By Joan Vance
I think the greatest challenge at the onset of counseling is to help the counselee be convinced that God’s Word is the counselor.
Early on in the counseling session I like to direct the counselee to see and believe that the Word of God is sufficient to meet their needs and that it is the God-given powerful tool to bring about change in the heart leading to change of behavior bringing glory to God.
I like to introduce my counselees to the following truths about Scripture:
First, that it is God-breathed (2 Tim 3:16) making it not just His words, but His very life-sustaining breath. This empowerment by the Holy Spirit through faith is the agent for change.
Everything We Need
Secondly, His divine power (2 Pet 1:3) has given us everything we need for life and godliness. There is no need for worldly methods outside of His word.
Joy and Delight
Jeremiah the prophet knew this truth… “Your words were found and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart” (Jer 15:16). Jeremiah realized that God’s Word’s brought life and joy to the heart.
Is it no wonder that Jesus reminds us in Scripture that the Word of God is our food? It is our milk, meat, our living water – it is life itself. John called it the “word of life” (1 John 1:1). Jesus said He was the bread and whoever feeds on this bread will live (John 6:51).
Ezekiel also experienced the nourishing effect of God’s Word when sent by God to the people of Israel. The Lord said, “‘Eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.’ So I opened my mouth, and He gave me this scroll to eat. And he said to me, ‘Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I gave you and fill your stomach with it.’ Then I ate it and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey” (Ezek 3:1-3).
Our Guide to Obey
When Ezra returned to Israel to rebuild the temple, Scripture tells us he “set his heart to study the law of the lord and to do it” (Ezra 7:10). Ezra puts love of God’s word into action.
Our Very Life
As God commissioned Moses to teach obedience from the heart to his people he promised restoration. He said it is “not too hard for you, neither is it far off” but “the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart so that you can do it” (Deut 30:11, 14). Later, he challenged Moses to speak of choosing life: “…I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live” (Deut 30:19).
I’m convinced that this is the difference between a counselee doing well or not doing well. God makes it clear that His Word is ultimately the difference between life and death. And this is my exhortation from me to the counselee: so eat drink and be merry with the word of God… for it is no empty word for you, but your very life (Deut 32:47).
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