In his book, The Seven Seasons of a Man’s Life, Patrick Morley wrote: “There is a God we want, and there is a God who is. They are not the same God. And the turning point of our lives is when we stop seeking the God we want and start seeking the God who is.”
He went on to say: “I think that often we tend to decide what we want and then go look for the evidence to support the decision we’ve already made. . . .If you want to be a biblical Christian, instead of living by the credo ‘plan then pray,’ maybe we ought to reverse that and we ought to live by the credo ‘pray then plan.'”
I would also include a small group of wise, objective, trusted friends to share both my prayers and my plans with. Solomon seemed to think so too when he said, “Where there is no guidance, the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory.” Proverbs 11:14.
Of course, not all counsel is wise. Much advice is getting another person to do what the advisor is too timid to try unless they see whether or not it works. Two phrases which are a tipoff to such counsel are “If I were you, I would. . . ,” and “Take it from me, you ought to. . . .”
No one who lacks a legitimate, authoritative source for their advice or counsel is worth listening to–especially if that advice does not come from the Word of God. Unfounded, ungrounded opinions make lousy guidance. I once heard that opinions are nothing more than a person’s subjective experiences squeezed through the grid of their preferences and sentiments.