Tag Archives: God’s Counsel

Rooted and Steadfast

Well here we are, the end of a another year.  Another trip around the sun.  There are so many things to reflect on as I look back on what 2018 had.  I can say that there were so many good things that happened through the course of the year.  I’ve been able to cultivate some deeper and closer relationships in my life, which has been so fruitful.  I’ve learned more and more the deep value of what it means to not go it alone and to have others in your corner; like-hearted men who are moving in the same direction and have to fight through the same crap to get there.

At the same time, with so much of the good, there have also been a number of challenges, not just for me and my family, but for so many around us.  I remember over the summer many of us thinking that there just seemed to be increased suffering and difficulty for many, with losses of loved ones, financial difficulty, job losses, and more. 2018, for many, was certainly a year with added challenges.

At the end of last year, I began a new exercise, that my buddy, Dallas had recommended.  It was very new to me.  This was praying and asking God for a word or words for the coming year.  The word that I continued to receive for 2018 was Intimate.  With the busyness of the prior year, finishing my Masters Degree, etc, I felt God was leading me to a place to seek more time with Him and focus on cultivating a deeper intimacy with Him.  I can see why He gave me this word, because this year brought challenges that at times would try to pull me away from that busyness.  It became a year of learning new practices that would allow me to focus more on time with God through the day-to-day grind.  Once such practice was just being outside everyday.  I moved more of my workouts outside, my prayer time outside, and through my workdays I made it a point to always stopping throughout the day to just step outside.  There was something about the natural environment that just invited His presence.  Just a few weeks ago, I was outside, I could just feel God’s presence overwhelming me, as if to say, “this is what I’ve been after in you.”  Hadn’t felt that kind of embrace since He met me in the mountains in January 2015.

So now, we are moving to 2019.  Again, I revisited this exercise of seeking God for words for the coming year.  It’s wild, because He actually revealed this back in September before I had even asked, but as the year has drawn to a close, it has become more evident.  God’s words for me for 2019 have been to stay “Rooted and Steadfast.”  I remember when He first revealed those words. I was down in Florida, sitting on the shoreline of Santa Rosa Sound at dawn.  As i looked at this tree that was rooted in the salt water, I could hear those words and couldn’t help but smile.

I went back to investigate these words further, though I was pretty sure I knew what they meant.  Rooted means to establish deeply and firmly.  In Scripture, Paul writes in Colossians 2, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving” (emphasis mine).  So for me it was to continue to stay firm in Christ and allowing my roots to continue to grow deeper as the soil of my heart continues to be cultivated. 

Steadfast means to be resolutely firm and unwavering.  Psalm 57:7 says, “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast.”  Proverbs 20:28, “Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king, and by steadfast love, his through is upheld” (emphasis mine) For me here, I see God telling me to not allow things of this world and schemes of the evil one to move my direction.  To keep firm and be unwavering in seeking a deeper life with Him and in and pursuing the mission He has laid before me, living out my calling which is to let the world feel the weightiness of who I am as and image bearer of God, allowing His glory to show through my life which is the glory He has bestowed upon me.

As this year closes out and we ring in the new year, I reflect more on being rooted and steadfast.  Just like being more intimate, it does not stop with just that year.  It is a posture of continued growth so will build into the next year and next and so forth.  I’m excited about what 2019 will be bringing.  There a lot of new things on the horizon, which I will write about soon, but God is certainly moving me and those with me in a direction that we just can’t ignore and its making impacts for His Kingdom.  I think God also gave these words because as we move forward, we may encounter various challenges and opposition, but this is reminder to stay rooted in Him and steadfastly firm in our direction.

So what are your words for 2019? Have you thought to ask God about this.  Take this question to Him.  Simply ask, “God, what words do you have for me for the coming year?”  Don’t force the answer, but just be willing to have your heart open to whatever He may reveal.

I wish you all very happy and blessed New Year.  See you in 2019!!!

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Is This About Me?

There’s no doubt and no denying that we are in a self-driven culture.  A self-sufficient, self-reliant culture.  This life, each and every day, tells us to figure what I can do, to make life work for me.  Achieve success.  Achieve, win, go faster, be on top.  You get the idea.  Living and working in two different worlds has led me to learn that it does not matter what line of work we are in or what, the self, the ego, if you will, is always right there to give us a nudge and push us along.

Over the past couple of years, I have been blessed to begin counseling with individuals and couples and also to work with a solid team of to host men’s ministry weekends or boot camps as we have called them.  While it has been hard burning the candle at both ends, maintaining my long-term work in the process, it has been some very fruitful and fulfilling work to see individuals and families transformed come alive in a variety of ways.

In the midst of it all, however, I always think back to the first night of our first boot camp.  We didn’t know what we were doing.  We had a plan, felt led by the Spirit, and were going to execute it as best we could.  That first night and the next morning, however, events happened, that God used to tell me, “When are you going to remember that I am in control?”  It was as clear as can be.  We prayed through that and allowed God to take more and more control, which was the best thing we could have done.

Now fast-forward.  We’ve held 3 weekends, my wife helped lead a weekend for women, and we are planning our fourth men’s weekend this Fall.  What has been very obvious is the ministry that has sort of morphed out of all of this and the thoughts for continued growth that has come from all of this.  We are in the planning the stages of something new to be birthed and will be so pumped to share about it as it all comes together.

20180716_114333_0001.pngAs I think about it this, I guess I’m writing this post as a reminder to myself, just as much as it is for all of you.  This is not about me or any of you.  This life is not about us.  It is about God, as the author, creator, and perfecter of our story and lives, through Jesus Christ.  Every morning, as a part of my prayer, I pray that God helps me to remember that this is all about Him and not about me, that He is the Hero of this story and that I belong to Him.

So, I started this post, but talking about the self-fulfilling culture we live in.  I was led to Galatians 5:16, where Paul writes (out of The Message), “My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit.  Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness.” He goes on to write, “For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day.”

AllThingsNewLearning from this is very important for all of us. God places desires in our heart for living, but those desires from Him are out of desire to live a life with God.  When we go to try to make life work on our own, pursuing self-fulfilling desires that are driven by the false-self, we will be derailed and life cannot be found there.  John Eldredge wrote, “Faith looks back and draws courage; hope looks ahead, and keeps desire alive.”

So what are you looking to.  What are the ambitions that drive you ahead?  Is it purely out of what this life will bring you, or do you look ahead to the hope that is head by pursing the Great Adventure with God?  Do you seek His will or your own?  As Paul write, the free spirit, which we have in Christ is at odds with self-interest or the false-self.

The false-self says, how can I make life work for me.  The true-self or the free spirit as Peterson put it, seeks and desires the ultimate life, that comes only with God and through Jesus Christ.  Paul wrote in Ephesians 4 to put off our old-self, our sinful and false nature (this is the nature that is self-driven) and put on our new nature, our true-self, that is created to be like God, truly holy and righteous.

We have a great hope that lies ahead with the coming of Christ and restoration of all things.  I urge you brothers and sisters, do not spend your life trying to make life work for just yourself.  There is no life to be found there.  This is not about us.  It is about God first.  Choose a life with Him.  Don’t be so short sighted to strive for the worlds standards or your own standards of success.  You will miss the mark big time.

Align yourself with God and allow the Holy Spirit to overwhelm you and lead you in the way you should go.  God is trying to grow us and train us in this life in order to perfect us for His Kingdom.  Choose the, with God, life.

To Be Known…

When it comes to being open and honest about our lives and about our struggle, there is one thing that comes to mind that keeps people away.  Fear.  A fear of being known.  A fear of being judged.  What will the other people think if I am vulnerable enough to open my heart about my struggle?  I’ll look weak if I allow myself to be open.  Nobody will under understand my struggle and my story.  I’m scared to bring it back to the surface. I’ve worked with someone, or at least tried to work with someone over the course of the last year.  No how much I urge and reassure there is no condemnation and judgement, the fear remains and this person runs.  To this day, remains in stable misery.

There’s something to being known.  To laying all of our junk out there on the table.  Maybe not vomiting it all at one time, but being open to the point where people know who you are.  What I’ve learned with the people I have counseled and ministered to, the openness and vulnerability, leads to something.  It leads to trust.  It opens the door to a commonality that says, “hey, we’ve both jacked it up and have been wounded to some degree.  We’re not perfect, by any means, but can walk together through our struggle.”

One of the things I have pursued to build a round table of men that I trust.  Like-hearted kings who are after the same things, living for the glory of God, and has to fight to through crap to get to it.  Through all of that crap, we can walk with each other through it.  There’s no mask, no figleaf.  With my mens discipleship group, I urge each of them to leave the mask at the door.340e0e0b881756951b75bbb7141dd7db

You see what I am getting at here.  If you want to build any kind of trust among our peers, we have to open and vulnerable.  We have to be known.

3 weeks ago, we left for our Anvil Men’s Boot Camp.  One of the biggest and most freeing things that happens over the course of that week is the time the men spend with their small group of about 4-5 men.  Each with the opportunity to share their story in a safe place and giving permission to the other to speak into their story and even, if necessary, to call BS if needed.  Hearing the feedback of men that this was the most freeing part of their experience in getting to truly know other men is huge.  It allows them to see, if they never have before, that being open and vulnerable to others they can trust brings a greater freedom and removes the weight that they don’t have to hide themselves.

Each Boot Camp, God reveals some theme to us and this time, transparency became the theme for the weekend.

I’ve read snipets Brené Brown and she has come up in conversations recently.  I was watching a talk she gave this morning and she said something that was very profound…

“Faith minus vulnerability and mystery, is extremism. If you’ve got all the answers and there’s nothing, there’s no vulnerability, that’s awesome….but don’t call it faith, period….How can I connect with you, if I can’t see you. How can I lead you, if you don’t know me. I don’t wanna be led by anyone perfect, because I don’t see in your eyes…my story and my struggle. I need you to show up.”

Read that again, and soak it in.

I’m thankful for the church body my family and I get to be a part of.  We have leadership that is absolutely open about themselves, who they are, where they’ve struggled and jacked it up and this openness carries to those that are a part of our family.  As Brené Brown said, “How can I lead you, if you don’t know me.”

2de6cdfa6166bcd201601b77b1985c57-literature-quotes-beautiful-wordsThis is something I carry as well.  I used to be very closed off about myself and people laugh, that didn’t know me before, when I say I am naturally introverted.  I guess that’s how I operated in my false self where my predominent style of relating was to move away from people.  I didn’t want to be known.  Now, I’ve come to realize that transparency is critical.  Being known is crucial to effectively lead and minster to people.  I look at Paul.  If you read through the epistles, you see a man who is very open about where he had been and how much he struggled with where he had been before encountering Christ.

If you’ve never allowed yourself to be known, you have to ask yourself why.  Why do I not want to let anyone in?  We’ve all been through the ringer in some way.  Every man and woman has been wounded.  Everyone of us have lived a life with sin.  As Proverbs 14:4 says, “No cattle, no crops…”  The journey to become good soil requires us to plow through a lot of shit in our lives. That being said, we can’t make that journey and be freed up if we never allow ourselves to be known and let that stuff come surface.

So I will close with this.  What a great feeling it is to be known.  To live a life knowing I don’t have to where a mask.  In reference to John Lynch and his book, “The Cure,” I don’t need to stay in the room of good intentions where I am just trying to get along.  I can be in the room of grace knowing who I am in Christ Jesus.  He knows us more than anyone in this world ever will, including our spouses and closest friends.  Yet in spite of all of that, we are loved just the same through all of that.  He knows us without condemnation or judgement, so why should we worry about condemnation or judgement from anyone else.

To be known brings with it a greater freedom…

Letting God Forge the Way – The Anvil

I have been very quiet on this site this year as this will be my first post since the new year.  This year started off with a bang as I began my counseling internship in the final phase of my Masters program with Liberty University.  It has been a huge experience so far.  Needless to say, I’ve been a little busy with that.

AnvilThe big thing that has been going on however, is about take place tomorrow.  What began as a conversation over breakfast many months ago has led to the development and now launch of our first Wild at Heart modeled Boot Camp, called The Anvil Men’s Boot Camp.  God put it on my heart well over a year ago, that it was my turn to begin seeking and rescuing the hearts of men.  As time has gone by and as I began to counsel with people, I realized that so many of the problems within families stem from the father in some way, whether he is abusive, completely absent, or present but not present. This pattern is destroying marriages left and right and wounding children by the score.

The need was there, but what would I do about it.  In counseling, many of my clients are women, so getting men to come sit down one-on-one is going to be a challenge.  I realized how huge it was for me to step out of my element and go the Wild at Heart Boot Camp in Colorado a couple of years ago.  We were encouraged to take this message back home.  In the last year, I got to know a few other men who had a similar desire.  2 sages and a peer.

The conversations began.  My peer, friend, and brother, Matt and I started small with a men’s small group where we began to lead men through the Wild at Heart message.  It became evident that something bigger was needed.  I met a man named Butch just by happenstance, and we decided to have breakfast and the conversation began. He is a sage who has a huge passion for men’s ministry as well.  The idea was born.

I pulled in another brother and sage, Steve, who also attended Wild at Heart and is immersed in their ministry as well.  Conversations began to happen and we decided that it was something we had to do, sooner, rather than later.  Only way to learn how was to dive in and give it try.

So that’s where we stood. We knew what we wanted to do, we found the site, and now we needed the men.  Conversations with my friend and pastor, Tim, brought me to begin leading some of our men’s Wednesday night Bible studies.  Again, all of this is out of my element, but I jumped in.

I have to admit, we were skeptics at first.  We knew we would start small and opened it to just 12 attendees. There was skepticism as to whether we would get 6 or 8.  A few weeks later, I’m calling Butch and saying telling him we need a 2nd cabin.  Now with a day to go, we have a 19 men heading to Upstate South Carolina for 4 days with God.  Unreal the response we’ve had and we have more waiting in the wings for next time.

So these last few months in 2017 have been all about planning this event out.  Writing content and coordinating everything.  To see it all come together has been so huge.  I can tell God has been at work in this and we’ve made it a point to surrender it all over to Him and not let this become about any of one us.  We know that if a group a men get together like this, God is certain to show up and He already is.

I knew there would be opposition, but the Enemy has been relentless in his attacks, which tell us even more that we are moving in the right direction.  My family has been attacked relentlessly in the recent weeks.  Stating with physical problems from a baseball to my face, a concussion one week and then a diabetic seizure for one my sons, a large allergic reaction for my daughter, and a stomach bug that hit my oldest son.  All of this has put a huge strain on my bride’s heart and mine as well.  We spent a lot of time holding each other and just letting the tears flow.  We knew what it was though.  Satan was trying to use all of this take us out…to stop this weekend from happening.

We have flipped it on him and surrendered it all to God.  The suffering is hard, but nothing in comparison to Christ and we know this.  We just turned to prayer and have had an army of prayer around us, which has pulled us through all of that in ways we couldn’t have imagined a few years ago.

southeastern-expeditionsSo now we’re ready.  All the content is written.  Final details are being nailed down and tomorrow we head to the mountains.  We’ll have some great times of learning and fellowship and times of one-on-one with God, and some adventure on the Wild and Scenic Chattooga River, yes where they filmed Deliverance.  Hopefully no banjos on the shoreline.  Just kidding.

We’re just so pumped about this.  About the men willing to take the risk to head into the wilderness and we sit in eager anticipation and expectation of God’s goodness.  I know He is up to something big here and can’t wait to see what happens in the lives of these men, who range from 20 to their 60s, and then how their families, our church family, and community is impacted.  It’s all about God and He gets all of the glory here.

As Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

Discerning Truth and Growing

We had a powerful teaching at church yesterday regarding the subject of discernment and being able to tell what is truth from what is false.  For so many, this is a difficulty.  There are so many twisted teachings out there and compromised Scripture.  We see it on TV with those teaching the prosperity gospel and then in our local churches as well.  I wrote on this recently that there are so many attempts to compromise Scripture in order to make it fit into our social norms and cultural post-modern thinking that has become so prevalent today.

Our job as followers of Christ is to be able to learn and know what Truth is.  To be able to use Scripture as the testing block of all that we do and all that is thrown our way.  1 John 4:1 calls for us to test the spirit of everything.  Again, that’s everything.  It doesn’t matter where the teaching comes from.  We have a responsibility to be able to know and understand the Truth ourselves and not just trust someones word at face value.

When talking with my pastor and some guys last week about this coming teaching, a revelation hit me regarding the subject of discernment.  One point that was made is that discernment is essential for spiritual growth.  Years before I knew about Jesus, but didn’t know Him.  I knew what He did to save us, but didn’t really understand the full scope of His works.  I didn’t know God the Father and I didn’t know the Holy Spirit.  I never took time to really dive into God’s Word.  My level of knowledge was on surface level teachings from Sunday School growing up or things I saw on TV.  Essentially there was no growth in my life.

As into adulthood, with no significant backdrop in the faith and not real knowledge of discerning Truth, I easily swayed with the wind.  If there was a new teaching or some new enlightenment, it would be easy for me to almost believe, depending on what it was.  I didn’t know the Word and I didn’t know real Truth.

4 years ago, I began reading Scripture for the first time in my life.  Not for significant study, but to just read through it.  To know the stories of the Bible and learn a deeper understanding of what I now see as a 66 book love story laid out for us.

Since that time, I began to start studying deeper.  Reading through 3 times straight and them changing things up to get a deeper understanding and begin to connect prophecy to fulfillment and more.  Essentially, I was starting to understand and starting to discern Truth.  For the first time in my life, I now have a greater understanding and ability to stand on the Truth of the Scriptures and be able to test the spirits of things I hear.

As I said, discernment is essential for spiritual growth.  I could have easily spent a life of just spinning my wheels and not knowing Truth.  All this does is lead to death.  I was reading through something I wrote many months ago and am reminded of the journey God now has me on.  I can’t not be all in and not grow in Truth and intimacy with God.  Knowing Truth and being able to speak the Truth enables a closer relationship with God.  Because of this growth, I now know Jesus and have a deeper understanding of His works.  I know God the Father as my Father who through Christ has now called me son,  and I know the Holy Spirit and call on Him for guidance and counsel now every single day.

Once you know the Truth of God and what He has revealed in His Word, there is no way you can’t not be all in.  I thankful that God has blessed me with discernment and I pray for this to continue each day.  I pray that for each one of you to know the Truth for yourselves and then once you do, don’t compromise it for the sake of this world.

God’s Using The Round Table

I continue to get astounded by God’s lead and the way I continue to see Him working my life.  I had worried about falling back to “life as usual” in the months following Wild At Heart, where God pierced my heart to heal me and bring me to life like I’d never known.  With each passing day I seem to learn something new.  Something that just magnifies the glory of God in my life and the life and freedom that is now my through Jesus Christ.  One of these ways has been my Round Table.

When I was alone with God in Colorado, one of the things he put on my heart is the identity of King Arthur and the knights of the round table.  It was rather amazing to feel that on my heart.  In the weeks, prior, I was in our men’s Bible Study and it first hit me there.  I was a lone ranger.  I did life alone or with just my wife.  Didn’t lean to other men for counsel and to really do life with.  I wrote about this in late February in my post “The Round Table.”  Since then, God has shown it to be of great significance to my life as it should be for all of us.

I believe the circles we keep are very vital to our own growth with God.  Having people in our lives that we can trust to be honest with us, not just blow smoke with what we want to hear, and will be there to support and love you through your circumstances.  I think this is huge.  I’m finding those people each day.  Guys I go to worship with, my pastor(s), the guys from Colorado that I now connect with regularly.  Huge part of life and so thankful God has placed these guys here as a part of my round table.

It’s ironic we started a series at church on circles in our life, starting with God and then spreading outward to our family/marriage, friends, etc.  I believe these circles are vital and I believe this is part of the reason God put the round table on my heart, to show me this shortfall and trust that He was placing men in my life I could now trust and turn to.

Here is another example of how vital the round table has been.  In the last couple of months, I made the decision to return to school as I feel that God is calling me into christian counseling and even ministry.  Not sure of what would be the right program, I just chose one to get in the door.  Since then, my pastor/friend/mentor Tim, connected me with a good friend, who is also a christian counselor who sat with me to talk with me about this road and advise me on it.  HUGE!  He helped me to hone in on where I should go, based on my desires and how God is leading.  So now, I am pursuing a Masters in Professional Counseling with the goal of becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor over the next few years.  This will open up great opportunities for reaching peoples and counseling them from the Biblical perspective of trust and in the 4 Streams of Walking with God, Receiving God’s Counsel, Deep Restoration and Healing, and Spiritual Warfare.  I am truly excited about what God is doing and how he has used the round table to counsel me and steer me.

You see, 5 years ago, I started working on a Doctorate in Business.  With no real direction here, I just did it.  People would cheer me on through it, but in reality, I was doing it for wrong reasons after I lost my Dad in an effort to gain focus in my life again, but never received real solid counsel on this.  I didn’t have round table.  There have been other things I done in life in the same manner.  Just doing, but not seeking advice on anything from people or from God.

Again, I look at Scripture in this category too.  All throughout, we see people who have their circles to go through life with.  Most notably, look at Jesus.  He had his inner circle, those closes to Him, His 12, and then other disciples further out from the circle who were sent out.  These people were a significant part of Jesus.  Jesus taught them along the way through His earthly ministry to prepare them for the mission of spreading the Good News to the world after His death to defeat sin, His resurrection to defeat death and give new life, and ascension to the throne with all authority over heaven and earth now His.  His circles very significant, which leads me to believe it’s significant for us as well to as we are now alive in Christ.

I share all this because I believe my testimony here and in other circumstances are significant for all our lives.  God puts the round table in our lives because we are not meant to go through life as lone rangers.  I know there are many of you out there.  When you trust God and put that aside, the way He works in this is so amazing.  You’ll never figure it all out, known of us will, but when you let go and trust Him, He can use you in so many ways for His glory and the freedom we can gain from loving God enough to choose Him first is amazing.  We need people to guide us in this and there are people that need each of us too.  Trust in it and let God use your round table.   I have found, that when you go through life with others, we’ll be amazed at just how closely related we are in our brokenness and sin in the fact that we’re all jacked in someway but can walk through it all together to allow the healing of Christ to enter each of us.  We don’t have to do any of it alone.

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”   C.S. Lewis

Diving Deeper – Receiving God’s Intimate Counsel

An important part of our journey the 4 Streams.  It’s import to remember what is the purpose behind it all.  What is the offer that God has given to us through Jesus Christ?  This is restoration.  Pure restoration of our hearts as his image bearers as both men and women.  Again, these 4 Streams are key essentials to that restoration.  Isaiah 61; Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted and set the captives free.  Again, John Eldredge lays all of this out clearly his book “Waking the Dead.”  It’s all essential for growth and restoration in our brokenness.

Today, I am going to deeper dive into the stream of Counseling, or rather Seeking God’s Intimate Counsel.  This is so critical as it touches the relationship we have with the Holy Spirit learning to invite God’s Spirit into the depths of heart.  As with the other streams, this one stems from first learning to walk with God.  All the streams are interrelated in some way, but we have to be able to know how to walk with God to learn to seek his counsel, healing, and deal with warfare.  Dallas Willard says, “God created us for intimate friendship with himself-both now and forever.” This goes beyond just reading Scripture.  We have to talk to God and invite him in.

So back to counseling, I believe this is very critical for all of us.  Counseling involves seeking truth in our hearts both from God and those that God uses to counsel us.  Psalm 51 says that God desires truth in our innermost being.  If have not read Psalm 51, check it out.  This is after David had his affair with Bathsheda.  He is broken now.  This Psalm is where he lays out his whole confession.  He is seeking God for his counsel. “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit” (vs 12).  He is seeking God’s counsel and inviting into himself.  He is laying it all out for God and allowing God to come deep down into his heart to restore him.

It takes the intervention of God to get down deep into our hearts to show us what we may not know was there.  To show us things in our brokenness that we either tried to forget or with all that goes on in life probably never even recognized it.  We have to be able to allow God in so that he can bring us to the place of our brokenness and then bring us to the fourth stream of healing, which I will cover next time.

In John 14:16, Jesus said, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever.”   This Helper is the Holy Spirit.  Our Counselor, Comforter, Strength, and Guide.  Jesus offers the Holy Spirit to those that know him and the Holy Spirit is here to take us in those place in our heart that we don’t know.  The story and journey of our life is what has happened to our heart along the way.  What has brought about our brokenness?  What have have we let define us up till now?  The Holy Spirit is hear to help counsel through that and to discern the truth in our hearts.

So what does God do to counsel us and get to the core of our brokenness?  As with the other streams, I am learning each day.  What I have learned so far, as that he will get at us in different ways. Often times, it involves taking us back to the pain of our brokenness once it’s discovered.  John Eldredge said that “Usually what has been laid now in pain in our hearts can usually only be accessed by pain.  God will take us right back into our wounds.”  He will do this in different ways, too.

One of the first times I remember God doing this was just one normal day.  I have been on a journey for these last few years, but never got after my brokenness in anyway.  I was just sitting at my computer working in my home office.  I had some worship music come on.  Actually this happened twice.  The first time, Jeremy Camp’s song “I’ll Take You Back” came on.  If you have not heart it, go listen to it.  I just listened to the words and tears just began to flow.  God was getting right into my heart with the offer to take me back.  A few weeks later, it happened again, I had music on and this time it was the song by The Afters called “Broken Hallelujah”  It hit me again.  I knew God was up to something in me.  So fast forward a few months to the Wild At Heart Bootcamp and all I can say is, WOW.  The work God was doing in me and where he was going in my heart was finally evident to me.  He went right down in my brokenness.  He showed me wounds I didn’t even recognize.  He showed me the brokenness in my sin as well that I never wanted to accept.  It was painful, but God went right back in there because that was the only way to confront it, confess, fully repent, and allow God to heal me.

Jesus did this very same thing to Peter at the Sea of Galilee in John 21 after his resurrection.  First in a playful manner, he appears to them just as he first did to Peter when they first met.  They weren’t catching anything fishing.  Jesus again calls to them to cast their nets on the other side and this time they could not even haul in their nets.  At this point when John points to Peter that it’s Jesus, in such joy, he jumps out of the boat and swims to shore to him.  Jesus hung with the guys and invited them to have breakfast.  After eating Jesus does the work on Peter as follows in versus 15-17:

So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things, You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

You see what Jesus did here.  Peter was already broken after having denied Jesus 3 times after Jesus was arrested.  Jesus went right back into his brokenness.  It was painful for Peter, but it was necessary to bring it out and restore Peter.  This is how Jesus counseled him.  He went right back into Peter’s wounds.  He did the same thing to me when he went into my wounds.  He will do the same for if you’re willing.  You have to let him in first.  We also have to accept our brokenness for what it is.  Michael Yaconneli said, “Accepting the reality of our broken, flawed lives is the beginning of spirituality not because the spiritual life will remove our flaws but because we let go of seeking perfection and, instead, seek God, the one who is present in the tangledness of our lives.”

If we seek to walk with God this will allow him into the deepest works of our hearts and allow him to counsel us and give us back our hearts.  Proverbs 20:5 says, “A plan in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding draws it out.”  Walking with God will allow him to give us understanding of the broken places in our hearts that we not even recognize or know they are they are.  With understanding of our wounds, sins, and agreements we’ve made, we can draw those things out of the deep water, address them and allow God to heal us.

God will also use others to counsel us in different ways.  Maybe not always directly, but in the interactions we have.  If we are open and receptive to it, we can begin to see what God is telling us.  Notice how you react out people.  Do you shrink back, do you hide, do you come alive more, etc?  Maybe God’s telling you something here as well.  This is where the false self may really come out.  Go deeper into that and ask God what to do with that and what makes you react that way.  This can be added counsel as well.  Ever since the fall of Adam, something in every one of us is missing.  Figure out what’s missing.

Just know this, Jesus is always ministering to us.  Even if we can’t seek professional counseling or pastoral counseling, God’s counsel is always available.  Don’t just accept the lies that come out of our wounds.  Don’t listen to the false self.  John Eldredge added in his teaching of the counseling stream that “The story of your heart and life is the long and sustained assault by the one who knows who you are and who you could be, and fears you.”  The enemy is out to assault our hearts and plant himself in our wounds.  Seek God’s counsel through it all.  He is present throughout the tangledness of our lives.  Let him in.  Sometimes we may need the professional help, but always know God is willing and able to counsel us and through Jesus has offered his Spirit for us, and will be with us forever.