Advent Series Part One: Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6)
The Christmas story overflows with certainty. Both Mary and Joseph received specific guidance in supernatural dreams. The shepherds were told precisely where to look for Jesus, and the wise men from the East followed a star that led them across the miles and directly to the toddler Jesus’s front door.
By contrast, my own following life appears random and inexact. When our present vehicle starts spending more time at the mechanic’s than in our driveway, we decide to buy a different one. It’s then that I begin praying for guidance that looks like sky-writing on the level of, “Buy the silver Honda!”
Frequently, I make decisions without what I would consider “enough” information. For all of us, error arises from the unknown, tempting us to flounder in indecision or to take a shortcut and simply trust the opinion of an “expert.”
All Humans Need the Wonderful Counselor
What life as a mortal creature boils down to is this: There are ten thousand opportunities every day for me to end up getting it wrong.
I think I’m getting better at letting go of the self-bludgeoning behaviors and just moving forward into the next thing, and I can trace any minuscule progress directly back to a tighter embrace of God’s sovereignty. So, what’s a person who trusts in an all-knowing God to do when she bumps hard into the results of her own non-omniscience and the unpredictability of life?
The Wonderful Counselor Has Supernatural Wisdom
Author and Enneagram godmother Suzanne Stabile frequently says, “Everyone ought to have both a spiritual director and a counselor.” A Google search for “online counseling” reveals that you need not even leave your home to connect with a professional guide.
And it’s true that sometimes we need another fallible human to stand beside us and look at our lives alongside us, but ALWAYS and forever, we will need someone who can live within us and give us supernatural wisdom. As God the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and reveals to us the truth of God’s Word, we find that we are able to live in health and wholeness. As forgiven creatures, we allow supernatural forgiveness to flow through us to others–equally undeserving–and grace splashes over into the healing of relationships.
The Wonderful Counselor Offers Guidance for Those Who Have Lost Their Way
Whether you’re sitting in a self-made mess yourself or watching a loved one veer off course and into trouble, there’s grace available for a fresh start. The Wonderful Counselor stands ready to whisper to the heart ready to obey, “This is the way. Walk in it.”
As believers, we affirm the truth that grace comes to us in abundance at the moment of salvation. Why should it suddenly be scarce?
God the Son became the God Man, and he joined us on this broken ground. He will meet us in our confusion and lostness. He meets us even in our deserved distress, but we must be willing to receive his counsel.
His counsel comes to us, mainly, through his written Word. Elisabeth Elliot is blunt but accurate:
“If you say you want to be led by God but do not put yourself in regular contact with the only means through which he has promised to speak, you’re kidding yourself!”
God will use truth to guide you. He will use truth to comfort you.
The Wonderful Counselor stands ready to guide you and to wait with you. You must decide if you will wait with him–or receive your guidance elsewhere?
By grace, may we commit ourselves during this Advent season to hold to God’s written Word and then hold ourselves before it. We have God’s unwavering attention.
Holding you in the Light,
What life as a mortal creature boils down to is this: There are ten thousand opportunities every day for me to end up getting it wrong. All humans need the Wonderful Counselor. (Isaiah 9:6)Tweet
This is Part One of a four-part series for Advent featuring Isaiah’s prophecy of a coming Messiah. Join me next week for Part Two where we remember that our Mighty God is a powerful warrior, unlimited in his ability to do what he wills.
A Dose of Truth for Your Advent Season
This is your invitation to join me and my newsletter subscribers in memorizing and meditating on Isaiah 9:6 during the Advent season. Obviously, all you really need in order to do this is a Bible and the willingness to put in the work. However, if you’re interested in some help and encouragement, I’ve created a PDF for you that includes printable resources including:
- The text of Isaiah 9:6 as pictured above
- First letters of the verse to push you along in your memory work (Have you ever tried this method? It really helps me!) The first letter of each word triggers your brain to say the right word without actually giving you the word in print.
- A Meditation Guide for each name of Jesus: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. Each little card invites you to think about the Name in terms of who Jesus promises to be for you and what he wants to do in your life.
If this sounds helpful to you, get your copy by simply entering your email and then clicking on the button below…
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13 thoughts on “Where Do You Go When You Need Wisdom? Who Will Be Your Counselor?”
I love everything about this. Highlighting Isaiah 9:6 for your Advent devotions is such a good idea. I definitely need a Wonderful Counselor every minute of every day. And as always, Elisabeth Elliot says it best. I’m looking forward to your series.
Isn’t Elisabeth just a treasure? And yet so very spot on and no-nonsense in her observations about the following life. It means a lot to me that you have taken time to enter into this Advent journey along with me!
Great article! So true, and so personally relevant. Learning to trust God as my Counselor has been a long and bumpy road, but so worth it.
Thank you for this insight! My goal was definitely to present Isaiah’s prophecy as relevant and life-changing. Always, always, always we must ask ourselves this question: “How does this truth about God impact on the way I live and think and speak and pray?”
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Oh, how often we want that writing in the sky when making decisions! I love Elizabeth Elliot’s counsel about needing to be in the Word to discern God’s will. And your reminder that there’s infinite grace for fresh starts ! So true!
I’m quite dependent upon those fresh starts—and supremely grateful!
Thanks so much for reading!
I so appreciate the counsel of God’s Word and the way the Holy Spirit will bring a passage to mind right when needed. I do wish for writing in the sky or some direct means for knowing the answer to personal individual questions and decisions. But I have to trust that as I meet with Him in His Word and take the next step, He’ll lead me where He ultimately wants me to be.
We just had this conversation with one of our sons. We live before God and we follow the guidelines of Scripture in faith that this is a wise life. And we move forward one decision at a time!
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“God will use truth to guide you. He will use truth to comfort you.” Michele, this is a powerful statement, given how much emphasis is put on things like empathy, uncertainty and affirmation these days. That quote by Elizabeth Elliot is gold–I wonder what kind of messages she would be sharing with the world if she were alive and on Instagram today. Wonderful post!
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That’s a great thought. The world has changed tremendously since her ministry ended, and her message and her commitment to truth would be even more counter cultural.
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