“Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.” 3 John 1:2
I love this salutation as John addresses his “dear friend,” Gaius. Why? Because it reminds me that people are many faceted creatures and that it is God’s intent for all facets to prosper and be in health. As Christians we spend a good deal of time focusing on the development of our spirits. This is probably closely followed by a focus on the health of our bodies. And both of these things are good and scriptural for we are above all things a spirit and we do live in a body. However, we often forget that we have a soul – a mind, will, and emotions – and that part of us is also supposed to prosper and be well.
This very thing – the well-being of the soul – leads me to do something I never thought I would do: Write a testimony about the benefits of counseling. It was not so very long ago that I clearly and distinctly said “Counseling = Yuck!” It was one of those things that was okay for other people, but not for me. It was for those with traumatic, messed-up lives who were not spiritually mature enough to just “get over it” and move on. It was not for people in leadership positions in the ministry. Period. Imagine my surprise when God said that this was the direction He wanted me to go. Really?! Counseling?!! Are you sure?
In all of the times I have asked God, “Are you sure?” He has never once said, “Well, not really, but let’s try this out and see what happens.” He is always sure.
So, after making a sincere effort to follow God’s direction and participate willingly and transparently in counseling sessions, what would I say? I would say that humans are uniquely designed for self-preservation. We are survivors. However, left to our own devices, our survival techniques often cause as much or more damage than the original harm from which they were intended to protect us. What I have learned from God through working with Rebecca is that the negative emotions that my body stores can greatly interfere with my ability to function on the level for which God created me. They can cause unreasonable, “knee-jerk” reactions to situations. These reactions cause additional difficulties in my life, often hurting not only myself, but also others in the process. But God is a wonderful healer and He has many ways to heal our spirits, our bodies, and our souls. The protocols developed in the field of Energy Psychology are just one method extremely effective in clearing away negative emotions and unreasonable reactions, and paving the way for forgiveness and truth to replace the lies of the enemy.
I have learned that when you sincerely raise your hands to heaven and from the depth of your heart say, “I give you all of me for all you are. Here I am, take me apart,” God will take you up on that. He will take you apart, but He will also put you back together in a way that is so beautiful! When any person, regardless of past trauma or current spiritual maturity, invites the Lord in to search his/her heart, God will never take a good look and say, ”Its all good; no problems there. Carry on.” For as long as we live on this earth there will be things to “clean up” in our souls. After all, that is the primary spiritual battlefield, and battlefields are bloody, messy places. It is so much better to allow the Lord to help us clean up using whatever method He directs us to use than to spend a lifetime tripping over the dead and dying things of the past.
What would I say now about counseling? If this is the direction God is leading you to go, take a deep breath and go for it! And if The Outpouring is the ministry team He has directed you to work with, you are in wonderfully safe and loving hands. His plan for you is better than anything you could possibly think up yourself, and His end goal is “…that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.”