to be is in the middle of God’s word. If you will, your victory is certain.

Jaime Luce