121114 BCD101-Week 10.docx
Lesson 3: Man’s Way & God’s Way
- The Biblical Counseling Global Network we Want You to Join
I have had the privilege for the past 35 years to work full time in ministry on the staff of the largest Biblical Counseling Network in the World.
All of the lessons we use in this course are part of that ministry; and there is a manual that all the members of this network use as they counsel around the world.
I also have had the privilege for over 35 years to work personally with the Senior Counselor of this Biblical Counseling Network.
Probably the greatest honor in all of my life has been to know that this man is my friend; and that He has taught me everything I know and use as I counsel.
In fact, every person I meet with, right down to those today: I think about Him as I counsel.
I think about, each time I listen to people’s struggles, of how much I am totally indebted to Him as a Counselor, to His incredible insights, His Words He has written down about Biblical Counseling, and His method of counseling.
- The Goal of our Biblical Counseling
When the elders approved this course here at Calvary, my goal was to get all of those who joined the class into as close a working relationship with this Man as possible.
He is the greatest living counselor alive today, and has the most advanced understanding of every counseling situation, and to all graduates of this course.
He offers special access to advice, guidance, and personal help sessions as you counsel. So I hope you stick with this course.
- The Biblical Counseling Textbook We are Training You to Use
I have an old, well-used, worn out, and starting to fall apart edition of that counseling manual that I’d like to use this evening.
As we study, all of my references to key discipleship and counseling truths come from this manual. Many of you have newer and older editions of this manual, and almost all Christians in the world also have copies, but many of them do not know what they have, or how to use that manual.
- Getting to Know the Leading Biblical Counselor in the World
Tonight we are learning how to apply the principles of the only counseling manual, guide, and reference book that God authorized, personally wrote, and uses on a daily basis in this global network of counselors.
To understand this manual and the counseling network, please open your copy of the Biblical Counseling & Discipleship Manual to Isaiah 9:6.
Yes, the manual is the Bible, and the network of counselors is made up of all obedient believers throughout all the ages of God’s Word to mankind.
This class this evening is an extension of the Biblical Counseling & Discipleship ministry that God started, wrote about, and supports in every way.
All of us are in training to renew or join that ministry. That is why we all signed up to ne a part of this Biblical Discipleship & Counseling 101 ministry.
- The Central Lesson of Biblical Counseling: Seeing Each Person’s Need, the Way God Sees Their Need
The heart of Biblical Counseling is that it is counseling that flows from God’s Way and not Man’s Way. This month’s lessons will be all about our spiritual orientation and Biblical priority for understanding and living life.
First, we need to work on our mutual accountability with the G.R.O.W. card. This card states that we are maintaining our daily walk in four areas:
G (My Devotions): Get the Word into our lives on a daily basis. This means I choose to take over my schedule and plan a daily application of the Word to my life (My Devotions);
R (My Prayers): Reach out for the power of the Spirit by faith. This means I choose to focused, regular prayers for the grace and power to see God change me, and the others into whose lives I am called to investing my life (My Prayers);
O (My Sanctification): Open my life to the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. This means I choose to plan regular memorization of the Word for Spirit-filled meditation, so that He can change me a little bit more each day (My Sanctification);
W (My Ministry): Willingly opening the Word to others. This means I choose to prayerfully look for others that God will prepare and help me to nurture and admonish; which are the two elements of Biblical Disciple making and Counseling (My Ministry).
- Biblical Counselors Need to Be Prayer-Driven, Word-Filled, and Spirit-Prompted
To see these principles explained, open your BCF texts to Lesson 3 and page 48. Look at the boxed summary and follow along as I read:
Learning to live God’s way requires you to respond to God’s salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. Then, you are to begin a new way of living based on the Lord’s truth, resources, and wisdom rather than your own or anyone else’s wisdom, philosophy, or experience (based on Proverbs 3:5-6; John 14:6, Romans 10:9-10, 13, 17; 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 2:6-10; James 3:13-15).
Now, look at the boxed summary at the top of page 49:
You can live God’s way because of the abundant resources and provisions He has graciously and mercifully given to you (based on John 14:26; Romans 8:11; 2 Corinthians 1:20-24; Ephesians 1:13-14; Philippians 4:13; Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; James 1:5; 1 John 5:14-15).
The Bible is Adequate (Principle 4): Since God’s Word is the only authority for faith and conduct and is the sole, legitimate standard by which all aspects of living are evaluated, you are to rely on no other source. God’s Word provides hope and gives direction for change in deeds (thoughts, speech, and actions) and is adequate to equip you for every good work (Psalm 19:7-11[i]; Pr. 30:5-6; Col. 2:8; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:2-4) and to develop a Christlike attitude of servanthood within you (2 Cor. 3:5-6; Phil 2:5-8).
The Holy Spirit is Necessary (Principle 5): Only through the power of the Holy Spirit are you able to live an abundant life (John 14:26, 16:7-14; Rom. 8:5-11; 1 Cor. 2:9-14; Eph. 1:13-14, 5:18).
Prayer is Vital (Principle 6): Prayer is essential to a Spirit-controlled life (Psalm 145:18-19; Mat. 7:7-8; Eph. 5:18-20; 6:18; 1 Th. 5:17; 1 John 3:22). You are to be devoted to prayer, according to God’s will, and bring everything and everyone unceasingly before the Lord in prayer (Luke 18:1; Eph. 6:18; Phil. 4:6; Col. 4:2; 1 Th. 5:17; 1 Tim. 2:1; 1 John 5:14-15).
Now, look at Page 50:
God’s Word is changeless and is as powerful and applicable to you and your circumstances today as it was to those living thousands of years ago (based on Joshua 1:8; Psalm 19:7-11; 119:160; Isaiah 55:11; Matthew 24:35; Romans 15:4; Hebrews 4:12; 1 Peter 1:24-25).
Read through pages 50-52
- An application on Seeing How we are Wired: Man’s Way vs. God’s Way
|When Personal Troubles & Disasters hit, Followers of Man’s Way Seek First:||When Personal Troubles & Disasters hit, Followers of God’s Way Seek First:|
|Human Wisdom is often where we look first||We learn to cry out for help to God by praying immediately|
|Social Media is often vital for support||Problems make us search the Word for answers|
|We often Search for online sources of help||Problems make us seek to more fully surrender to God|
|We usually Seek Advice from Friends saved and lost||We sift all advice & ideas by the grid of God’s Word|
|We consider Psychiatry and psychology for insights on how to frame problems and bad behavior||We are devoted to God and His Word as the First & Last Voice we will listen to in each situation|
|Many of us see Medical doctors as one of our most trusted sources of help||We learn how lonely is can be to walk primarily by faith and not primarily by sight|
|We often feel that Professional Counselors are the only ones that are trained to tackle the big issues||We remind our self that we must understand that God’s Plan is often for us to suffer, and not escape troubles|
|Usually God’s Word is only sought as equal with these other sources of help, comfort, and advice; God’s Word is not usually first, and often just consulted briefly along the way of struggling with all the voices we are listening to||As we daily surrender to the sanctifying work of the Spirit as we are in the Word, we welcome God’s Word & Spirit, His way, plans & people to dominate our thinking about our self, our problems and other’s struggles.|
|We are often guilty of seeing all of these avenues as basically equal in weight, authority, and able to help us.||We need to always believe and practice that God’s Word revealing His Way is an authority above all others|
|We are usually guided by the world, which is defined as: Man’s View of Man||We need to know and be guided by God’s perspective of us and our problems|
|Most people feel that Human nature is basically good, and just needs encouragement.
|I am Forgiven of My Incredible Mountain of Sin (1 John 1:7), and have a New Beginning (Jn. 3)|
- Counseling Practicum: When Believers Head Towards Divorce
- Person calls the church, said wife left them, please call and help.
- I called, left cell phone number on answering machine.
- Husband calls, I hear one side of the story from the perspective of the husband (wife unreasonable, angry, won’t listen, seeking divorce, please call her and do something to make her stop);
- I called her, got her voice mail, left Biblical admonition, and my cell phone to call back.
- I alerted my wife on the whole situation, especially that I was talking to a desperate woman (God’s Word instructs us that usually women should counsel women and men counsel men).
What Scriptures would you use as you called and listen to these two people with big problems?
- First, before I started any call back process, I looked up from where I sat and cried out for the wisdom that James says God offers and we need to ask for in James 1:5-8, noting His wisdom is based on my repenting of any double-mindedness (literally two minds, what I say and what I do, that means living a sanctified life of daily surrender).
- Second, skimmed through the appropriate verses about divorce in God’s Word to remind myself of the framework God’s Word gives for believers and divorce. Malachi 2:16 says God hates divorce; Matthew 19:3-10 says marriage is permanent in God’s sight, but divorce comes because of the hardness of our hearts; and only is allowed for immorality (word used speaks of adultery, and other uncleanness sexually); 1 Cor. 7:10-16 says that immorality and desertion of an unbeliever are the only options for a believer in God’s Word.
- Reminded myself of Proverbs 18:13 (listen before you speak); and Proverbs 18:17 (the first person sounds right until you hear the other side).
- Reminded myself of Jeremiah 17:5-10 that our hearts are deceitful, and we can deceive ourselves into thinking almost anything, so we need Divine assistance.
- Reminded myself of Matthew 7:1-6, how none of us really can see the beam in our own eyes.
- Finally, I reviewed the Biblical description of why believers who love the Lord can get angry from the life of Moses in Numbers 20:1-4 (hurt, frustration, and fear) so that I could look for those three triggers in the life of both these hurting people.
- I called him, and heard one side of the story from the perspective of the husband (wife unreasonable, angry, won’t listen, seeking divorce, please call her and do something to make her stop).
Follow through: Next day, I heard back from her the other side, heard from their children, shared the Biblical framework for divorce, prayed with her as divorce proceeds.
Do you have those passages for a hurting, divorce heading couple, so you can see their situation God’s Way?
Next time we meet is 11/28, for our last week on Lesson 3. This may be the most incredible lesson of the course. We study the way God sees us, and the way all of us are wired to see ourselves!
[i] A summary from John MacArthur, The Sufficiency of Scripture: The word law looks at Scripture as God’s law for man’s conduct. How we are on this earth to live our lives. If you will, this is sort of the manual on maximum human behavior. In other words, if you want to enjoy life in the fullest sense that God has designed it, then you follow his law. His law is the binding standard by which we are to live. He says it is perfect. Perfect, not in the sense of flawless, although that is absolutely true, but perfect in the sense of completeness. That is to say it is all-sided. It is sweeping and complete and leaves nothing out. The effect of this is to restore the soul. The word restore basically means to transform. In fact, it can mean to totally transform. Scripture is fully complete and comprehensive so as to totally transform the whole inner person. It is a sweeping statement about the Bible’s power to convert, to transform, to regenerate by the work of the spirit of God through its own testimony. Nothing has the power of the Word of God. No story, no human insight, no philosophy. The word is the only power that can totally transform the whole inner person.