Waging war - not exactly something we spend a lot of time thinking about in life - unless we're in the armed forces right? Well, before you dismiss this verse let's take a few moments to think about it and learn from it some very valuable lessons.
In military matters we see the wisdom of what is being said here. We watched our military over and over again plan their campaigns with great care - and their wisdom was revealed as victory after victory was achieved. We also watched foolish leaders like General Custer not concern themselves with good planning and information and the disaster that came with their foolishness. Not just planning is wise - but also getting counselors who will help you understand things from many perspectives is also good. Doing these things will not absolutely assure victory - but will work toward it greatly.
But there is other warfare that we should consider when reading this verse . . . spiritual warfare. There is a warfare for walking in holiness and living for God's purposes of which we should be aware. We have a very real enemy who wages war against our souls and who desires to hold us captive morally. Every day when we walk in this world, we are going to face a fight for godliness. This world system is under the power of the evil one - and it really shouldn't shock us that the world is not doing much to encourage godliness and a heart for the gospel. Paul told us that we should not be ignorant of the devil's devices in this warfare. He also told us that we should take up the armour of God and be ready to stand - and having done everything - to remain standing. Hmmm . . . sounds to me like the Bible may have some things to say to us in the way of wise guidance when fighting for godliness every day?
Two things we learn here. When fighting the spiritual battles we face every day - we need to do so drawing upon "wise guidance." The word used here is "tahbulah" and it means counsel or advice - and is used more often for God's counsel and advice than anything else. It is even used of God's counsel used to direct the clouds in the sky. What we can learn from this is a wise man seeks God's own counsel in the way to fight the every day battles of godliness and holiness. We need to hear from Him every day. That points us to spiritual disciplines like the quiet time - the daily prayer time - and daily Bible reading. We do not do these things to be religious - we do them to survive and thrive in the warfare that we face against the world, the flesh, and the devil. If we listen - we will be blessed, but if we turn a deaf ear to the Word of God - we will suffer for it in the end.
The second thing we see here is that there is victory in an "abundance of counselors." We need the wise guidance of God Himself to wage the war we fight daily in this world. But we also need to counsel of our brothers and sisters in Christ. A wise man knows that in an abundance of godly counselors - there is victory for us. This is something we need to embrace because quite often we face trials and problems that require some assistance from our brothers and sisters in Christ. The "lone ranger" Christianity that many embrace because of the emphasis in the west on individuality and self-reliance often robs us of the unity that comes from shared struggles in life. There is also that word "accountability" that we need to hear as well. Being accountable is more than just calling one another on the carpet and asking questions about how a person is doing in an area of struggle. Being accountable also means mutual encouragement and mutual counsel - so that there can be victory. We read in Ecclesiastes that two are better than one - and that a strand of three cords is not quickly broken. These verses remind us that we need each other in Christ. We need not just a few - but an abundance of counselors in life to see victory consistently in our walk with God.
I cringe when I hear political figures tell us that it takes a village to rear a child. I only cringe because the village of which they speak means "it takes government and bureaucracy" to rear a child. That only means that government wants to take over the responsiblity of rearing your child - or reserves the right to trump how you want to rear your child. But with all double-speak aside - it does take an abundance of counselors to see victory in life - even with our children. Blessed is the child - and the parents - who have a church family with many counselors who will steer a child to the Scriptures for answers. That child - that family - and that church will be blessed - and will win the battle for that child's mind and heart.
War is a serious matter - whether it speaks of those fought on actual physical fields of conflict - of the ones fought in our minds. The wise man accepts the counsel of God each day in preparing for battle. He also listens to his brothers and sisters in Christ who also offer godly counsel and encouragement in this daily war we call the Christian life. As Peter said, we need to "gird up our minds for action." That daily "girding" needs to have a healthy does of counsel from the body of Christ - and from God Himself as He speaks to us through His Spirit in the Word!