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What Would You Like?

Matthew 14:28-33 Chaiway.orgCounseling services are good for so many reasons and the reasons people go for counseling are numerous. However, I think we would all agree is that there is one main goal in it, to get unstuck from whatever has the person stuck so every area of that person’s life and relationships can improve. 

In secular counseling, the spiritual dimension of people is not at all addressed. Secular counseling is based on people solving their own problems without bringing God into the equation as having any influence on human issues or solutions. It is a self-focused, self- improvement project for people who dismiss the notion of God as present, real, relevant, and involved. 

Bible based counseling is for those who believe in God or who want to believe in God and His work in our life. It differs from secular counseling in that it specifically incorporates the spiritual dimension, Biblical truths. In that, there is belief in God as our Creator.

The type of bible based counseling I am focusing on here is the counseling that takes into account the entire bible of 66 books, Tanakh (Old Testament) and the New Testament. In that, God, salvation, the gospel, Jesus, the Holy Spirit (the third part of the Godhead, who draws a person to God and is a God oriented conscience within a believer) are all part of the conversation.

God is always in the process of redeeming, or buying back the broken/hurt/stuck areas and bringing them in line with how He desires us to think which leads to how we feel and act. Bible based counseling has an absolute standard by which to measure the objectives in counseling and evaluate the counselee’s lifestyle.

I would like to pose three questions.
1) Do you want truth or do you want to hear just what you want to hear?
2) Are you willing to consider that behaviors you may be engaged in may not be healthful?
3) If what God says in His Word, the Bible, contradicts what you want to be doing, or what you believe, are you willing to consider the entirety of what God says on the subject?

Bible based counselors can only present God’s truths to you. It is up to you whether you want to believe them, or not. Once you decide to believe them, it is not a self-improvement project. If you decide to focus solely on God, He will change you and you will become unstuck, I can guarantee you that. You will never be the same again! The key to unlock the change is where you are looking. At yourself? Or at God?

Of course we have choices to make in the process of becoming unstuck, but it is not about us focusing on ourselves. Just like when Peter tried to walk on water (Matthew 14:28-33), he was fine and able to do so when his eyes were on Jesus. The moment Peter moved his gaze from Jesus onto the wind and his own ability, Peter began to sink. It is no different with us!

Salvation is not simply a moment in time when a person becomes bound for heaven after they die here on earth. There is more as we still have a life we are living here on earth. Healing, unstuckness, freedom comes out of the beauty of living out one’s identity in Jesus (Romans 3:21-26; Ezekiel 36:26-29; Colossians 1:10-14; Colossians 1:21-23; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Colossians 2:6-15; Romans 6:1-11; Romans 8; Philippians 2:12-13.)

Once God saves us, He continues to bring us deeper and deeper into His gospel, for it is the power and the motivator for our life. We walk out here on earth what God has credited to us, that new identity. That inheritance is ours positionally, and our life is God working it out through us, experientially, as we live our life here.

My friends, there is nothing more exciting and beautiful! To God be the glory!

Praying for you.
Love,
Diane

 

 

Enemies?

Enemies? Chaiway.orgWe all have that one person or sometimes more, who rub us the wrong way. Some may have situations with another where by the other person’s behavior, it truly looks like that person is what we could call an enemy. Whether knowingly or not, they are causing trouble, issues, dissension, spreading rumors, lying…the list goes on. Regardless of the situation, there is pain and anguish, anger, hurt, possibly damaged lives.

While it would be wonderful to think that those who claim to live for God, who have embraced Jesus for who He is and claim to be followers of Him, would not be that enemy, sadly, there are those among that group who do behave in troublesome and divisive ways, even prejudicial or hateful. I’d like to put a little perspective on it all if I may. For starters, while it may feel very much like the person is an enemy, and it is admittedly extremely difficult to see past the person and the trouble they are causing, the person, people, are not the problem. Let us dig a bit.

Job 2:1-2Now the day came about that the angels of God came to stand beside the Lord, and the Adversary too came among them to stand beside the Lord. Now the Lord said to the Adversary, “Where are you coming from?” And the Adversary replied to the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth and from walking in it.””

Okay, right from the Tanakh, the Old Testament, there is God, there are the angels of God, and there is the adversary, the opponent of God. 

In the New Testament it goes on to say “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places…” (Ephesians 6:10-17)

Again there is the description that there is an adversary of God. The battle is not with another person, it is spiritual. We are physical, we are emotional, and we are spiritual. All of us. Regardless of beliefs. In the spiritual, we are either under the influence of God, or we are under the influence of the enemy, God’s adversary, Satan, also known as the evil one or the wicked one.

And as you continue reading Job 2, you see God giving the adversary permission to test Job. Job was faithful to God and yet Job was tested in that faith and trust in God. As Job says further down in that chapter “Shall we also accept the good from God, and not accept the evil?”

Yes, that is a hard one. Matthew 5:45 “For He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.Psalm 145:9The Lord is good to all, and His mercies are on all His works.” God pours out His common grace to all.

Since God is not dependent on anything outside Himself, He did not create the universe because He needed to, nor can we demand He preserve it. Grace refers to anything God does for us that we do not deserve. So He preserves the righteous and the unrighteous, in the ways He needs to, out of His grace, His love.

A helpful post to review at this point would be The Sovereignty of God. It is very difficult to grasp how a good God can allow hard times, pain, misfortune, suffering. However there is so much more to it than what we see.

Now, about the person or people or situations that are causing trouble, let us be clear on something, not everyone who says they are a follower of Jesus, a Christian, truly is.  Matthew 7 is a detailed analysis of that as is Galatians 5. The fruit of the Spirit (God’s Spirit) is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now, there is not one person (other than Jesus) who is perfect in all of these areas. However, there is a lapse, and there is a constant pattern and they are not one and the same. 

Although it is often human nature to want to strike back, “The best defense is a good offense” is an expression that has been applied to many situations including games and military combat. The way to wage warfare in this realm, spiritual warfare, is in prayer. You can simply talk it all out to God and even better, go into scripture to address the emotions you are feeling and the things that are happening. Google is a wonderful resource in helping you pull up scriptures and biblehub.com is a fantastic resource to help you analyze those scriptures. And pray. Pray, and pray some more. There may be actions you do need to take. However, first to God in prayer, and surrounding any actions you may need to take, keep on praying. 

Jesus on the cross in the utmost of His agony said ““Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)  Even if you believe that the person or people involved know what they are doing, they do not truly know in the deepest meaning of that word.

Praying for you, praying for me, and praying for those who right now at this very moment are under the influence of the evil one. May this be the day of their repentance (turning from their sin towards God and His way) and of their salvation. As always, please feel free to comment below or contact to discuss further.
Love,
Diane

Spelling of THE NAME

The NameWriting G-d and L-rd instead of His name in full is a sign of respect in Jewish culture when writing out His name on something that can be destroyed, like a piece of paper, or a page in a book.

Judaism does not prohibit writing the name of G-d, it prohibits only erasing or defacing a name of G-d. However, some avoid writing any name of His casually because of the risk that the written name might later be defaced, obliterated or destroyed accidentally. The commandment not to erase or deface the name of G-d comes from Deuteronomy 12:3. From this, rabbis inferred that we are commanded not to destroy any holy thing, and not to erase or deface His name.

This rabbinic prohibition applies only to what is written in some kind of permanent form, and rabbis decided that writing on a computer is not a permanent form. However, once you print the document out, it becomes a permanent form. That is why many will avoid writing the name out. Generally I will write the name “God” on this website/blog.