Yesterday, we looked at the Greek and Hebrew transliterations and supporting scripture about the impact of the name Wonderful Counselor. It’s great to know those things. It’s great to know how to dig out the actual meaning of the words we see in the Bible and how they impact one another. Those are incredibly important, but being able to put it into practice is imperative to it being effective in our lives.
James 2:14-26 goes into detail about the importance of faith and works. In verse 18, James specifically says “…I will show you my faith by my works”. He isn’t saying our salvation or faith are based on or earned by our works, but that true salvation should change us. That change ought to mean that our works or deeds, whichever you prefer, should be a result of our genuine faith and knowledge of the Word of God.
So what does that mean when we think of Jesus as a Wonderful Counselor? How should knowing what we now know change us and our lives? If we believe Christmas is the celebration of God in human form by the birth of our prophesied Savior, Jesus Christ, who was called Wonderful Counselor, what action do we need to take? Well, for starters, lets take a practical and literal look at his name Wonderful Counselor.
What is a counselor? According to the dictionary it is a person trained to give guidance on problems. But here’s the thing: we don’t just have a counselor, we have the counselor. Remember that he Hebrew word for counsel means to advise, deliberate, or resolve. We have a savior who guides us, advises us, deliberates with and for us, and ultimately leads our problems to be solved (not necessarily in the way we always understand or hope for, but solved nonetheless). Those things are accomplished in our lives by two specific actions: prayer and study.
We talk a lot about prayer around here. (In fact, we just finished a series about it back in the October.) We talk about it because it is critical to our relationship with Christ. In our first study from that series, Keisha took us through five verses that very specifically tell us why and how we pray:
1 Thessalonians 5:17: Pray without ceasing
1 Chronicles 16:11: Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His presence continually.
Romans 12:12: Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Philippians 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
Colossians 4:2: Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
We pray because we are instructed to do so. We pray with a patient spirit that needs to also be looking for God to work. Just as He expects us to pray (1 Thessalonians 5:17), we should pray and not worry whether or not He will answer (Philippians 4:6). We can rest assured that He will answer – again, most likely not in the way we expect, but He will.
We also pray because it is communication with him. You can’t expect your counselor around the corner to just drop truth bombs on you out of the blue. No – you have to speak to them. You set up an appointment and you sit down and have a conversation. And if I understand well enough, they don’t just tell you all the things you are doing wrong or how to fix all your problems. Instead, that counselor will lead you through your struggles and oftentimes you sort things out through the answering of questions. It is similar with God. Very rarely does He just drop truth and direction bombs on us out of nowhere. It is through our communication with Him as our guide, advisor, and advocate that we see things clearly. Oh, and we don’t have to schedule an appointment or pay anything for it, either. He is there all the time…even at 3:30 in the morning.
But we also see things clearly and can see how He is answering our prayers through the study of His word. A mentor and friend once told me that the Bible is like an instruction manual for life. We have every why, how, and what for contained in it. If we need to troubleshoot our lives, we have the FAQs right there in front of us. But also, if we would read it from the start we wouldn’t get our wires crossed so much or use the wrong nuts and bolts. His word is our map to make it through this life and our prayer is like our communication with Houston. Houston, we have a problem.
So we have this amazing savior that was sent here for us, to come to earth to save us from ourselves and die for our mistakes and shortfalls, so that we don’t have to pay the eternal price of eternity in hell. Instead, we get to spend eternity in heaven with Him because He came here for us as our Wonderful Counselor. Following His lead, we have a way to navigate through this life, do His work, and show others why He is the Wonderful Counselor.