What You'll Discover in this Episode:

Church Involvement and Counseling

In this episode, we are going to talk about God’s resources for biblical counseling. You cannot serve the Lord with your own energy, strength, intellect, and will power instead of drawing from Christ (the Head). It is a matter of source or resource. Where are you sourcing the power, wisdom, guidance, and direction from? 

Let us talk about God’s heavenly resource and man’s limited resource.

Often, by the power of their own personality, people bring forth counsel and it can fall flat in the eternal realm. We want to draw from the heaven above. God gives heavenly resources. That is how we want to receive counsel in our lives and walk by His power and pass that on to others.

Here are few things that God has provided to us for counseling.

These are your means and how God gets His counsel to our loves -- when we are committed to the power of the Scripture, the Holy Spirit, to prayer, to church involvement and involvement to the body of Christ.

This can be done with a gentle voice. Stay on the path of discipleship and do not fall into legalism. These are the spiritual tools of discipleship. You will be able to recognize them.

When a person gets saved, what do we tell them?

  • Read your Bible.
  • Pray.
  • Get involved in church.
  • Trust that the Holy Spirit in you and has power for you to live the Godly life.

There are ways that the Scripture tells us to grow. This is where we begin with people. Get them to understand if they are reading their Bible, praying, and involved in church? Are they walking in the Spirit?

As new believer counselors, you should be able to help others follow Christ and grow in discipleship. Counseling is really discipleship.

Where to use Bible?

We believe that the Bible is sufficient.  We want to get to the Word of God. We use the Bible as our source. It is perfect, it converts the soul, it is sure. It is right and rejoices the heart. It is pure and enlightens the eyes (Psalm 19: 7-11). It is important that we stay in the Word of God.

“If you are my disciple, you will abide in my Word and you will know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

If you are going to disciple to somebody, we do it through the Word of God. People who seek counsel needs this empowering dynamic in their life. If they are in sin, they need salvation and they need the Word of God. God’s Word can bring salvation and set them free from sin. Romans 12 admonishes to lay aside every weight.

What is your goal as a counselor?

Get your counselee abiding in the Word of God and hearing directly from God themselves. The mark of a true Christian is if one can go directly to God’s Word themselves and knowing that the Word of God will increasingly set them free.

When we are in the Word of God, God will give us all things that deal with this life and becoming godly and pleasing God. 2 Peter 1:3. There is no other way to please God except to abide in the Word of God. God has given us all that we need.


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  • Great podcast Pastor Jeff. This is the pattern that the Lord sent me on beginning 45 years ago. It was at a good Bible believing church that I got saved. I was so taken by the teaching of the word of God and how it came alive and began to change my life. I didn’t understand it then, But I can look back now and see how the Holy Spirit was involved in every bit of my spiritual growth. Constant communication with the Lord strengthened my daily walk. The faithful attendance of the local church kept me on the right path. This is the pattern that I recommend to someone newly saved, read your Bible, pray, listen to the voice of the Hoy Spirit, and get into a Bible teaching church. It is a winning combination.

    • Harry, great post, so very true fellowship amongst other believers is so very important in the development of our Christian walk (Acts 2:42). During my Christian walk sometimes and still do at times, I don’t feel like attending church service. But after going to the service my socks were knocked off with blessing.

      I can’t remember off hand but in one of the classes it was discussed that during one-on-one fellowship encouragement is taking place, building one another up in the spirit is taking place along with other vital functions of the Holy Spirit. I think discipleship is almost becoming a lost art. It takes time to get to know one another, enough to where one can trust the other with personal feelings. It’s just like how you put it in your post “, But I can look back now and see how the Holy Spirit was involved in every bit of my spiritual growth. Constant communication with the Lord strengthened my daily walk. The faithful attendance of the local church kept me on the right path.”

    • Amen! I agree with you 110%. This same thing happened to me and Im very grateful for my church community because it taught me how to mature and grow in God’s word. The first five years of my walk was what set my the tone to my journey with the Lord. This is the only way that believers can grow in the Lord and be the ambassadors that we are called to be in Christ Jesus. Thanks for your comment. Blessings!

    • Hi Harry…This rings true indeed…”The faithful attendance of the local church kept me on the right path”. As a new, born again believer (in the late nineties), attending Church made a huge impact/difference in my life. Very important (as Pastor Jeff pointed out) that we encourage new believers to find a good Bible believing Church. However, (and unfortunately) not every Church can meet the needs of every individual. Honestly (new believers) people have to get in where they fit in. God’s Word remains the same, but personalities and church ministry may vary. In the first Church that I began attending I became discouraged. The people/Pastor there led me to the Lord (Amen), but they failed in discipling. Praise God a member of this Church noticed this and suggested I try another local body and I fit right in. That body of believers were spiritually aware awake as to how to minister to me. It is true…we need Church.

    • What a beautiful testimony Harry. Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised. I love how He does that. You see the value in what you recommend, “read your Bible, pray, listen to the voice of the Hoy Spirit, and get into a Bible teaching church.” I agree. It is a winning combination. Thanks for sharing part of your story.

  • In my opinion, the church is weak and anemic. What is being taught from some of the pulpits today, is it even in the word of God? We have made sin tolerable; we’ve changed the name of certain sins to make them more palatable and even classified them as diseases. We are flaunting our sin in the face of God Almighty. The month of June is pride month. With society and some mainstream church denominations, we are celebrating the sin of homosexuality. There is nothing gay about that lifestyle. It is a lifestyle of depression, domestic abuse, and substance abuse. God made male and female; today, I lost count on how many genders are in vogue today. Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

    Church involvement and attendance in person are essential for maturing as a Christian, Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and prayers. I get the online church; it exploded under the virus. However, if that’s all one is doing, I believe that person is missing out on what Acts 2:42 describes. Fellowshipping is an essential part of maturing. Proverbs 18:1 A man who isolates himself seeks his desire; He rages against all wise judgment. Last week PodCast discussed “The Advantage of Personal Communication.” We saw how important it was to have face-to-face communication with people.

    With all this said, what else can I offer people other than the word of God, which is absolute truth. In John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. In John 3:30, He must increase, but I must decrease. Counseling must have the word of God as the focal point of the discussion. I need to be dependent upon the inherent word of God during the session. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; Paul writes in Romans 7:18 for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. I must give them what I have received from the word of God. Pastor Jeff is correct when he said we must be students of the word in order to provide them with the word of God.

    Jesus is the true vine; if we are going to bear fruit, we must seek our nutrition from the vine. It is like an electrical cord; without plugging the cable into the source of power, it is useless. Jesus promised us a helper, the Spirit of truth. The Holy Spirit will teach us all things concerning Jesus. My wisdom is nothing compared to the wisdom of God. Jesus’s words are true.

    My words are just words, The writer of Hebrews describes God’s word in 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

    • Kevin, the problem with the kind of “churches” that you are describing is that they are not really churches at all. The church is the gathering of those who are called out of darkness and into His marvelous light. When people except the trash that our society is popularizing today it is evident that they are still dwelling in darkness, having a form of godliness but not according to knowledge.

    • Hello Kevin, I know and agree the world is a mess, and there are those out there not teaching the word. But those who seek the truth and abide in it can be different and help others see the truth who are seeking. I am glad to have kept reading your post because I thought you sounded defeated but you know and hold the truth of the Gospel well so brother keep the faith. You know already that the word of God will not return void but will set out what it is meant to accomplish (Isaiah 55:11).
      Thanks for sharing

    • Hi Kevin, Thanks for sharing. I agree with you, the Church in America can be quite lethargic and comfort seeking. What you said made me think of something from our homework in BC 213. I cannot remember which resource it was (maybe How People Change), but the source said that often times the area we think the Church is lacking is the area we have a gift in. I know you are a seasoned servant both in the Church and in public service. I’m curious what you think the Church needs in order to be strengthened. I am not necessarily saying you have to do it or add more to your plate because I am sure that you are doing a lot already, but maybe it is something I or even others who have a similar gifting to you can take up. What could we do to stir up courage and strength in our brothers and sisters? I know part of the answer is to simply do it, do things like show up to church, call sin what it is, sin. Are there any other things you would suggest?

      • Barbara; You are correct; it was in How People Change. It was a fine example in there about serving and using your gifts for the Lord. Pastor Jeff discussed one way the church can reinvigorate itself is to stop relying on the philosophies of men. I believe it was PodCast 107, where the church is developing a hybrid sort of biblical counseling. Either I believe 2 Peter 1:3-10 or I don’t? Pastors are sending their flocks into the world for worldly council instead of providing Godly council for their flocks. They are even including worldly counsel in their messages, in my opinion, is wrong. I believe there are valid medical reasons to refer people to the proper medical specialist for evaluation and treatment.

        Barbara, your question what can we do to stir up the coals? The answer is straightforward, Pray, then pray some more, then pray for your Pastors, then pray for the leadership of your church, then pray for the worship team, then pray for the Sunday School teachers, then pray for those who attend your fellowship, then pray for your city, state, nation, and the world. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil. Prayer will change our hearts and the hearts of men.

        This class is hitting spots where I need to stand upon the word of God in my life. Not only stand but to actually believe, do I walk by faith upon the word of God and His word only. I mean, for the last few weeks, the Lord has been pressing on me; the same power that raised Christ from the grave lives in me. Then why sometimes the worldly struggles like Paul.

        I don’t know, my family and I have been through a lot since January, and maybe that has something to do about it? However, since then, the Lord has been refocusing my sight on the eternal things. God has placed us here in this exact place in time in human history for a specific purpose. God is sovereign. He will accomplish His will and His plan.

        Another thing is to become involved in people’s lives, which takes time, and time is at a premium. Trustworthy relationships where one person can open up with their innermost feeling take time to develop. But it is so worth the investment to see that person encourage someone else. Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

        I hope this answers your question and does not add confusion to the mix. You know I am that example of the foolish things confounding the wise!

        • Thanks Kevin. I understand what you are getting at and I take your response to heart. Some of the things you said are things the Lord has been working on in my life. Thank you.

    • I enjoy your zeal of outrage against the “pride month” issue. I too take strong standings against the obvious sin that has come to pass in this corrupt generation, and I fear the Lord more and more because of it. The world has become increasingly political, even in churches. Not that churches and pastors and people should be uninformed about the political battles ahead of us, but submission to the political demands? Who are we going to serve? I like how you say “My words are just words” it humbles me deeply as I am only a human, capable of creating destruction, but God and His words are life and His Spirit conviction. How we counsel others impacts their life for good or for worse. In this moment, I am reminded of James 3: First the tongue is a wild beast, then it consumes life like fire, then it blesses the Lord and curses others, and lastly it boasts of wisdom. I find verse 13-18 convicting. I have beliefs and statements that I want heard, but if I am speaking wisdom of the world, I have sin indwelling. God’s wisdom is so much richer and more pure than I could ever be; so thankful that God grants me His Holy Spirit to learn His wisdom.

  • In considering how to counsel a person I often forget the importance of getting them involved in service of others. It’s not my initial thought when someone comes to me with a proble. In some ways it shouldn’t be but it should be a thought at some point. There is a benefit to serving others. It does nourish the soul. It reminds me of John 4:34 when Jesus says “my food is to do the will of Him who sent me.” I often have reservations about suggesting service as a remedy to a problem because I feel like maybe it’s ignoring the core issue. I hear a lot of people say “if you get out there and serve others it will take your mind off your own problems” and I always think “yeah but the problem is still there you are just ignoring it.” This doesn’t mean there’s not value in serving others. I think for a some believers the problem is that they don’t see how God can fix the problem they have so they struggle to believe He will. That’s been my issue before. Helping others, people are forced to either share the gospel or their own ideas. I think the majority of the time if they’re a believer who loves God and His Word they’ll share God’s truth and if you share it you got to believe it. When they see it bear fruit in another it reconfirmes their faith too. It’s like what Jeff said, “You either believe you have everything pertaining to life and godliness or you don’t.” A person’s faith is grown when they share it. So when we lose our life in service to others we find it.

    • Barbara, nice post well said, sometimes serving others allows folks to share the trials and tribulations that they have already endured and overcame. It allows them to share the comfort that they have received from the Lord.

      They turn outward to other folks that are hurting instead of looking inward. 2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

    • I agree Barbara Sue. Putting others needs ahead of our own is a healthy thing to do. I believe that the other points of Bible study, prayer, and regular church attendance are the most important, but when they become faithful doing those things they will begin to be equipped to reach out and help others. Once they begin to grow, they cannot help but to want to reach out to others.

    • Barbara Su, This is so true “that you either believe it or you don’t.” That may sound harsh but Jesus asked His disciples ” Who do you say I am”(Matthew 16:13) Peter answered Him ” you are the Christ the Son of the living God”(Matthew 16:16).
      I loved how you tied a person’s faith growing since faith is a fruit of the spirit. I think getting involved with the ministry at your church is so important it helps that person to not only start to look out for their own interests but the interests of others ( Philippians 2:4).
      Thanks for sharing.

    • Hello Barbara, last night is when I responded to your post but I wanted to add this, during this time of my life volunteering at church is a bit difficult because God has given me another task of being a full-time caregiver to my Mother in Love(law). But it is amazing as I find myself dying to my will and being conformed to His that He is blessing me with other opportunities through short encounters with others on a Sunday morning and a bible study I offer through texting. Not only am I encouraged but I am finding that others are also being encouraged. Our faith is certainly growing In our Savior Jesus Christ.
      Again Thanks for Sharing.

      • Sheila, That’s amazing. Thank you for sharing how God is pouring Himself out into you and through you. I sometimes get overwhelmed easy so I am a bit reserved with adding on other serving activities. I love how God can take us beyond what we think we can do. Your situation encourages me that although my plate may feel full God can still reach more people if I am willing and submitted to Him. I hope this time is sweet for you and your Mother in Love. I don’t know the extent of the care you are called to give her but I pray that it is a sweet time of bonding and vulnerability between you two.

    • I think the purpose of service in the church is to see how God works in so many different ways. I particularly rejoice in the victories of the body of Christ and I am encouraged by it. Also, like you said there is a blessing in service, a lot of times we will get the revelation to the root of our problem through the putting self aside to serve another. The same is true when we deny our service. The truth about the condition of the heart reveals it self in not wanting to serve another. I guess what I am trying to say is that by serving others in a church community, it allows you to see God from a wider lens and not through the narrow vision of your circumstances. Blessings.

    • Barbara – YES! Agreed – I also need to work on a more immediate recognition that for some, the very best prescription is to work in service & express gratitude to others in order to remedy the current malady. I like your comment “When we lose our life in service to others we find it”.

  • Thank you for this podcast on Church Involvement and Counseling. I feel like the Holy Spirit was speaking directly to me. Teaching me the desires of my heart to be a loving, kind, and gracious counselor through the direction of the Holy Spirit. It’s so very important to teach us to be in the Word daily. To pray without ceasing and attend a bible-based church. It’s not easy to find a church these days that isn’t sugarcoating the Bible either. We need good pastors and counselors who can guide new believers in becoming born again through the word of God. There’s also fellowship we need as believers. So we can come together as one in Christ to worship, pray for each other, rejoice with one another, and help the ones who are weeping. For the time being, I’m still driving an hour to church on Sunday and bringing new believers with me.

    • I love your comment “So we can come together as one in Christ to worship, pray for each other, rejoice with one another, and help the ones who are weeping.” This is very powerful and speaks truth into our lives a brothers and sisters in Christ. If we can’t do this on this side of heaven, what a sad image we are as followers of Jesus. This how we grow to love, repent, and disciple each other for the glory of God. Thank your for comment. Blessings!

    • Throughout the last year & a half, due to COVID restrictions on social gatherings, so many have been dealing with isolation and feelings of abandonment and loneliness. Personally, I had not been going to church during this time and missed out on the “oneness” that church provides. I never lagged on my time with God and still attended virtually however when I began going back to in person services I was swept up in a tidal wave of emotions. I had never felt the presence of His Spirit as much as I did upon return to in person church. I agree that there is nothing like the opportunity to worship as one church body and to both rejoice and weep together.

  • God gives us heavenly resources; His word and His Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:3). Biblical counseling does not come from our own experience but God’s word. This is an important point because His word does so many wonderful things Psalm 19:7-11. We should always seek God in our answers to give, not what I think or feel. I cannot even begin to tell you that all my counsel was always biblical, some times it was from what I was feeling at the time which was wrong.
    In April we had a family member pass away this is still sad, yet rejoicing is happening too because we know that Jesus took him home to heaven. God is in control and has been sending comfort through His word. Abiding is the key for us to become strong believers, desiring meat moving on from just milk. My prayer life is becoming better because I am not doubting(James 1:5-8), and because of this I am getting counsel directly from the word that I hope will let me comfort others in their time of need. 2 Corinthians 1:3,4.
    Thank you, Pastor Christianson

    • My Grandfather recently passed away; it is hard to rejoice in the truth of God’s Word when the soul is aching to be sorrowful. Proverbs 14:32 “When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous have a refuge.” This was the first that inspired me to be thankful for my Grandfather’s passing, because I know that God is his refuge, even in death.
      I pray that you continue seeking God’s word for counsel and comfort, and that your emotions never overcome your faith in His truth. God’s word is our foundation to build upon, and He will not be shaken. Luke 6:46-49

    • I’m sorry to hear about your family member passing away. I can relate to the comfort you are receiving through the word of God. My grandmother passed away about two months ago and though I grieved, I searched for comfort in His word and “seek and you shall find” the Lord is good and sends His wonderful counselor that counsels in truth. I compare my grieving process to other significant loses I have had before Christ, and the feelings and the mourning is so different. Now grieve with gratitude, hope and the joy of the Lord. Then I grieved with lament, regret, desperation, hopelessness and sorrow. I give all honor and glory to God for helping us through this process. Blessings.

  • I love how Pastor Jeff just lays it out for us. He makes it very easy and gives us the map to being effective and sufficient counselors. I especially am thankful for the wisdom on “Church Involvement”. Im in agreement on this and believe when we are serving others and allowing the the Holy Spirit to guides in our time as we serve the church community, it makes whatever issues or problems cease for just a moment and it allows healing, restoration, and wisdom into our lives. There’s reason why Jesus lived serving others and taught his disciples to do the same. We are not meant to do life alone. Thank you Pastor Jeff for your wisdom and instruction. Blessings!

    • Hi Michelle, I like your point that in serving others it allows for healing and restoration. I will ponder that awhile longer because that is an amazing design God put into the “system,” so to speak. I love how God made our bodies to self heal from certain things, so it makes sense that God would create a way to heal us in our situations too and how increadible to do it through each other.

      I also like your point that we are not meant to do life alone. God designed us to be like Himself, in constant community, like He is with the Trinity. I have a theory that our reward in heaven will be our brothers and sisters in Christ because of Ephesians 1:18 where it says that the “riches of His glorious inheritance [is] in the Saints.” Since we are co-heirs with Christ and His inheritance becomes ours, I think our reward will be each other. I’m not sure if that is the whole of our reward apart from, you know, salvation, but it is my theory. If people are that important and that valuable to God and we are to have the heart of God, people should be important to us too. I often forget that and want to Lone Ranger life. That’s a life not lived to the abundance which Jesus came to give me.

      Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Hi Michelle, this is a good, solid statement, “… when we are serving others and allowing the the Holy Spirit to guides in our time as we serve the church community, it makes whatever issues or problems cease for just a moment and it allows healing, restoration, and wisdom into our lives.” It is true that when we get our eyes off of ourselves and on to meeting the needs of others that there does seem to be some sort of restoration take place in our own lives. Amazing how God has designed this…it is almost as if what we do for others, God will do for us. Being part of a local body, ministering to others as the Holy Spirit leads (key), and being ministered unto truly brings the spiritual rain on all who take part. What a blessing we have in Church involvement. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

      • Hi James. Yes, it is amazing how God uses what we believe is for ourselves and uses it to bless others, even if it is for just a moment of time. It shows how our God is about community and wanting us to be part of it. Thank you for your comment. Blessings!

  • I like how Jeff brought up the point that we are all on the path of sanctification, it reminds me that I don’t have to be offended or put off when someone in the Church does something that I may not agree with, or if they make a mistake. Jeff’s teaching reminds me to be faithful to Christ, to be loving and gentle, and not depart from the body of Christ.
    Right now, I do not have a church to call my own, so to speak, but I have been developing a desire to be apart of the body more and more as little things turn up here and there. This encourages me to be bold and put myself out there; I am very sheepish.
    I am in the Word through the classes of Calvary Chapel University, and I forget to do my own personal study of the Word on the days I do not do school. I know I need discipline in my walk; please pray that I become diligent in being faithful to God’s calling in my life to seek Him daily.

    • I love that Kayla, “Jeff’s teaching reminds me to be faithful to Christ, to be loving and gentle, and not depart from the body of Christ.” It’s such a good reminder. The enemy wants us to be offended or put off. He loves division.

      Father, I thank You for Kayla. For such a time as this she is in this class. Give her courage, boldness and strength of soul. Show her the church You have for her to thrive and grow in. Give her wisdom, discernment, knowledge and understanding. Give her a hunger and thirst for Your Word. May she meet with You daily and sit at Your feet. May she tighten her armor and stand ready for the battle. You have called & chosen her LORD. May she walk boldly in her calling. You have thoroughly equipped her for every good work. Have Your way in her life as she surrenders in obedience to You LORD. We love You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  • Thank you Pastor Jeff… Honestly, I need to better apply the entirety of this teaching.

    “Counsel with a gentle voice…”.
    Do I need to hear and apply this…Sometimes I find myself being a little on the the,
    “Thus sayeth the Lord” side of the fence. The Lord has been very, very patient and merciful unto me (and still is). I should remember to extend that same patience and mercy unto others…It is the Lord’s way. Unfortunately there are some counselors that will pat there clients (on the you know what) all the way to the gates of hell truly believing that they are helping them. Yes, God’s Word is sufficient (totally), but it is intended to be acted upon.

    “Stay on the path of discipleship and do not fall into legalism.”
    I think sometimes we are legalistic and completely unaware of it. Somebody once said that, “if the devil cannot stop you, he will get behind you and push you.”
    I’ve seen this play out in several different large churches. Instead of resting in and being led by the Lord we run around like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off (gross), seeking to counsel anyone and everyone (usually new believers) that will listen to what we think we don’t know (sad but true), and we do it with a legalistic and self-centered approach.
    (Was that a gentle voice…:).

    It is true, we need to pray and draw on God’s resources.
    The body of Christ (especially me) is in desperate need of an infilling of God’s Spirit. It seems that the enemy continues to take more and more ground within our homes, our schools, our government and even in our Churches. We tend to work six days a week (sometimes seven) and (almost) serve the Lord on one. We pursue (whole heartedly) financial gain, certificates, honors and degrees while honestly (if we are honest) most of us spend little time on our knees and/or in the Word…Oh boy…God help us!

  • We live in a time in which church involvement is limited. Whether is be because of fear or whether fear be the excuse to remain in the comfort zone, the truth is that church involvement has diminished. Does that mean less work for the body of Christ? No, I believe it is a call for activation. The church must get active. In all actuality, for counselors, the work load just got heavier. The self gets stronger when we are apart because we are left alone like the lamb separated from his herd that becomes easy prey for the wolf. When self gets stronger, we echo out the voice of God. Let the Holy Spirit guide you to give a word to those staying away from the body of Christ for whatever reason. God is everywhere, yes He lives inside of us, that is a reason to rejoice and have hope not a reason to not gather with the saints. God didn’t call us to do this alone, may the Lord guide us with loving words to communicate this to others gently.

  • Another great episode! People used to come to me with all of their problems, asking for advice. I was happy to give it. A season came when no one was coming to me. I was seeking the Lord’s guidance as to what He wanted to do through me, and in my self-pity I said, “it’s obviously not giving people advice.” He said, “They don’t need your advice. They need My healing.” Ouch. I was giving them the world according to Christina. I was not seeking nor listening to the Holy Spirit. Without Him there is no counsel, only advice. His plan for me was to lead them to the Healer. Since that correction and my much needed change of heart, He has faithfully brought me others to counsel. I agree it is discipleship. We are to walk with them on this journey as we lead by example, teach, admonish, encourage and love. We are on this journey together. God is faithful and will meet them where they are at just like He meets us. As they draw near to God, He will draw near to them. The Bible has everything they need. The Holy Spirit will teach them and open the eyes of their heart. I make sure they have a good Bible in a translation that is easy to understand, a journal, highlighters and pens. I will have them read Scripture that He guides me to that will speak into their struggle. They can write down what He shares and how they are feeling and bring it to discuss on their next visit. It’s an encouragement to me to see them grow, heal and be set free.

  • When providing counseling I find it most important to assess one’s view on God. Ask the counselee to put God and where they are at with Him into words so I am able to see where to jump in. What is the current state of their relationship with God? It is typically when our view of God has gone askew that out personal problems begin to seem overwhelming. Is a quarrel with a family member or friend more important than starvation in Africa or the Israeli–Palestinian conflict? Of course not. When perspective goes out of whack, I agree with Pastor Jeff that, service to others and plugging back into what feeds us spiritually is needed. It is also important to recognize that temptation surrounds us and staying connected to our all sufficient source via a strong prayer life, living in the Word and surrendering our self to God will provide the strength needed to resist acting on that temptation. As Pastor Jeff counsels us “The Word of God helps us to resist temptation and the Devils bait is tempting. The Word helps us recognize the temptation as a hook” with bait from the Devil and not to take it but to stand strong in our relationship with God through the power of the Holy Spirit.

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