Wonderful

Sometimes words can’t capture the beauty, the magnitude, the splendor of a moment or a reality.

This new year approaches, but I hope to walk into it with a greater clarity, deeper appreciation and with more wonder.

I’d like to remind you of a truth that we just celebrated, but maybe we’ve failed to fully grasp. This past Christmas – we remembered words spoken through the prophet Isaiah. He writes in Isaiah 7:14

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

These words speak of a reality that would come true some 700 years later, as the gospel of Matthew records these words in Matthew 1:20-23.

What’s fascinating – is the words Isaiah goes on to say a couple chapters later; words I’d love to walk more securely in this next year. Maybe you’d like to join me…

Isaiah 9:

 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Look at one of the additional adjectives/titles that Isaiah points out about Jesus: Wonderful Counselor 

I’m convinced, that if we fully began to grasp all that this means, it could transform how we walk through 2012. The Hebrew words for Wonderful Counselor are: (Pele Yo’ez)

Pele – simply means that it’s indescribably wonderful. Too much to actually be captured in description and understood by mere words. He’s too wonderful, magnificent, good and beautiful to be limited or confined by words…his description is simply beyond them.

Yo’ez – means to counsel, advise, guide or provide guidance in an active form.

Now stop. Think about that. God has gifted you and I not only with a forgiveness we couldn’t earn or achieve on our own. He’s come alongside as Immanuel (God with us). But He is also this ‘beyond words, giver of wisdom & guidance, all knowing Counselor.’

Jesus said, that the Holy Spirit would be our Counselor – the one who comes alongside – he would remind us of what he said and teach and guide us. It’s not this magical or mystical phenomenon, but rather this truth/reality we could walk in and walk with… (read Jn 14)

To get the most out of walking with God as a Wonderful Counselor – I’d like to suggest 2 simple principles for us to exercise.

1) Get Honest.

To get the fullest help out of wise counsel – we must be fully honest with our counselor. That’s true in human counseling situations and also true spiritually. This year, make it a practice to be open & honest with God. Let him know your truest intentions, thoughts and motives, fears, struggles and disappointments. Don’t try to mask over and hide them. Let’s be honest – He sees them anyway. The only person you’re trying to fake out is yourself – and that just makes you the fool. We struggle with honesty because it means we have to be transparent. Transparency takes trust. There is fear involved when trust is involved. Many struggle to be honest with others, even more struggle to be honest with themselves. But to gain the most out of a relationship with the Wonderful Counselor – honesty is necessary. Go ahead – He already loves you. Christmas and the Cross proof that. Have HONEST dialogue, discussion, prayers and conversations with your Wonderful Counselor who is the same God who is With you and For you. Honesty truly is the best policy. Honest conversations with God and yourself will lead to break-throughs and growth. Cover ups and camouflage only keep you hidden from experiencing God’s healing, hope and help.

2) Follow Him

Jesus had one simple invitation that he echoed over and over: Follow Me

As your Wonderful Counseloras you’re honest with him – God will lead you forward, but he won’t push you forward. God goes on ahead of us and calls to us, but he will never shove us. As we hear his counsel (through the Scriptures, godly people, writings, nature, etc.) it’s up to us to follow.

I love the words Jesus says about following him in John 10

The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” … 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.    ~John 10:3-5 & 27-28

Get to know His voice. Listen for it. Seek it. There is this constant calling – coming from our Good Shepherd. The Wonderful Counselor goes out ahead and calls for us to follow. He desires to lead you forward this year in adventure, healing and growth. But none of that happens if our feet and our heart stand still. Follow Him.

This year – lean into the beauty and strength of your Wonderful Counselor (Pele Yo’ez) – who is with you, who is for you. Be honest with Him in all things and as He calls to you – follow. See if you don’t look back on 2012 with a greater sense of wonder…

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