Finding the Answers You Need

Finding the Answers You Need

Sheba didn’t solicit just anyone’s advice. She consulted the wisest, most devout person in the ancient world.~ It’s Good to Be Queen

Chapter Three: It’s Good to Seek Wise Counsel

Who doesn’t want answers? How to, when to, where to, what to, and maybe most of all, who to. Who to turn to when we’re hurting or confused. Who to trust with the things that matter to us. Who to depend on when we need solid advice.

For the queen of Sheba, the king of Israel filled the bill, since “Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth” (1 Kings 10:23).

Not many of us would travel two long months—on a camel—just to listen to a wise guy talk. But Sheba was a seeker. Her desire to know more and grow more is what makes her a stellar role model, especially because she aimed higher than Solomon, seeking the One who was Wisdom itself.

Here’s what happened.

Solomon answered all her questions;… 1 Kings 10:3

This boggles my mind. I’m married to a very smart guy, but he doesn’t know everything about everything. Who could answer all our questions, meet all our needs, put all our doubts to rest?

You know: His name is Jesus.

  • He is wisdom and knowledge incarnate. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
  • He is the creator of all things. “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:3).
  • He is the ultimate authority. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18).

You can ask the Lord anything and be assured of an answer. Of course, the next question is, “How do we do that?” All the usual methods for reaching out—phone call, letter, email, social media, text—aren’t a good fit for our holy God.

The solution? Set up a daily appointment with Him. His office hours are 24/7, His services are freely given, and His wisdom exceeds Solomon’s ten million times over. (Okay, way more than that.)

Matthew 7:7

As we speak, I’m sitting across from an empty chair in my dining room, pouring out the unanswered questions weighing on my mind at the moment. I am saying them aloud, but you could meditate on them or write them down, so people won’t think you’re talking to yourself.

Truth is, we’re talking to God, who is listening and ever present. He is with us.

So, how does He answer us? Booming voice? Writing on the wall? Not at the Higgs house. My conscience may nag me, the adversary may accuse me, but God’s voice is gentle and low, and His words are full of love.

How can we be certain it’s His voice we’re hearing in our hearts? He speaks like He writes. His whispered words match His written Word.

And He never says, “I don’t know.”

…nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. 1 Kings 10:3

“No matter how difficult” (CEV), our King not only answers us, but also explains things. That’s love in action, caring enough to help us grasp the why, not just the what, so we’ll have a mind at rest, a heart at peace, and a sense of knowing that we know.

Once we’ve asked our questions, the Lord invariably leads us to His Word. His truth confirms and guides, moving us from answers to action. This is what God wants from us: not merely a full mind or a full heart, but a full life spent serving Him.

Suppose I tackle just one of our Study Guide questions? Then, I’d love to hear from you.

Psalm 119:89

From the Study Guide

Do you think of yourself as a seeker, in need of further knowledge? Or as a counselor, ready to help others find their way?

I hope I’ll always seek after knowledge, because who can ever get enough of God and His Word? I’m also willing to counsel, encourage, or guide anyone who crosses my path, as the Spirit leads.

So, yes, I think it’s possible, even necessary to do both. But one costs more.

The first one is a matter of pouring in. If you’re open (see chapter two!), and eager to learn, you’re good to go.

The second one requires pouring out. It’s an investment of your time, energy, and resources. Hours, days, even weeks of listening more than talking, constantly searching your heart and God’s Word for the wisdom He offers, praying it will meet the person’s needs, yet not always getting to see the end result.

Hmmm. Writing this down is pretty convicting. The truth? I gladly pour out on the page, on the stage, online, but am I willing to pour into one person’s life and consider it time well spent? If no one knows but the other person, if no one sees but God, does it count for the kingdom?

The answer is obvious. So is my discomfort.

Lord Jesus, you know I love to study, to learn, to fill my head. But when You ask me to pour out, to give, to sacrifice, I find a dozen reasons why it’s not convenient. Next week, next month, but not right now. Help me order my life such that sharing Your wisdom with one person is first on the list and not last. Help me be willing to be unnoticed, invisible. Behind the scenes instead of starring in a scene. I love Your Word, Lord. Help me faithfully give it away.

Psalm 119:24

Now, it’s your turn 

Are you more of a seeker? Or a counselor? Please share your thoughts below, so we can encourage one another.

Your grateful sister, Liz
Your sister, Liz Curtis Higgs BibleGateway Blogger Grid I am honored to write for P31 Ministries Love being part of (in)courage!

P.S. If you’ve not yet purchased a copy of It’s Good to Be Queen, here’s the lowest price I’ve found. And if you’d like to hear me teach Chapter Three, pop over to watch my free video on Vimeo. Finally, if you requested an autographed bookplate and bookmark, my new assistant, Beth, is still hard at work on them. (I was thinking we’d have a couple hundred requests; God had a much bigger number in mind!) Thanks for your patience, beloved.

And here’s a fun freebie. Wallpaper for your smart phone or tablet, to keep our weekly goal in mind. (Thanks for the suggestion, Sherri!) Just click to open, save to your images, then open your images, select the one you just added, choose “Use as Wallpaper” from your options, size to fit your screen, and save as your lock screen. Ta-da!

Phone Wallpaper It's Good to Be BOLD Phone Wallpaper It's Good to Be Open Phone Wallpaper It's Good to Seek Wise Counsel

33 Responses to Finding the Answers You Need

  1. Laurel Shaler September 9, 2015 at 8:19 pm #

    As a counselor educator, I think I lean towards being a “counselor” more…that being said, I fully believe we cannot pour out what has not been poured in. We have to receive in order to give. It is not only for our own benefit, but for the benefit of those we are ministering to!

    • Rosie September 11, 2015 at 8:46 am #

      I believe that we need to fill up on the Word. That is to literally feed our spiritual self. Then pour out to others. Whether it is leading a Women’s Ministry or teaching Bible Studies or mentoring one on one or meeting the needs of our children/family. Our spiritual cup can only be poured out if we continually ask Jesus to fill it with His Word. He is so faithful to do that all we need to do is consistently “follow Him”. The question always come down to “are we following Him to the best of our ability”. Sometimes I do and sometimes I fall….but somehow someway He is always encouraging me to “come fill your cup I have something for you to do or someone you need to pour out to”. HE IS SO FAITHFUL TO ME! And I am awed by Him over and over and over……

  2. Vicki Johnson September 9, 2015 at 8:33 pm #

    Thanks for another insightful study, Liz!

    I tend to be more of a counselor. It’s easy when you’re a pastor’s wife and are expected to “know all things.” Ha! When the setting is church related it is easy for me to be exuberant about what I’ve learned and hold dear in God’s Word. However, when the occasion to counsel is in the secular arena I am hesitant and subdued. I am learning to wrangle that fleshly cowardice into godly submission, and find that when I do there is tremendous joy in obedience and giving glory to God.

    • Linda September 13, 2015 at 10:04 am #

      I am a seeker. I am reading His word and trying to understand everything I can. I am a beginning counselor. I will say to others “God is good–look what he just did”. I am trying with both of these.

  3. Marsha N September 9, 2015 at 8:46 pm #


    This is such a beautiful post. I so look forward to your emails, to question me… to stretch me… to make me want to step out and care for others.

    Your question: Are you more of a seeker? Or a counselor?
    Immediately I said “well I am a counselor.” but then I was pricked with truth that unless I seek and dig deep into God’s Word I cannot be much of a counselor. I cannot bring others the Good Word if I do not have it first stored in me.

    There are even times when we have sought, felt completely filled, but life comes along and tackles us and we need to be refilled. So circumspectfully (perhaps a word I just created) I would have to say I need to be a greater seeker than a counselor, so my cup is filled up, So I know that I know God as my Maker, and then so that I can reach out – see/realize/listen when others need it – and then truly care for them.

  4. Shelley Wilburn September 9, 2015 at 8:53 pm #

    Wow! Seeker or counselor? I think I’m a little of both. There’s so much I want to learn, yet I find many women coming to me for answers as well. Oh how I wish sometimes there was an apprenticeship where I could just sit and glean from a sister mentor! I know that I don’t have all the answers, but when God healed me He also gave me a ministry of encouraging women. I know I can only pour out so much, and only what I know. Then I need to seek wise counsel myself and be poured into! God is always so gracious and merciful to oblige!

  5. Diane. Bailey September 9, 2015 at 9:11 pm #

    I think the two are married – hand in glove Once we have received good counsel it is important to turn and share it with another who is on a similar journey.

    We may prefer or even be better at one over the other but I think God wants me to be fluent in both.

  6. Stephanie M T September 9, 2015 at 9:24 pm #

    This is so very timely for me. I was recently diagnosed with bipolar II. As a Christian, and also in our world, this diagnosis is stigmatized. So, I have only told a few close friends. I have a person that I feel I can talk about what has happened in the past few months, but again, I am worried that she will think I am “crazy”. I am having a very very hard time accepting that this is how my life is going to be. I volunteered to lead an Awana group, tonight is the first night, I was not prepared and due to other circumstances I was unable to go. I planned for weeks for this, but the actual DOING or carrying out the plan was nearly impossible for me. Depression as you probably know not only effects you mentally, but it also effects you physically. For me, the physical effects are intensified at times especially when I have anxiety about something, or feeling defeated, which especially after tonight, I do. I know that people think about me, why don’t you just do this, it is simple, just show up to church on Sunday etc. But, it is impossible to explain that I just cant make myself. I know this is getting very long, but I feel like I cant return to my church, and I don’t know how I can explain away my absence and my inablilty to lead the group. Do you have any advice for me? Thank you!

    • Maxine September 11, 2015 at 10:58 pm #

      I just read a couple of articles on how good music is for your brain. See if putting on a worship tape and singing along with it helps. Or if you play a musical instrument, play and sing, as did King David. Praying that God will en theo (enthuse) you!

  7. Gail F. September 9, 2015 at 9:30 pm #

    Thank you Liz for your insightful words. I think I may be coming from a different perspective during this season of my life I am seeker needing counseling. In May my husband was diagnosed with bladder cancer. We have spent 4 1/2
    months driving back and forth the VA hospital 2 hours away (4 hours round
    trip). To say it has been a stressful summer is an understatement. I have spent a great deal of time talking to the Lord and reading his word. But what has been lacking is counseling from my sisters in Christ. Maybe a quick text or call? Thankfully I have an elderly friend who really had been my rock. I have thanked the Lord many times He has put this woman in my life. I realize we have busy lives. But aren’t we called to be The Church and the hands of feet of Jesus? Lord help us to know how important a card,call, even a text is to someone going through a difficult time. Let us always seek Your Face.

    • Shirley September 10, 2015 at 9:52 am #

      Gail, I feel your heart’s need. I have been caregiver to my husband
      for the past 4 years as he has encountered many health issues.
      I have been a seeker of Him and He has been faithful to provide
      my every need. Days are hard, at times, when you just wish
      someone would bring in a cooked dish of nutritious food, etc to
      give you a break. I got to the place of being so physically weary
      that I just wanted to retreat with the Lord for a few days, It would
      be great , if there could be started a ladies group for just that
      purpose, to be aware of the ladies around them who need a word
      of encouragement, who might need a cooked dish of food. All
      around us there are so many hurting and in need. For myself,
      God has been my Source as I have sought Him, and the Peace
      He has clothed me with has amazed me. Mentally, emotionally
      and spiritually, He has lifted me above all, but there are times the
      body says, I need a rest. that is where others can come in and
      give a hand in the things that need done, a meal, etc. This would
      be as great a ministry as teaching a class. We need Martha’s
      who are willing to serve those in need. A great project for our
      churches, and what a way to reach out to the unsaved also.

  8. Miranda September 9, 2015 at 9:41 pm #

    I have trouble with always putting my two sense into everything so I used to be always the counselor. I knew everything and nothing that anybody tell me is right. After lots of stirring in my heart, I am definitely almost always a seeker. I am learning how to be a Godly counselor still.

  9. Julie Sunne September 9, 2015 at 10:20 pm #

    I would have to say I am now both. I would love to have hours daily to dig into the Word and take in His teaching.

    In the past I was much more of a counselor than a seeker. But how can one counsel wisely without first seeking wisdom from the One who knows all? Thus, my counsel was a bit off, although my intent was good.

    I still fall far short in both areas, but the Lord knows my heart and is growing me daily. Thank you, Lord, for never giving up on me!

  10. susan September 9, 2015 at 11:41 pm #

    I love to seek the Word. I pray to get
    understand for our day to day life, I speak to myself concerning that Word. ie If I’m in a place where I need peace, or I am fearful then I will fill myself with God’s Word in that area. I have seen it helps me in learning and understanding the Word of God and also helping others. I am able to pour out more when I am encouraging individuals than a crowd. I have also learnt that Gods Word is His wisdom to us.

  11. Holly September 10, 2015 at 4:11 am #

    First I find that when I seek more regularly, I am more in tune with God’s wisdom.

    Then people and situations are brought to mind by the Spirit – clarified and opportunities come up to pray and share that word of wisdom. I do the praying part of the approach but not always the follow through of the talking to the person.

  12. Elaine Steil September 10, 2015 at 5:14 am #

    What a great post. I like the following: His truth always confirms and guides, moving us from answers to actions. For me this means staying in His word so we are seekers. Hopefully the knowledge we gain, heart and head knowledge will allow us to be good and wise counselors.

  13. Dee September 10, 2015 at 6:07 am #

    I am ABSOLUTELY LOVING “It’s good to be Queen”.
    What nuggets of gold I am finding. I will write my thoughts after I finish the book!!!!!!
    With you on the Journey, Love in Christ, Dee

  14. Sandra September 10, 2015 at 6:39 am #

    I so needed this today.. I covet my time with the King.
    I need wisdom to make decisions where my mom is
    concerned and a couple of individuals God has placed
    on my heart and in my path. only HE can work out my
    schedule. I’m His vessel willing and ready. Thank you Liz

  15. Linda H. September 10, 2015 at 7:18 am #

    I am definitely more of a seeker than counselor. I take great delight in His word. I tend to hold back on my counseling but this has shown me how important that is as well. I love the picture of pouring in and out. My prayer will model yours Liz as I need to ask the Lord to make me avaliable for the pouring out to those around me and to keep seeking His counsel. What good is all I learn from His word if I keep it to myself!

  16. Brandi Luiz September 10, 2015 at 8:09 am #

    I am a counselor, always pouring in to others, but when I over extend, I feel the compelling need to seek. Otherwise, I get disheartened and frustrated with the constant pouring in to others and not myself. So, seeker is my hearts desire, to be more filled so my pouring out to others is simply God’s overflow.

  17. Elizabeth Hoagland September 10, 2015 at 8:40 am #

    Well now, there you go a meddlin’ again!!! HA Yes, I confess, I’m SOOOOO content-n-comfy to just study and seek away…However, especially after seeing “War Room” the movie (y’all go NOW to see that movie!!!), AND your post, I’m convinced/convicted/beyond certain I’m to also offer TIME to young gals. You’re so spot on re: the pouring in and the TIME it takes, altho’ God really mandates it in His Word. ‘Tis time we stepped up.
    As always, Liz, thanks for an excellent post and great food-for-thought question. My little group starts this study on 9/22 and we can’t wait!!!
    Love across town,
    Elizabeth =)

  18. Gina September 10, 2015 at 9:04 am #

    I am definitely a big seeker of the Lord, although I often give advice to loved ones. For me not to pray in the morning and seek his face is like an ordinary person leaving the house without brushing his or her teeth, or taking a shower. God has given me the gift of discernment. I also have a great need to “fix things.” I get frightened when people are ready to make a move that clearly is not God. Lastly, compassion for people gives me a great desire to impart any wisdom that the Lord has given me. I just need the wisdom to know when it’s God, or when its me. Everything comes from the Lord, and is for his glory! Soli Deo Gloria God bless. G

  19. Shirley September 10, 2015 at 9:39 am #

    I find in myself a little of both. For years I have been a seeker, with a
    hunger and thirst for more of the Word and more time with Him. I
    love to counsel and I have been given opportunity to do that also, on a
    one to one basis. I have found that we need to be both, the pouring in
    all the time without an outlet is not the best way to go. What comes in
    needs to be poured out for a continuous fresh supply of water. My hearts
    desire is to share with others, WHO God is for us, and Who we are, In
    Christ. We can spend time seeking advice from others and can get a lot
    of in the flesh answers, but the life changing transformation comes from
    knowing who we are In Christ, and who He is in us. Not always the how,
    but the WHO.. Already done at the Cross, faith needs to receive it. We
    now can see all from the heavenly perspective instead of the earthly,
    fleshy, reasoning way. Father, what do You want to be for me in this?
    The seeking is so vital if we are going to wisely counsel others, only
    God’s Word transforms when faith is applied to it. Loving this study.

  20. Robin September 10, 2015 at 9:49 am #

    I am definitely more of a seeker than a counselor, evidenced in part by participating in this study, by seeking Scriptures on wisdom to endeavor to memorize, and by reading other works on wisdom (such as Proverbs). However, this morning as I thought about this question, I realized that while I may seek, I am not a good apply-er: right now I seek the wisdom described in James 1:22-25.

  21. Amber September 10, 2015 at 10:19 am #

    Praising God for the wisdom in this post. I’m a seeker each morning, love reading His Word and praying scripture based prayers over many people, especially those in ministry and the lost. I feel like a “behind the scenes” person, and I struggle with anxiety and panic when I have to speak in front of people (at times). Something I’ve battled with since elementary school. I love to write in cards and I ask the Lord to use me as a vessel of His love and encouragement to others. So I’m a counselor in some ways when the Holy Spirit guides me. I don’t always take action though, as I use excuses of being busy. Thanks for writing your book, I was reading chapter 2 just last night.

  22. Blanche Hake September 10, 2015 at 4:22 pm #

    For me, the seeking is easy, and I do seek. The pouring out is harder because it is not always convenient when it is needed most. May the Lord give me the proper attitude and wisdom when it is needed. As a counselor, my schedule often gets set aside while dealing with an issue. Here is where I need the Lord for patience. This study has been well-received at this end. Keep up the great work.

  23. Susan G. September 11, 2015 at 11:49 pm #

    Hi Liz,
    This was so good! (I know I say that each time – but it’s always true! ;))
    I definitely am a seeker! Each day I can’t wait to learn and read and see what God has for me. And He never fails to meet my ‘spongey’ needs! I am also a ‘counselor’ to my daughters, grand kids (sometimes they don’t even ask first. ;)), and also at our women’s small group bible class. I love telling them how faithful God is, and how awesome His Word is.

    And Liz, I think you are right where God has planted you – as an author, and blogger, and writer (and more!). We all are blessed by your God-given gifts each time you write! Those of us who love to read really need authors like you!
    Don’t be so hard on yourself. I believe all the time you spend researching and writing and speaking at events IS a sacrifice to God.
    Thanks for being wonderful you!

  24. SALLY BEALE September 12, 2015 at 7:22 am #


  25. Sally Beale September 12, 2015 at 7:32 am #

    I just left the above message…sorry about the all caps…I could not get my computer to do lower case…cyber space has its quirks it would seem…or maybe it is me, lol…

  26. Dessie September 12, 2015 at 10:16 am #

    Liz, I related a lot to your answer. I do believe I am both. I am a member of a 12 step program, how I found God, and it has led me on this path of constant work or seeking. Well it was probably God all along leading me, because he wants to use me to help other women. Or truthfully I still get confused what he wants. But I am someone who does the work and step daily in my life. Over the last probably 7 months I have really been diving into God’s word through means like this. You don’t need to know all this. I’m hungry for God’s word and still struggle with obedience. I sponsor women and I related to your post because the 12 step has been the most difficult for me. You mean I have to give up my time to work with other women. I do it but not necessarily with a giving spirit. God still has work to do with me. I struggle because I am a single mom who works full time who is active in the 12 step program. I guess I just often feel torn or like a neglectful mom. But the truth is without the program, without seeking God diligently in my life my girls wouldn’t have the mom they have today. I’m still new at all this coming up on 4 years sober and probably 3 years on being a true believer in Jesus Christ. My daughter and I got baptized this last Easter. I don’t attend church regularly but for some reason we went and the next thing you know we were getting baptized. The horrible thing is I haven’t been back since but I do believe He is patient with me and He knows I will eventually be a member of a church. I think He just gives me grace because He knows I am seeking him and doing my best to seek him and give it away. It’s really a gift a lot of women come in not knowing a lot about God or Jesus. I never push my views on women and most of the time I don’t mention my belief, although most can see it in me, but there is something magical that happens when they do start to ask me about my God or Jesus and I get to share what I have come to find and believe.

  27. Dessie September 12, 2015 at 10:18 am #

    Oh and thank you!

  28. Sherri September 13, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

    Hi Liz!!

    Love, love, love the wallpaper! It helps me remember what I am working on each week (I do the study each Sunday afternoon).

    In answer to your question, I see myself as both. None of us has “arrived” – we all have areas in which we are still learning and growing, which require seeking. But if we’ve done our seeking well, we are then able to pass on what we’ve learned to others.

    I teach mid school, and I am blessed that many know I’m a Believer. Since I am not allowed to state this outright in public school, I have to find other ways of expressing my beliefs.

    This past April, I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer (the medical oncologist was convinced it was stage 4). Through telling my students, their parents, and my staff the diagnosis, God opened the door to allow me to share my faith much more openly than I would have been able to otherwise. I invited them to my blog, where it was easier to update them about what was going on (instead of sending out numerous mass emails) and through which I was able to express my faith in God and His provision for me without breaking the law. Many chose to subscribe, both Believers and non-believers, and I have seen God thaw some cold, hard hearts through all of this.

    We started my treatnent with chemo in order to shrink the tumor, then did surgery last week. This past Thursday I went in for my post op appt. and was thrilled to hear that there was nothing for her to take out – all the cancer was gone! She did, of course, remove tissue, but the pathology report confirmed what she’d seen: there was no cancer left! We are still reeling from the news, as it is “exceedingly abundantly beyond all we could ask or imagine.” My main prayer throughout has been that God would get the glory, and He has done that over and over. This latest news is just one more example of how God can use us when we are bold, open, and seek His wise counsel!

    I am loving this study and how God is stretching me each week, especially with the application questions (3c kills me – my selfish man – each week!). Thank you, Liz, for your faithfulness to the calling placed upon you!


  29. Kimberly September 17, 2015 at 3:25 pm #

    I am more of a counselor. I can’t help but offer well meaning advice. Just the other day I ran into a young mom, a friend of my daughter’s. Her kids were waking her at night. we talkedfor less than 2 minutes I shared that I would pray for her sleep and I asked if I could hug her. Entire encounter less than 5 min. And I got a great hug!