Let’s face it; everyone needs counsel at some point in life. But where do you get your counsel from? There are a multitude of counselors on television, social media, and many other places ready and willing to give you advice. But however popular they are, if they don’t give Godly counsel they are pointless. There are three counselors you need as a Christian – the Holy Spirit, the Word of God and mature believers.
As a Christian you have the Holy Spirit indwelling you. Romans 8:9-11 says the Spirit of God lives in us, signifying we belong to Christ. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us (v. 11). The Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth (John 16:13). He is even called our Counselor (John 14:26) and will remind us of Jesus’ words. In fact, counseling is the work of the Holy Spirit and effective counseling cannot be done apart from Him. What a thought! If you are a Christian, you have a counselor with you every moment of the day to advise, instruct, and teach you about all subjects.
The Spirit of God and His Word agree. 1 John 5:7-8 tell us the Word and Spirit are in agreement with one another. Jesus is the Word made flesh (John 1:14). 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
A Christian gets his counsel from God’s Spirit but also God’s Word so he can mature. A good question to ask yourself is, “Can what I feel like the Spirit is telling be backed up by Scripture?” If someone says, “the Spirit says…” but you cannot prove it through Scripture then it probably isn’t the Spirit and is bad counsel. The Spirit and Word complement one another and both are needed daily for Godly counsel and a life in pursuit of godliness.
The third counsel a Christian must have is from those who walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 22) and are submitted to the Word of God (1 Peter 5:6). If a person tries to give you “Godly” counsel but the fruit and work of the Spirit is absent from their life and the Word of God is absent from their words – DON’T LISTEN TO THEM. Advice should be taken from those you trust are growing in the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 tells you to test (or prove) all things and hold on to the good (or Godly). Test them by Scripture and the Spirit. You need Godly counselors who will tell you God’s truth in love – even when you don’t want to hear it.
So, to know the right thing to do, the will of God, and your next step in life you need the activity and voice of the Holy Spirit that only comes to those who have given their lives to Christ. You need the Scriptures in your life. They are alive to those who are alive in Christ (Hebrews 4:12). That means they jump off the page with revelation and insight. You need Godly counselors who will guide you in the ways of Scripture and the Spirit. These are sure ways to find peace, fulfillment and wisdom.
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Stephen Harrison is associate pastor of Family Church at White Hall.
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