God's Economy is Not your Economy
and we could quickly add, “and My economy is not your economy”.
God’s economy is completely different from the world’s – are you grateful for this truth?
Jack Wolf’s blessing of communion : “what a deal we got!” That’s God’s economy.
Where do you find TRUTH?
“either all of God’s Word is true, or none of it is”
The world has many ideas regarding what is true; God’s Word is the only source of truth, and when you think about it, this MUST be true. How could truth come from anyone other than the Person who created all of reality?
TRUTH is not a thing. TRUTH is a Person.
If you believe that TRUTH can only come from God’s Word, then the type of counsel you practice will be profoundly affected by the source of truth you use as a foundation.
This is the essential difference between real Biblically-based counseling and secular psychotherapy or secularized “Christian counseling”.
You cannot mix and match between the world’s “wisdom” and God’s truth; yet this is what many attempt to do. As if God’s Word is not sufficient to address all of our needs and problems in life.
I Corinthians 1:18-25 – God’s wisdom is foolishness to the world, and vica versa.
Question: of all the knowledge in the universe, what % would you say you possess? What % percentage would you say God possesses? Who should you trust to manage your life’s portfolio?
A good example: the Medical Model
Your problem is a bio-chemical imbalance. The answer is in a pill
Question: did God not have an answer for over 4 millenium’s worth of human history until Prozac showed up 15 years ago? Is the Holy Spirit not sufficient to deal with your problems? Do you believe God’s Word or do you believe the phamaceutical company’s advertising that tell you that your “general anxiety disorder” is just a matter of getting your brain’s chemicals balanced just right? If this is true, then why are so many people on medication in counselor’s offices?
Another good example: Your problem is your past; your dysfunctional family.
The word BLAME is not in God’s vocabulary – if it were, we would have heard about it at the Cross. Instead Jesus said “forgive them Father…
Do you believe you “are a new creation in Christ”? The old has given way to the new. The old you is dead (Romans 6). Do you believe that the Lord can deliver you, has delivered you, from the “former things” to the newness of resurrected life?
The answer is not in mucking around or re-living the past, as so many psychotherapy approaches center themselves, but in living, by faith, in the newness of life. Galatians 2:20.
Another good example: alcoholism and other addictions are a “disease”
The world promotes the idea of addictions such as alcoholism as being a disease, like diabetes. If that is true, then the victim of the disease is not responsible for their problem, just as the diabetic does not choose to have the problem of having diabetes. It is not a matter of choice, but of proper treatment. This contradicts Deut. 30, Romans 8:5-6, and countless other Scriptures.
We choose life or death on a day-to-day basis.
AA and other 12 Step programs identify themselves with the problem (“I’m Jerry and I’m an alcoholic”), not the solution (new creation in Christ with the power of the Holy Spirit to be an overcomer). I know this from personal experience.
Addictions are about self-control, which is a Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Ed Welch’s “Self-Control – The Battle Against “One More’” article.
Present diagram contrasting the Natural Man vs. Carnal Christian vs. the Spirit-filled Christian. Eph 5:18-21 as how we become Spirit-filled, victorious Christians.
Another good example: Eating Disorders
The focus of Biblically-based counseling is always the heart – this is God’s primary concern for us (1 Samuel 16).
If you are not changing the heart, then you are treating the symptom instead of the root. This is exactly what secular psychotherapy does, and is exactly why it does not work. Only a change of heart (repentance) brings lasting change and healing to a person’s life.
Secular psychotherapy can provide temporary relief; the application of God’s Word brings healing and permanent freedom (Hebrews 4:12).
Every one needs a heart transplant at some point in their life due to being born with a sinful, selfish nature (James 4:1-3).
Give personal testimony.
The essence of freedom from eating disorders is idolatry – worshiping what other people think of you instead of what God thinks of you.
“When People Are Big and God Is Small” by Ed Welch.
“We live our lives before an audience of One”
We all live our lives before someone’s gaze (ourselves; other’s; God’s) – David Powlison
Until you repent of the false worship of other god’s in your life, you will not have freedom from what binds you. This is the first commandment, so it must be pretty important to the Lord.
The important difference between God’s economy and the world’s is found in the symbol of the cross.
Jesus quoted Deut. 6 when asked by the Pharisees what the most important commandment is – He pointed us to our vertical relationship with Him. There we find everything we need for all the horizontal relationships in this world (The Fruit of the Spirit).
Worship as a lifestyle vs. giving God the leftover crumbs of our life.
Matthew 6: 33
The vertical first, then the horizontal – Mother Theresa quote.
All our problems are in the horizontal; all the answers are in the vertical. The world’s economy is based in just the opposite.
Passive vs. Active heart model (Phil 4:11; Habakkuk 3:17-19). - peace and joy do not come from the world, but through eternal salvation through Jesus Christ. No one other than Him can give you that joy, and no one can take it away unless you allow them to.
Nowhere is this economy seen more vividly then in marriage and family. The answer is not having our needs met (His Needs; Her Needs), but to die to self with a servant’s heart to wash the other’s feet just as Jesus did for us.
There is no resurrection without crucifixion.
Dying to self; service without expectation (“Expectations are pre-meditated resentments”); unconditional love; serving for no other reason than to glorify God, without expectation of payback; living under Grace vs. Law…
Matthew 18 : The King and the Debtor.
This is God’s economy. Living in His economy is the only answer that works and lasts.
His economy is found only in His Word, which is TRUTH.
Believe no other counsel. Trust no other wisdom.
In counseling, I have noticed one essential difference between the defeated Christian life vs. the victorious, abundant Christian life : a focus (what your mind is set upon – Romans 8:5) on yourself and your circumstances (defeat) vs. upon God, His Goodness, His Sovereignty (abundance; victory). Worship as a lifestyle. You cannot worship and sin at the same time.
Lifeline Christian Counseling Center