It’s Supernatural to Mature
Note: This is the seventh and final post in a blog mini-series asking the simple question: Is there a biblical model for spiritual friendship, one-another ministry, biblical counseling, and pastoral counseling?
Read Part 1: Spiritual Map Quest, Part 2: God’s Treasure Map, Part 3: Biblical Soul Care for Suffering, Part 4: Climbing in the Casket, Part 5: Celebrating the Empty Tomb, and Part 6: Dispensers of Grace.
I’m summarizing these posts from Spiritual Friends.
God’s Biblical Counseling GPS # 4: Guiding—”It’s Supernatural to Mature”
Biblical counselors have the privilege of guiding believers to realize that it’s supernatural to mature. Our task is to guide faith by strengthening our spiritual friends to understand, depend upon, and apply Christ’s resurrection power.
We start the process by understanding new life in Christ—our new nature (regeneration) and our new nurture (reconciliation). We look inside our struggling spiritual friends and see the power of sainthood—a new creation in Christ, and the presence of sonship—a new relationship to God.
Growth in Grace: Stir Up the Gift of God
We enlighten our spiritual friends to the truth that God’s grace not only saved them for all eternity, but also changed them for life now. In Christ, they have everything necessary to live a godly life (2 Peter 1:3). Thus it is neither impossible to mature, nor is it natural to mature. Maturity is the supernatural work of God implanted in us at salvation and growing daily in sanctification (2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Peter 1:3-11; 3:18). We grow in grace by grace because God is gracious.
We continue the guiding process by envisioning the work of God within our spiritual friends (2 Timothy 1:5-7; Hebrews 10:24-25). Paul realizes that he does not need to create spiritual power, love, and wisdom within his disciples. All he has to do is stir it up. Provoke it. Fan it into flame.
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (a sound mind, wisdom) (2 Timothy 1:6-7, emphasis and parenthesis added).
In fact, according to the author of Hebrews, one of the prime directives for Church life is mutual provocation.
“And let us consider how we may spur (provoke) one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25, emphasis and parenthesis added).
We draw out what God has already placed within.
The Goal of Guiding
Notice what we draw out—love. The goal of guiding is not to make life easier. The purpose of biblical spiritual direction is not to change circumstances. The focus is to equip and empower our spiritual friends to love—holy living through Christ-like loving.
Created for Paradise, our friends find themselves in a desert of suffering. Tempted to dig broken cisterns (self-sufficient idols of the heart and false lovers of the soul), they repent and receive Christ’s grace. Turning to God, they drink from the Spring of Living Water. Streams of living water overflow into the lives of others (John 7:37-39). Empowered by the Holy Spirit, our spiritual friends become shepherds in a jungle. In the jungle of fallen life in a fallen world, they exalt God by loving him and loving others.
God’s Roadmap; Our Treasure Map
God really has left us His roadmap, our treasure map. Discovering it, we uncover His plan for offering biblical soul care and spiritual direction through sustaining, healing, reconciling, and guiding.
How to, of course, does not imply easy to. It does not suggest a one-size-fits-all, mechanical, soulless process.
Consider sustaining, healing, reconciling, and guiding like the four points on a compass. They inform you what direction you are heading and what direction to head. However, there’s still the journey. The dance. The art of biblical soul care and spiritual direction (1 Thessalonians 2:8).
The Rest of the Story: Be Equipped with 22 Biblical Counseling Skills
To learn twenty-two biblical counseling skills of sustaining, healing, reconciling, and guiding, visit RPM Ministries’ Spiritual Friends Page.
Join the Conversation
Who has stirred up the gift of God in you? Who has fanned into flame spiritual growth in your life?
What is your biblical model for spiritual friendship, one-another ministry, biblical counseling, and pastoral counseling?
RPM Ministries: Equipping You to Change Lives with Christ’s Changeless Truth