Who is your Life Counselor?

bibleBy Tim Rowe

Proverbs 15:22: Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established.

Psalm 42:11: Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, [who is] the health of my countenance, and my God.

We all need a counselor in life and as the story of our life has unfolded we have sought many counselors to give us advice and help for all our daily issues and problems. The critical question in this teaching is who is our counselor? Where are we turning in life’s dilemmas? Where do we turn when the challenges arise? There are a multitude of counselors and options in the world. If you have an issue the world has an answer. The world says there is an answer, a counselor outside of God, for everything. Where are we going for counsel? If we turn outside of God for our answers we will find that our problems will not go away because our problems stem from a deeper issue and that is our fallen sin nature. There is a human counselor, a human solution for every problem we will ever face, but is it the right counselor? Is it the right solution? The world has trained us from birth to come up with human solutions to human problems instead of turning to God as our answer, our solution and our counselor. This is the prevailing mentality of our age: when a person suffers from issues, problems, dilemmas, crisis and difficulties in this world, we have been led to look for a solution outside of God. God is always the last resort when every other possible human solution has been exhausted.

Psalm 13:2: How long shall I take counsel in my soul, [having] sorrow in my heart daily? How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?

As long as you take counsel in your human soul, reasoning and logic and leave no place for the counsel of God, then you will have sorrow daily and your enemy will be exalted over you. Taking counsel in anything other than God gives the enemy access to our hearts and allows him to accomplish his evil works.

Did you know this disturbing statistic that 75% of 18 to 24 year old young people in America today are considered ineligible for military service. They are obese, mentally unfit, and unable to pass the hearing tests (due to hearing loss attributed primarily to a life filled with loud music). They have sought and followed the advice of wrong counselors. And what is true of the United State’s military is also true of God’s military. There is a lethargy, a soul obesity, and a biblical ignorance that is disqualifying a vast number of young Christians from proving anything but pathetic in their Christian service. It is totally unlikely that God would find His valiant and victorious army in and amongst our spiritually lumpy ranks, but such is God’s great agenda – to take the weakest things and turn them into triumphant pictures of His great redeeming grace. We must learn to seek God’s counsel first if we are ever to make His name mighty in our generation.

Here are some illustrations in a recent teaching by Eric Ludy of how we have been trained by the world to seek human solutions instead of God solutions to the problems we face.

PROBLEM: You are short on money.
HUMAN SOLUTION: Find a loan shark or bank or hock something at your local pawn shop (that way you don’t even need to deal with your Jehovah Jireh, God-the Great Provider).

PROBLEM: You are short on energy.
HUMAN SOLUTION: Take a red bull or a coffee break (After all, God can’t possibly compete with caffeine).

PROBLEM: You are short on happiness or joy.
HUMAN SOLUTION: Turn on your cable TV and watch the comedy channel or find one of those happiness gurus or books. Look at the church! It has a big frown on its face. (Not finding your joy in God alone).

PROBLEM: You are short on health:
HUMAN SOLUTION: Go to the doctor and quick (You don’t need the Great Physician if you have Doctor Wilson right down the street).

PROBLEM: You have an abundance of depression.
HUMAN SOLUTION: Try Prozac (because it works and we are not totally sure God does).

PROBLEM: You have an abundance of anxiety.
HUMAN SOLUTION: Take a break, maybe a trip to the Bahamas, cut loose for awhile, get away from the stress. (After all, a trip to God sounds like a week in the straight jacket of conviction and stresses most out even thinking about it).

PROBLEM: You have an abundance of problems.
HUMAN SOLUTION: Find a good shrink (Just don’t turn to God-He doesn’t want to hear about-in fact, He is probably the one giving you all the problems).

PROBLEM: You have an abundance of debt.
HUMAN SOLUTION: Get another credit card to supply a bit more breathing room, or maybe just take a second out on your house. Or if neither of these work, you could just go bankrupt. (After all, you got yourself into this mess and you can’t expect God to bail you out of it).

Proverbs 19:22: [There are] many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

Jeremiah 10:23: O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

Only the counsel of the Lord stands because we do not have the way, the solution, and the answer to direct our lives and solve our problems within our human nature or our human solutions. Only the counsel of the Lord has the ability to direct our steps and guide us and be our true counselor.

We are all struggling with something; we are in the midst of enemy territory: we all have issues as we grow in our Christian life; it is inevitable to struggle as humans, but what do you do with the issues is the important question and often the problem. Who is your counselor or where do you turn for your solutions in these struggles?

In Time of Need: Some typical human responses are as follows:

First Turn Human Responses:

SELF- Brainstorm a human solution

FLESH-Drown it in sin-numbs the problem

PHYSICIANS-Medicate. Nothing wrong with medication, but so many in this generation turn to medication as a first turn. Instead of turning to God first, we turn to our medicine cabinet first and we normally do not turn to God unless our medicine fails. If Jesus Christ is our Great Physician, what is the good of having a physician if we never use or go to him? II Chronicles 16:12,13- And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians. 13And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign.

DARKNESS-Consult a counterfeit power. Do you know how many people have issues and they go to the powers of darkness to solve them? Fortunetellers, palm readers, astrology charts, séances, witchcraft, numerology, and magic are but a few. Why would you ever go to the wolf or enemy for advice and counsel? It will never provide a solution but wear you out and ultimately destroy your life by consulting with the powers of darkness.

Isaiah 47:13 All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you.

We are not God and through our own human strength, brainpower and reasoning cannot come up with the best solution to our problems.

Isaiah 41:28,29: But when I look, there is no one; among these there is no counselor who, when I ask, gives an answer.
29 Behold, they are all a delusion; their works are nothing; their metal images are empty wind.

When God looks there is no one among all the peoples of the earth who without Him can be a counselor and gives the right answer. There counsel is all a delusion and an empty wind. Why do we seek this type of counsel time and time again? It always fails.

We have a multitude of counselors as Christians if we have ears to hear and eyes to see. We have sixty-six counselors supplying to us the heart, mind and words of God and these counselors are the sixty-six books of the Bible.

Psalm 119:24: Thy testimonies are my delight and my counselor.

The Bible is our true and faithful counselor.

II Peter 1:3,4: According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

The Bible, the Word of God, is the great and wonderful counselor to the church and to the individual Christian believer. This is what we heed as our solution and our counsel. If the human solution disagrees with the Word of God, then the human solution is wrong. The Bible has all the answers to any problem or issue in life that ever arises. It contains everything you ever need for life and godliness and growing to be more like Christ and keeping yourself pure from the world. We must train our thoughts and mind to seek its counsel and solution FIRST.

“And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart”
(Jeremiah 15:16).

Those who make the word their delight will always find it their counselor. Yet a mere cursory reading will never realize to us its holy delight or counsel. It must be brought home to our own experience, and consulted on those trivial occasions of every day, when, unconscious of our need of Divine direction, we are too often inclined to lean to our own counsel. The Christian is a man of faith, every step of his way. And this habitual use and daily familiarity with the testimonies of God will show him the pillar and the cloud (Num. 9:15-23), in all the dark turns of his heavenly road. The word will be to him as the “Urim and Thummim” (Num. 27:21)—an infallible counselor.

An undue dependence upon human counsel (Isa. 2:22), whether of the living or the dead greatly hinders the full influence of the counsel of the word. However valuable such counsel may be, and however closely it may agree with the word, we must not forget, that it is not the word—that it is fallible, and therefore must never be resorted to in the first place, or followed with that full reliance, which we are warranted to place on the revelation of God. On the other hand, what is it to have God’s word as our “Counselor”? Is it not to have himself—”the only wise God”? When our Bibles, in seasons of difficulty, are searched in a humble, prayerful, teachable spirit, we are as much depending upon the Lord himself for counsel, as if we were listening to an immediate revelation from heaven. We want not a new revelation, or a sensible voice from above, for every fresh emergency. It is enough, that our Father has given us this blessed “word as a light to our feet, and a lamp to our path” (Psalm 119:105; Prov. 6:23). Read it, think about what you read, meditate on it, confess it and allow it to become engrained into your heart.

Jesus Christ is the best mental health therapist on the face of the planet, and the Holy Bible is the best mental health book.

See Him that way, regard His book that way, invite Him to change you and change your life, and you will never look back. Meet with Jesus Christ in the pages of God’s Holy Book. Seek God’s counsel, rely on His judgment, and lean on His shoulder — not weekly, but day by day and minute by minute — and your life will be transformed. That transformation is there for you, and you can do it. Bask in the restorative powers of your ever-deepening relationship with God, and watch it happen. I know it can happen for you.

Counselor (ya’ats) means to advise, to consult, to give counsel, guide, purpose, devise, plan. Counsel in the Bible is preparation for war. You are in a battle and you need counsel. Ya’ats refers to war counsel.

Proverbs 24:6: For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counselors [there is] safety.

You have an enemy that is laying siege to your heart. So what do you do? Brainstorm? Google? Call 911? What do you do? You go to your 66 counselors. God has surrounded us with a war counsel, these 66 books that set forth His Word, His advice, His guide, His plans, and His solutions. God says listen to me!! I have the solution, the answer for every problem you could ever face in life. It is His heavenly war counsel contained in the words of the living God and man is to live by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).

We all need counsel. The enemy is hitting us and we don’t realize it. So rise up! Stand up in the strength and power of God Almighty and get a backbone. Realize you are in a battle and rise up with the truth! Hit him. Take out the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God and slice up the enemy and his deceptions, his ideas and his lies.

If you want to deal with your problems, deal with them God’s way. If you deal with them in a human fashion without God it will fail. It will not actually solve your problem. We must begin to think: human problem-God solution. Train your mind to first think when faced with any problem: What does my counselor say?

WHAT IS YOUR FIRST TURN? WHAT COUNSELOR DO YOU TURN TO FIRST? Human solution or God solution? You must take your counsel from Almighty God and whenever you have issue you must first turn not to flesh and blood but to God (Galatians 1:16). Immediately turn to the Word of God and Scripture and God. Ask God to teach you how to understand this or know this and how to rely on you. We have to learn HOW TO LEAN ON GOD!! Our first turn is always to God. It is uncomfortable for us to lean on God first. But we must turn to Him first always. ALWAYS SPEND TIME WITH GOD FIRST ON EVERY ISSUE AND EVERY PROBLEM. The Word of God is the treasure map; it is our life. Let God tutor your soul.

We must learn the lesson of first turning to the Shepherd when the wolves are roaming. Abide in the shadow of the Almighty Shepherd; abide in His presence; and that wolf can’t harm you because of the Shepherd’s strength and power. You get close to Shepherd and the wolf has no power or authority over you.

But we have been so schooled to turn to God last after all human solutions have failed. OH WELL maybe I should pray!

I Kings 22:5: But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the LORD.”

Job 12:13: To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.

Isaiah 28:29: This also comes from the LORD of hosts;
he is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom.

Who is wiser than God? Who has more understanding than God? Then why not seek His counsel first?
God, our counselor, is not a detached listener who listens politely to us for fifty minutes, asks for payment and then wants us to leave, so the next customer can get in. If the mark of a good counselor is that he/she is personally concerned about our welfare and well being, then God is truly a good counselor. God is truly concerned about what is good for us.

God is an empathetic counselor. God intuitively understands the complexity of our inner being. Every morning I recite my mantra of Psalm 139 that tells of God’s intuitive love for us: “O God, you have examined me and know you. You know all about me. From far away, you understand all my thoughts. You see me whether I am working or resting. Your knowledge of me is too wonderful and I cannot comprehend it.” Instantly, instinctively, intuitively, God understand every corner of our being.

Two great truths in Scripture are that God loves us and that God understands us. He is better qualified than any person, philosophy or thing on earth to be our Counselor.

Isaiah 40:12-14, 18, 25, 27-31
12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales
and the hills in a balance?
13 Who can fathom the Spirit of the LORD,
or instruct the LORD as his counselor?
14 Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him,
and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge,
or showed him the path of understanding?
18 With whom, then, will you compare God?
To what image will you liken him? 25 “To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing. 27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

God’s faithful promise to us:

Psalm 32:8: I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.

Why do we seek counsel in anything else? He instructs, he teaches, he gives counsel on how to deal with the battle I am facing and the issues and problems that confront me.

Psalm 1:1-3: Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

Following the counsel of the wicked causes our life to wither and not prosper and have no fruit for His glory.

Psalm 16:7: I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. 8 I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

This is the great cry to our generation:

Jeremiah 23:18: For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it?

Few in our generation stand in the counsel of the Lord and hear His Word.

Psalm 107:4-11 (NLT):
4 Some wandered in the wilderness,
lost and homeless.
5 Hungry and thirsty, they nearly died.
6 “LORD, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he rescued them from their distress. 7 He led them straight to safety,
to a city where they could live.
8 Let them praise the LORD for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
9 For he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things. 10 Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom,
imprisoned in iron chains of misery. 11 They rebelled against the words of God,
scorning the counsel of the Most High.

When the children of Israel rebelled against God’s words and scorned His counsel, it caused them to sit in darkness and deep gloom, imprisoned in chains of misery and wander aimlessly hungry and thirsty, lost and homeless.

Proverbs 8:14: Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have understanding and power.

Psalm 106:7-13:
Our fathers, when they were in Egypt,
did not consider your wondrous works;
they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love,
but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea.
8Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make known his mighty power.
9He rebuked the Red Sea, and it became dry,
and he led them through the deep as through a desert.
10So he saved them from the hand of the foe
and redeemed them from the power of the enemy.
11And the waters covered their adversaries;
not one of them was left.
12Then they believed his words;
they sang his praise.13But they soon forgot his works;
they did not wait for his counsel.

We are so impatient to wait for God’s counsel so we turn to another counselor and end up forgetting His works and His Word.

Spurgeon comments on Jesus as Counselor exclaiming…

How we need Jesus as our Counselor! “It was by a Counselor that this world was ruined. Did not Satan mask himself in the serpent, and counsel the woman with exceeding craftiness, that she should take unto herself of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, in the hope that thereby she should be as God? Was it not that evil counsel which provoked our mother to rebel against her Maker, and did it not as the effect of sin, bring death into this world with all its train of woe? Ah! beloved, it was meet that the world should have a Counselor to restore it, if it had a Counselor to destroy it.

Eve sought and followed the counsel of the Devil in the Garden of Eden because she failed to confront the Devil with the Word of God. In the temptations of Jesus Christ, Jesus used the Word of God as his counselor as he continually said “It is Written” using the Word of God to back the enemy off and give him wise counsel against him.

God as the Holy Spirit and God’s gift of holy spirit given to each born again believer are also referred to as the counselor. The Spirit of God is always the counselor.

God is the Parakletos -the Advocate, the Intercessor, the Rescuer, the Helper, the Counselor, the Comfort-Bringer. He also gives us the gift of holy spirit which is the parakletos also. Through that spirit of Christ that lives within us God can communicate to our minds and hearts teaching us truth and guiding us and counseling us in all things. We can walk by the spirit as our counselor or walk by the flesh as our counselor. The sin nature yearns to be your counselor as well as our new divine nature. Which counselor will you choose? Parakletos literally means to call to ones side and call to one’s aid.

Kenneth Wuest adds that…

The verb parakaleo refers to the act of calling someone to one’s side in order to help one. The noun parakletos refers to the one who is called upon to render aid. It was used in the law courts of one who pleads another’s cause before a judge, a counsel for the defence, an advocate. In the widest sense it means “a helper, a succorer, one who aids another.”

John 14:16-18, 26: And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor (parakletos)to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

We cannot accomplish the divine calling on our lives through our own human willpower, grit, human initiative, or determination as it will be insufficient. The solution is always God Almighty. He is our source, our helper, our guide, our intercessor, our counselor, our rescuer and our solution. There are no special circumstances where a human solution is required whether than a God solution. The world has taken humanity and divided up into little columns and if you are this column you go here and this column you go there. But they do not realize that all problems are rooted in and originate in sin. You are either freed from sin or enslaved to sin. Only God provides a solution to sin and its devastating consequences. The first turn always must be to God when facing any dilemma. The word “repent” means to turn and shows a turning to God for salvation and deliverance. In such a dark world as this, beset with temptation at every turn, we preeminently need sound and wise counsel. But all of us carry an evil counselor within us, and it is our folly to listen to his voice (Prov. 28:26). God has given us his word as a sure counselor, and “he that hearkeneth to its counsel is wise” (Prov. 12:15).

Psalm 33:11: The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

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