Saturday, December 29, 2012
Introduction: Occassionally I like to give the readers of this blog the opportunity to read materials written by others. I call these blogs: Guest Blogger blogs. My wife Debi is currently studying for her Bachelor of Science Degree in Christian Counseling at Liberty University. She recently wrote a paper on "Battling the Unseen in Christian Counseling". Yesterday's post dealt with the supernatural component in Christian Counseling. In this third and final installment of our Guest Blogger series, we will explore the Enemy's use of deception, as well as some concluding remarks on the nature of the unseen in Christian Counseling. May you be blessed dear reader as you read from our guest blogger Debi Smith.
The Enemy’s Use of Deception
At the fall of mankind where sin entered the world through Adam, the human mind went from whole to distorted. Without accepting the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, the minds of men and women remain “unregenerate and cannot function properly”. (Anderson, 2003, p. 66) It is through Christ that all mankind has the hope and promise of the ability to renew the mind. (Romans 12:2)
Dr. Anderson reminds that the battle is for the mind. (Anderson, 2003) Satan knows the vulnerability of the human mind and how to use it to his advantage. The Bible calls him the “father of lies” (John 8:44), thief (Mark4:15), tempter (1 Corinthians 7:5), schemer (2 Corinthians 2:11), and a deceiver that leads people astray (2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelations 12:9). Warren Wiersbe in his book, Be Joyful, reminds followers of Christ that the “Christian life is not a playground, but a battleground”. (Wiersbe, 1989, p.49) He also points out that in the book of Philippians the secret to joy and peace stems from the mind fixated on Christ (Isaiah 26:3). In Philippians, the word mind is used ten times, think is used five times, and remember once. This brings the total of references to the mind and thought processes to 16 times. (Wiersbe, 1989)
No wonder the enemy of mankind’s souls wants to get into the mind to destroy any work of the Holy Spirit. Knowing this, what are the tools the enemy uses to deceive the minds of men and women? “Satan’s purpose is to cause us to think and live contrary to God’s plan for us”. (Anderson, 2003, p. 246) Here are just a few examples of wrong thinking that the enemy can use to get a person off course: the belief that things can give lasting happiness, addictions can bring comfort, sin isn’t followed with consequence, people that don’t believe Jesus is Lord can go to Heaven anyway, a person must live up to the image set up by those around them, finding importance in finding approval of others above God. Add to these the things people do to deceive themselves, such as: not following the Bible’s standard, claiming to be sinless, allowing pride to convince themselves they are something they are not or that they are wise, and not controlling the tongue. (Anderson, 2003)
Examples of faulty ways people think to defend themselves include: escaping into a fantasy world, withdrawing from people, exploding in anger, blaming others for circumstances, making excuses, and tainting the truth. (Anderson, 2003)
So how does one defend themselves against the Deceiver? The answer is seemingly simple, but impossible to carry out without the help of the Holy Spirit. Followers of Jesus Christ can praise God that at the moment of conversion God gives His children the Holy Spirit to live inside them. This enables everyone in Christ to choose truth over the lies. If a person has surrendered their will and their heart to Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit lives in them and gives them the ability and power to take back their minds from the enemy. (1 Corinthians 2:10-16; John 14:16-17) With the help of the Holy Spirit living in the heart of a believer, they can “take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ”. (2 Corinthians 10:5, New International Version)
This is indeed sounds like a daunting task, but there are practical ways to purge the mind of deceiving thoughts and replace them with God’s thoughts. Knowing what the Bible says about the role of man and the benefits of being a child of God is a start. Discover what God says in His word about how humankind should live after accepting His Son’s gift of salvation. Decipher the thoughts that contradict what the Bible says, replacing them with scriptures that speak truth. Find a mature believer and counselor to aid in the process of defeating the Deceiver.
Ignoring or dismissing the unseen factors in counseling hinders the healing of a counselee. Often misdiagnosed, a person will go on in their life suffering from attacks from an enemy that has one mission: to destroy. However, a Christian counselor armed with the word of God and the Holy Spirit can enlighten one who is willing and open to the leading of Jesus Christ. Deception will be banished and replaced with the truth that only comes from God. “Discipleship counseling is not just a technique we learn; it is an encounter with God, who is the wonderful counselor”. (Anderson, 2003, p. 110)