In the beginning, when no counselling was required, when God saw all that He
had made and declared it was 'very good' two people lived: Adam and Eve. They
had no need for ministry and yet right there in the midst of all this perfection
we find that one of them is deceived and the other wilfully sins. No amount of
inner healing would have helped either of them in their situation for they had
need of none. Sin had not yet existed and there was no separation from God.
There was no lack of love and care for them in their upbringing: all their needs
were met. Yet, there, in the garden we find one is deceived and the other goes
along with the transgression and wilfully sins.
Could this have been prevented by inner healing, counselling of any kind,
any form of special ministry?
The answer is simply, no.
Since they were in clean fellowship with God and one another. Since sin and
evil had no part of their lives there was no need for inner healing when they
did sin and deception was effective.
More important for us today, is the advent of sin in the world and in our
lives an indication from God that we are unable to overcome sin now that the
world and our lives are imperfect?
The answer again is, no.
God makes that very clear when Cain is tempted to sin. The onus and
responsibility is placed fully on Cain to overcome.
. . . If you do well, will you not be accepted? And
if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you
should rule over it.
What does all this mean?
First of all it means that no amount of counselling or inner healing will in
themselves prevent anyone from being deceived nor to sin.
To believe otherwise is deception.
Secondly, it means any feeling that this is the case: the idea that ministry
is more important than anything else in helping someone overcome sin, is false.
What is important?
The Bible shows us the most important thing required to overcome is the
desire to do right. The genuine sincere desire for righteousness is the
principal means for overcoming sin. This desire is one fully involving the will
of the individual and not just some wishful thinking. Jesus makes this very
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for
righteousness, for they shall be filled.
If you have a burning desire to do what is right, you will be filled. Jesus
makes a further promise of this. Five times He is recorded as saying:
For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he
will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken
away from him.
Your desire for righteousness releases the ability to do so into your life
by the renewing of your mind with insight into what is needful. With teaching
from God and with His Spirit to enable you to fulfil that desire. You reap what
But, what if there is a stronghold of sin?
Again Jesus speaks clearly into this. And again it is to do with the will
and true desire of the person involved:
. . . if your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it
out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of
your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your
right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is
more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole
body to be cast into hell.
Jesus is comparing a sin which has a stronghold in your life to a part of
your physical body. Something which has become such a part and facet of your
life that it is always with you. His method of removal of this is that one's
heart and mind is to be resolute to the cutting off of that. The ceasing of it
altogether. When your will for this righteousness to be there in your life is
more than the sin. When it is stronger such that your very life depended on it
then you can not only overcome, but you will gain a whole new heart and spirit.
. . . Cast away from you all the transgressions which
you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit . . .
The practise of genuine repentance: the ceasing of known wrongdoing: the
complete ''turning one's back'' upon such activity is the most common form of
deliverance from the enemy. The act of deliverance otherwise known as the
casting out of demons or devils is effectively carried out by the removal of
ground or home for their habitation. True repentance from known sin is the most
common means of this. Therefore preaching which leads to conviction to do the
right thing then acted upon is the most common form of deliverance ministry.
Any counselling or ministry which involves the removal of the enemy from the
life of an individual without the will of the individual in repentance is short
term and eventually ineffective.
When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes
through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says 'I will return to
my house from which I came.' And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and
put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked
than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is
worse than the first . . .
This is especially true when the spirits concerned end up causing new
strongholds of deception in the individual's life. This can be the case of those
who are counselled in a context of imbalance. Where the belief in the
counselling is greater than the individual's freedom and thereby true help to
work through as needed. The individual is not worked with, but is in subjugation
to the counselling. In such cases the individual ends up as a product like Jesus
Woe to you . . . For you travel land and sea to win
one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as
How can this be?
This is because the true will of the individual is not worked with.
Counselling without the will and free conscience of the individual leads to
control and manipulation. Those who are 'under this form of counsel' end up
unsure of who they are in God. Who they are in God's call and clear purpose for
their life. Their continued presence in that setting allows the enemy access to
them. He is active to pressure them to submit to this 'counselling'. Feelings
and emotions are imposed over and upon them to cause them to make these 'their
own' so they go on submitting to this 'ministry' and go on working through their
'healing'. Crying for no reason by-passing the will, feelings of unworthiness
and helplessness, etc. These things cause the individual to be unsure of God's
own plan for their life and feel unfit to witness to others. Stepping out in
faith anathema to this 'counselling'. Since the individual feels inadequate or
What am I saying?
Counselling, ministry, inner healing has become a tool in the enemy's
arsenal to attack the kingdom of God. The very means by which an individual can
be healed and helped in the psycho/emotional/spiritual areas of their life is in
practise an effective control weapon. Not receiving counselling or, the
resisting of such is held as tantamount to sin. It is understood that without
this ministry that the individual is unable to prevent sin in their lives, etc.
Whereas, any suggestion or remark, any request or entreaty which violates
the conscience of the one being counselled is against God and His ways. If God
has self-control so should the counsellor (Galatians 5:23). The Counsellor and
counsellee need to work together. For this to happen it is not a matter of the
counsellee giving up their will and conscience. It is a matter of cooperation
out of understanding and appreciation for what needs to be done. This means the
counsellor like all servants of the Lord must be:
. . . gentle to all, able to teach, patient . . .
2 Timothy 2:24
If the counsellor is unable or unwilling to explain why something is needful
or necessary then they are unfit for the task. Since no two persons are
identical the experience of counselling is a learning exercise and without the
Lord's direction not to be undertaken. If a genuine desire to be helped is
there, but the individual does not witness to what is being attempted, without
clear wisdom from God then the sessions should not continue. The test is the
witness to the true desire for righteousness of the individual. Any more than
this and counselling imposed is a sign of the enemy's access to the counsellor's
practise. I have known several instances of this:
The late John Barr, an Elim minister who was involved in deliverance
ministry for 30- 40 years told the story of a lady coming to him for help. She
had been repeatedly told that she had spirits that needed casting out of her.
She obviously wanted to do the right thing and had come for help. John however
said he sensed no spirits present and declared the lady free. This was such a
relief and help. Indeed all she needed. Freedom from the lies of needed
A personal one: On the suggestion of another that I needed counselling or
'special help' I went to someone in Guildford who had indeed been a previous
source of help to me. On this occasion however, I witnessed to a change of tack
where I sensed there was another motive involved. As I sensed this it was
clearly stated that I had a personality disorder. On my understanding of the
motive mentioned I declined to be helped further. This however put me in a
difficult place with those who 'encouraged me' to go. I therefore ended up
seeking another qualified and fully trained and recognised counsellor and at
much expense went for advise there. Several months later I was told
categorically I had no personality disorder by this 3rd party. Suffice to say
this did not satisfy those who sought 'my change', but that is another story.
Was I perfect then? Far from it and have gone on to be indeed helped even more.
However, the help I did receive was not suggestive and was witnessed by my own
spirit as I received it. I later in private informed about the incident to the
elders of the church the 1st counsellor was connected to. There my
I trust the above helps those involved in counselling or those who feel they
are in need of it. It is an attempt at addressing some imbalances observed.
So, What Now?
It is important to realise that there is only one enemy. And this enemy
thrives on accusation, mis-communication and the total lack of it. The Pharisees
did not want to talk with Jesus; they wanted to catch him out. If you are
prepared to talk about an issue then you know you are in God's camp. If you are
not prepared to talk, but are waiting for a slip up by the other person then you
are in the enemy's camp.
It is never too late to talk. This is the very basis of the answer Jesus had
to issues between peoples (Matthew 18: 15-17). But, a lack of willingness to
talk by one of the parties inevitably causes progressively more people to be
aware of the truths of the matter where the issues continue to affect the lives
of folk. The fruits of something alive always go on coming forth.
What is important here is that in the knowledge that there is only one enemy
any party in conflict or disagreement needs to ensure they are free from open
doors to the enemy and to the very resistance of the Lord. Unforgiveness is
probably the first and most important of these. Jesus said:
. . . if you do not forgive men their trespasses,
neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
We are all in the same boat here. There is only one enemy. Everyone else is
like you and me. Someone who only knows in part and who has at different times
been deceived and sinned. To not forgive is to elevate yourself above the other
and consider yourself better, even in the midst of knowing how wronged you may
have been. Jesus Himself, the only innocent One, forgave those who had wronged
Him. And what helped here is the reality that the other party was in part
deceived. This is what helps us to release mercy, the fact that like us at
different times the other person also has been deceived. But, without Himself
being deceived Jesus forgave anyway:
. . . Father forgive them, for they know not what
To do anything else engenders pride and God's resistance. Further it
disables you from resisting the enemy such that he leaves you alone.
. . . 'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the
humble.' Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Forgiving, committing the issues into God's care you are then enabled to
resist the enemy. Any new feelings of pressure to be inadequate, unable or other
emotional impositions can, as soon as recognised as not 'your own', be resisted.
You then need to address the spirits and openings for them to do this. Binding
the enemy a most effective tool to accomplish this. Resisting in this way
protects you from these inputs from the enemy. Binding him in and around all
parties you know are involved in releasing him into those activities. You are
then free to praise and worship your God,
. . . because He who is in you is greater than he who
is in the world.
1 John 4:4
Free from the pressures that attempted to stop you worshipping, from
stepping out in faith, from communicating effectively, etc...
For help in understanding binding I recommend the following writing:
What is 'binding the enemy'?
For help in recognising if counselling has been given a higher place than it
should: Making an idol (-a taster).
For further thoughts on the work of the enemy in the midst of believers:
Wolf in sheep's clothing?
characteristics of deception with a helpful prayer at the end. Related
topic: Generational Curses?