I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the LORD always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
(Psalm 16:7-8 ESV)
I read a story of a pastor who was on a diet. On his way to work, he prayed, “Now, Lord if it is your will for me not to have any donuts this morning You make sure there are no parking places in front of the donut shop.”
And he later said, “I ate the donuts because there were two places right up front on only my 8th trip around the block.”
David says that the LORD guides him through His counsel. He is facing a life-threatening situation. He is experiencing a stressful time of rejection. He is under intense pressure from hostile forces.
Then the LORD comes to him and gives him counsel. The LORD gives him advice in the night. In the night, David’s heart instructs him. The word, “night,” is plural in the Hebrew. So every night and night after night, his heart instructs him. It is in the nights when nothing will distract him from listening to the counsel of the LORD.
Alexander Maclaren wrote that it is in the night seasons when you will clearly see things in the dark than in the day.
This is good advice for us. When you face a stressful situation, pray to God in the night. Every night, call upon the name of the Lord. It is in the night when things are clearer than in the day.
David says his heart instructs him. It tells us that the LORD deals with the heart. The word, “heart” (Heb. kilya), refers to the “inner most being.” (TWOT) The word, “instructs” (Heb. yasar), means, “correction which results to education” in the Piel stem. (TWOT) David says that the LORD gives advice in his heart, his inner most being. Every night, constantly, the LORD instructs him. The LORD corrects his wrong thoughts. The LORD straightens out his wayward thoughts.
A story is told by author Peter Lord when he was skiing in Colorado. “He saw some people wearing red vests with the words BLIND SKIER. He thought, ‘I have a hard enough time skiing with two good eyes, how can they ski successfully with none?’
“The answer was – they had a guide whose instructions they totally trusted and followed! As the guide skied beside them, he’d tap his ski poles together and assure them he was there. Then he’d say, ‘Go right! Turn left! Stop! Slow! Skier coming up on your right!’” (Word for Today 30-12-07)
In the midst of a stressful situation, sometimes we think wrong, wayward thoughts. We need the counsel of the LORD. We need His advice. We need the LORD to straighten our crooked thoughts.
This is how David makes God his refuge. This is how David trusts God. He sets his heart, his inner most being, upon God. He seeks the LORD’s advice. He allows the LORD to instruct Him, to correct his thoughts.
Do you listen to God’s counsels in your heart? Do you allow God to correct your thoughts? Do you obey God’s corrections in your conscience? You must listen and obey the counsels of God in your conscience.
 Cited Nov. 27, 2012. Online: http://www.sermoncentral.com/illustrations/sermon-illustration-timothy-smith-humor-preachers-fat-overweight-18143.asp
 “Sermon Illustrations: Guidance.” Cited Nov. 27, 2012. Online: http://hotsermons.com/sermon-illustrations/sermon-illustrations-guidance.html