The Clash of the Counsellors
Feature verse: Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.
Meditate: Psalm 1:1-6
A few weeks ago, the phrase, ‘The Clash of the Counsellors’ came to my mind, and in response, I wrote a blog titled “If my soul must be captivated by rhythm”. The blog took me back to a time when my actions and reactions in life were informed by a wide panel of diverse “counsellors”, and those counsellors included R ‘n B and hip hop, movies and TV shows, popular culture, experiences from my past, that voice in my head that insisted on telling me who I was and who I should aspire to be… and oh, of course, the Holy Spirit. He was somewhere in the mix as well.
There came a point in my walk with God however, when the Lord was like, “Sanctify yourself!” and He kept repeating it until I sat up and took notice. And when I did, it was not difficult to understand what the Lord was saying. He was telling me that the days of me crowding Him into a space in my mind, together with “all my other stuff”, I’m talking all my other counsellors, those that I had allowed myself to sit before them and learn at their feet, the Lord was telling me that those days needed to be over. The Holy Spirit no longer wanted me to be okay with squashing Him into my heart spaces, all mashed up together with my panel of other “loud speakers”, expecting that somehow, I would hear and follow His voice above all the other voices that I was giving varying degrees of airplay to.
During this time of my life, the Lord often explained His heart to me through Psalm 1. “What is counselling you?” He would ask. “Whose voice are you listening to? What is informing your values, expectations, actions, perspectives? Are you being moulded by the voices of counsellors who are clashing with the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit?” And when I would sort of try to push back, because I was not ready to let go of my ‘counsellors’, the Lord would entreat me lovingly and ask me why a child of the Most High God was so hung up on other sounds and noises, that she could not bring herself to tune them out for the pleasure and blessing of hearing and being led by the purest voice, the voice of the True Counsellor, the Holy Spirit.
So today, permit me to prompt you with these same questions. Who or what is counselling you? What sounds and noises are crowding out the voice of the Holy Spirit in your heart spaces? Blessed are we, if we are able to identify the ‘counsellors’ that we have lended our mind’s ear to, and bring them under submission to obey the counsel of the Holy Spirit. And if any counsellor in our spaces is not capable of being submitted to the Holy Spirit, then for our own sake, something should give. This is a daily choice and a daily walk that God gives you and I grace to take on. As you unseat ‘counsellors’ in your spaces that refuse to bow to the Holy Spirit, and as you give yourself to His counsel alone, the Lord responds by making your spirit, soul and body flourish in due time and season.
Let us pray:
Lord Jesus, I know that when You call me to “sanctify myself”, it is because You have something way more glorious for me than what I have settled for all along. I also know that without Your help, I have no strength to unseat counsellors in my spaces who refuse to be submitted to the Holy Spirit. So Lord I ask that You help me to love Your counsel and to trust it above all else. I no longer want to be okay with squashing You into a room in my mind and having you compete with all the other influences I am exposed to. I choose today, and every day, to give myself to the counsel of the Holy Spirit alone. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
A last word:
Check out this image. Many of us are not aware of what we really believe about ourselves and about life. Many of us are not conscious of the fact that we have many counsellors in our spaces, informing our beliefs, values and actions, and the Holy Spirit is just one of them. But if you ask yourself, genuinely, whether the values and beliefs that are showcased by your thought patterns and actions are birthed by the Holy Spirit, will you find that there are aspects of who you are and what you believe that indicate that you have louder voices than that of the Holy Spirit in your life, and that you are leaning into those voices more than you lean into the Holy Spirit? When you answer this question, do not allow the enemy to make you feel guilty or condemned. Rather feel grateful that the Lord is bringing you into a place of being intentional about living that God-life; about being Christ-centred and Christ-focused. An excellent starting point is to identify your ‘counsellors’ and then bring them before the Lord, asking Him to help you tune them out, as you tune into the Holy Spirit, the True Counsellor.
Written by: Toyin Oladiran for The Narrow Gateway (www.thenarrowgateway.com)