THE BIBLICAL COUNSELOR
One of the names of Jesus is “Wonderful Counselor” (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus counseled prophetically while here on earth, speaking the truth of God’s Word into the lives of those who came to Him seeking help.
Christ’s ministry of counseling was limited geographically while He was on earth, and eventually it was limited by time when He returned to Heaven. Upon His departure from earth, however, Jesus promised to send another Counselor to fulfill this purpose in our lives:
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever–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. (John 14:16-17)
The Holy Spirit is the biblical counselor without limits. He is not limited by time or distance, because He dwells within each true believer. He is not limited by knowledge because as part of the Trinity of God He is all-knowing. The Holy Spirit within you can provide proper counsel in times of need and give you the ability to counsel others biblically.
Many times believers turn to counselors before they turn to God for help. As a believer, you already have a resident Counselor and intercessor within you. The Holy Spirit is your Counselor, and Jesus is the intercessor between you and God (1 Timothy 2:5). When a believer turns to the world for counsel, the question is similar to that raised by the Prophet Micah: “Now why do you cry out aloud? Is there no king in you? Is your counselor perished?” (Micah 4:9, KJV). Much counseling would be unnecessary if people would take their concerns to God first and search His Word for answers.
For a believer, the Holy Spirit is the true biblical counselor. The person providing guidance based on the Word of God is simply a facilitator, speaking forth the counsel of the Holy Spirit. Biblical counseling is the work of the Holy Spirit accomplished in believers and through believers–whether they are a professional counselor, minister, chaplain, or simply a born-again, Spirit-filled believer.
Biblical counselors must be led by the Holy Spirit. Counseling apart from the Word of God and the power of the Spirit is ineffective. At times, the Holy Spirit may direct you to say something different than what you planned. At other times, the Spirit may caution you to remain silent at the very moment you were going to speak.
If you remain sensitive to the Holy Spirit, He will direct you as to what to say regarding every issue. Jesus promised that in difficult situations you are not to “…worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit” (Mark 13:11, NKJV).
The Holy Spirit makes you, as a believer, competent to counsel. The Apostle Paul told the Romans: “Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another” (Romans 15:14,NKJV).
No counselor can know the truth about situations without supernatural revelation by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the “spirit of truth” (John 14:17). It is the revelation of truth by the Holy Spirit based on the truth of Word of God that sets people free. Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).
The Holy Spirit bestows special spiritual gifts that enable biblical counseling–discernment, words of knowledge and wisdom, the gifts of healing, exhortation, discerning of spirits, prophecy, and miracles. The reason why some Christian counseling fails is that some counselors do not believe these gifts are for today. These spiritual gifts were bestowed “…to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). Have these purposes been completely fulfilled in the Body of Christ? No. So why would these spiritual gifts be withdrawn without fulfilling God’s purposes?
If you do not hear, accept, and act upon the Word of God regarding salvation, you will not be saved. If you do not hear, accept, and act upon the Word of God concerning healing, deliverance, miracles, etc., then most likely you will not experience these blessings. The Bible states that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in you (Romans 8:11). If that Spirit was powerful enough to raise a dead body, is it not powerful enough to meet every difficult circumstance and problem in our lives?
The Holy Spirit–with His accompanying powerful spiritual gifts–is the biblical Counselor that the whole world needs. It is because He resides within you, revealing all truth, that you–as a believer–are competent to counsel.