Drawing out Counsel

The reference is to this verse in Proverbs 20:5:

Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.

While reading this, I realized that this verse almost perfectly summarizes my methodology for personal spiritual counseling: spiritual things are spiritually discerned, so it requires the Holy Spirit's working to bring about an understanding of spiritual things.  However, the Holy Spirit resides in the human heart, which here is likened to deep water because one cannot see directly what is in the heart.  This is because the heart is the generator of human thoughts, and we do not perceive that generation process.  Rather, we perceive the product of that process, which are thoughts.  The Holy Spirit's residence in the Christian is in their heart, and thus cannot be directly perceived, but only indirectly through the thoughts that the Holy Spirit generates or whose generation He affects, and we use the Bible to help us identify which ones are from the Holy Spirit and which ones are not.

The problem with this process is that the thoughts thus generated by the Spirit require a context, a pre-existing structure and complex of thoughts, which which to fit the generated thoughts.  The Spirit can convict anyone at any time of their sin, but if it is not done within the context of the Word of God (preached or remembered), then it becomes angst, that general feeling of disconnection and separation from the universe that afflicts so many today and drives them to all the addictions and compulsions we see and worry about our kids adopting. 

I should not have worried so much!  By having my kids in a good Church-based youth group and attending the main services, the preached and spoken word provided the framework within which the Spirit's moving was rightly interpreted.  This is not to say that every kid in Church will not go bad, but I am saying is that angst will not be the cause of any such additions, as well as saying that angst is not the only reason for adopting an addiction or compulsion.

What this verse tells me is that this process of drawing the thoughts of the Spirit out into the consciousness of a man and putting them into a proper framework is something that another man of understanding can do.  I showed, in this essay, that understanding comes from the Holy Spirit, who generates intelligent thoughts within the heart of the believer.  Thus, the best thing that a believer can do to help another is to help them understand what the Holy Spirit is telling them.  Because it is the same Spirit in both, He can generate the thouhts in the counseling believer that, when verbalized, helps create the mental context within the one being counseled to fit in the thought the Spirit is trying to convey.  Because the Holy Spirit is wanting to help the believer, these thoughts could be called the "counsel of the Holy Spirit", and this process of the man of understanding drawing it out is likened to pulling into view that which was as well hidden as an object at the bottom of deep water.

2011-01-08 05:04:39 by Gerald

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