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Boxing Gloves

It doesn’t take anyone very long to realize that the enemy found in the Word of God is alive and well today and that he is actively working against the children of God with a vengeance.  He is as consistent as he is relentless in his attacks upon the children of God.  He is as uncaring about the believer as he is about God Himself.  He often fights with the tenacity of a cornered animal and understandably so as he knows that his time is limited.  There are times when his attacks against the believer come across as precisely planned tactical maneuvers and other times as random coincidences.  At the same time you will not find him as it were standing in the ring slugging it out with you toe to toe like Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa because he is subtle and often avoids an all out frontal attack.  He is on the other hand quick to hit us from every angle imaginable, especially from behind often resembling the Apaches of the old west.  He takes us out at the knees and pummels us all the way down to the ground and then gives us one more kick just to make sure that we know that we have been beaten.  All the while leaving the believer unsure as to why they have been spiritually overwhelmed.  There is often a second underlying motive in these attacks if you will which is to get the children of God to doubt and possibly even blame God for the presence of sin in their lives.  It is sin that separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2) and it is that sin of separation that many fail to address, leaving them enslaved and back into the bondage that Christ had freed them from.

For many believers, they find that the enemy addresses the emptiness that they feel and struggle over deep within their very being.  The enemy stands by to quickly side track them from finding out that the gnawing that they are experiencing within their soul is the unfulfilled, unsettled calling of God.  Believers often find themselves struggling to find their place within the family of God and soon find themselves shrinking away from the church and eventually from God as well.  Once the enemy gets the believer on the run their struggle to experience the true joy of His presence is all but lost.  The believer soon finds himself caught up in a downward spiral, out of control and sinking fast into the depths of despair.  So they continue to run but not realizing that the path that they are on is much like that of a treadmill constantly moving but going nowhere.  The logic in their answers is just as circular as the spiral that they are caught up in.  They struggle in their trying to rationalize the situation void of the God that they have placed their trust in.  This logic pattern that they try to follow fails to take in consideration the truth that God is in fact constantly reaching out to them, notice Isaiah 50:2 . “Why, when I came, was there no man?  Why, when I called, was there none to answer?  Is My hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem?…”  God desires to bring all of His people closer to Himself while at the same time man goes on oblivious to his call.  So is the constant walk of man today, slapping away any helping hand yet at the same time crying because no one is helping them as they “expect.”

It is at this point where my life’s path often crosses the life of another.  It is here at Rod & Staff Ministries where the ministry introduces me to a fellow believer one who is most often a troubled believer.  Our paths cross because the path that they have taken has caused them to spiral out of control.  These troubled believers come to our ministry drastically reaching out, attempting to grasp at even the thinnest thread of hope that can be offered.  It is also at this crossing that specific tools for providing hope are offered to the hurting.  It is within these first few meetings that the help offered can often appear to be more of an anchor then a lifeline to the believer.  The process in getting a believer to recognize and deal with the sin in their heart and life has often been compared to the pealing of an onion.  It is messy; it stinks and is always accompanied with tears.  Our hope and goal is to provide specific truths of the Word of God to get them to recognize that there is sin in their lives.  Once the sin is revealed, steps of how to biblically deal with the sin and to gain victory over the enemy are provided.  It is through the application of Scriptures that the Spirit shines a light upon their sin, exposing them to the truth of the Word.  Each memory verse, every passage of Scripture and daily Bible reading are strategically assigned to help them to deal with the sin Biblically acting as a balm to an open womb, “Take balm for her pain; perhaps she may be healed.” (Jeremiah 51:8B)  We do so in an attempt to help them to repent of the sin, recover from their brokenness and to restore their relationship with God.  They are also assigned to provide the believer with the proper tools to battle the enemy.  Sin is what the enemy tempts man with, not matter what label you put on it from lust to anger or lying to porn, ultimately all sin is against God.  Sin is a separator (Psalm 66:18, Isaiah 59:2) this is why the enemy is aggressively tempting us to sin.  In opposition to the enemy’s attacks we find that God is more than patient to let us know how it affects our relationship with Him and that He is and will be actively seeking to help us eradicate it from our lives.

The enemy may be subtle but he is as smart as he is intentional in his mission to get those who God has freed from the bondage of sin back under that same bondage.  His aggressiveness is only matched by his tenacity to thwart the progress and mission of God.  When we intentionally cross the path of a believer to help them escape the bondage of the enemy we must be just as intentional in our preparation to help them.  The Bible does tell us, “And of some have compassion, making a difference: (23) And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” (Jude 1:22-23).  It takes more than just compassion and some Bible knowledge to help others it also takes understanding and a willingness to go where others do not want to.  This where training, knowledge and experience come together and form a three-fold cord if you will in the heart and mind of a Biblical counselor.  Because as a counselor we understand that along with our attempt to help another also places us with in the enemy’s cross-hairs as well.  For this reason before we attempt to help someone that is in bondage we must take the proper steps to prepare our heart through prayer and our mind must be washed in the water of the Word.  We must make sure that we are where God would have us to be.  In doing so we will know that we are also ready to help another.  One of the fears that a Biblical counselor should face is the giving into the enemy’s temptation of lightly treading into any situation.

Remember that confidence in self soon on the shelf, confidence in Christ everlasting love and life.