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COUNSELLING OR, WHAT?

by Jacques More

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.

Genesis 4:7

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 plain:

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Matthew 5:6

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.

Matthew 13:12

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 you sow.

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.

Matthew 5:29-30

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 . . .

Ezekiel 18:31

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 . . .

Matthew 12:44-45

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 mentioned:

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 yourselves.

Matthew 23:15

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 unprepared.

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 counselling.

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 responsibility stopped.

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.

Matthew 6:15

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 they do.

Luke 23:34

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.

James 4:6-7

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? and, The characteristics of deception with a helpful prayer at the end. Related topic: Generational Curses?



Ref. S.035

Unless otherwise stated Bible quotes are from the New King James Version

© copyright Thomas Nelson Inc. 1979,1980,1982.

© copyright Jacques More 2001. All Rights Reserved.

· The Early Church Fathers and Predestination
· The Impossibility of Evolution
· Harry Potter - The Catalyst
· Wolf in Sheep's Clothing?
· The Characteristics of Deception
· What About Tithing?