This reflective interaction with “Self-Confrontation Manual: A Manual for In-Depth Biblical Discipleship” gives synopsis of issues that confront contemporary everyday life situation and tends to give remedies through a human counselor who avails himself or herself to be used of God to heal the victimized individual. It summarizes each section in the manual as to direct the victim to God who is the ultimate solution for human problems. This reflective interaction clearly delineates the significance of the study guide in the family devotion since family is the building block of nations; therefore, it is expedient to involve God in the family through devotional services in the home aimed at preparing leaders of nations who take up responsibilities to bring God to the nation through proactive moral and spiritual living as examples to the people they serve as leaders.
In addition, the areas discussed in this document include depression, fear and worry, life-dominating sins (Part one and two), God’s standard for life, and change that entails biblical living. It discusses depression as the root of sin; though, it may have organic influence as the result of the release of chemicals in the body; however, depression is the result of man’s depravity before God. On the other hand, fear and worry come directly from Satan, but God admonishes the believers not to allow them to be controlled by fear or worry. If fear controls the believers; then, it will be impossible for the believers to walk in faith. Believers’ failure to walk in faith is sin against the Creator (Hebrews 11:1-6). The bible says that the ancients were commended by God because they walked in faith. While believers live in this world, there are life-dominating sins that tend to control them; however, God had set standard for believers to live by provided they allow the bible to change them through obedience.
LESSON 17: STUDY GUIDE FOR DAILY DEVOTIONS
The study guide in this section is designed to help family members demonstrate their faith in Jesus Christ by being obedient to the bible in parent-child relationships. This is very paramount in the home wherein both Father and Mother work together morally and biblically to bring up their children in the fear of God through consistent bible studies and prayer meetings. The realization of this in the home requires both partners in the relationship to know their responsibilities as parents in the home. It calls for mutual understanding between husband and wife to execute devotion in the home. For children to fear God, both parents should learn to respect one another or else the problem will surface in the home that might lead to separation of parents in physically and spiritually.
The creation of study guide in the home is essential to create guidance in the study of the Bible in a realistic Christian home. The study guide helps the family where to go in the Bible thereby directing the family in biblical doctrine which creates growth, spiritual development, and maturity among the members of the family. The biblical family should exhibit this in the home if she is to become successful in the home and ministry as well. The institution of daily devotion in the home leads to both children and parents to learn biblical truth regarding parent-child relationship and husband-wife relationship in this nucleus society (family). The building block of viable and credible societies such nations or the global community as a whole depends on the family. We do not have good nation, good neighborhoods, good communities, good ministries etc if the family is dysfunctional emotionally, psychologically, morally, physically, and spiritually.
LESSON 18: DEPRESSION
The term depression as discussed in this self-confrontational manual is not a disease though there may be some organic malfunctions that cause depression; however, every depression people suffer from today is the result of sinful habits and recognizing these sinful habits and repenting from them can lead to a normal life situation. It is true that the root of human’s problems is the result of the fall in the Garden of Eden. When sin entered this world according to Romans 5:12, sin brought companions such as sickness, disease, deaths etc. Depression is the result of sin initiated from the genesis. The overproduction of chemicals in the human body leading to alteration of the balance in homeostasis is the result of sin committed. God did not create mankind with abnormality according the Genesis account. Everything that the Lord created was good and perfect (Genesis 1:26-30, Genesis 2:7-10). Had everything remained how God created it, we would not have had stress, mental illness, depression, etc. because everything would have worked perfectly as God had put it from the beginning. Our parents allowed themselves through disobedience to alter their physiological and spiritual frames thereby accommodating every foreign pathogenic biological organisms and biochemical phenomena to negatively intervene into their physical and spiritual body. The term called “death” came to existence as the result of the fall. Sin came with companions that you and myself suffer from today. A faithful Christian sister died recently as the result of diabetes. She prayed to God earnestly for healing; however, the Lord called her home to rest. She was faithful sister in the Lord and we miss her today.
Overcoming depression is to first deal with our sin that I agree with the writer; however, depression is caused as the result of production of chemicals in our bodies such as corticoid etc.
LESSON 19: FEAR AND WORRY
The Bible clearly declares that God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of sound mind; therefore, we have the platform built already through God’s word to resist fear. Fear and worry come about when we are tempted to exhibit such nature. It is true that there are situations that the devil creates that lead the believer to become timid; however, we must trust God in the midst of fear. During the civil war in my country, I saw terrible site that put me off completely. I could not believe the incidental embodiment I saw in my country in 1992. I went to Smellnotaste, a small town situated near Roberts International Airport, to buy rice. On my way home to Harbel, I came across a young man that had just been killed by rebels. The rebels killed him by cutting from the back of his neck. I saw the site first time and the spirit of fear grasped me. A strong fever came upon me and I eventually got sick with severe cold. After I passed, I became to think that rebels could see me and they could do the same to me as they did to that innocent young man. As I traveled back to Harbel, I began to trust the Lord for my security and guidance.
People will experience fear as the result of incidental happening that put them off completely; however, they need to depend on God for their security and guidance. On the other hand, some people normally are afraid. This kind of fear should be prayed against because God has not given us fear. Fear is an enemy of faith; consequently, when we allow fear to dominate us, we can not walk in faith. Failure to walk in faith according to Hebrews 11:6, we can not please God.
LESSON 20: LIFE-DOMINATING SINS (Part one)
When Christians allow themselves to be controlled by obsession; then, sin no longer becomes sin to them, but it becomes like pleasure. This is dangerous to the spiritual and moral health of the individual Christian. It undermines God’s purpose in the life of the believer. Holiness is the attribute of God and our failure to live holy life before God is called hypocrisy. Disobedience before God is like a sin of divination. Christians become witches or wizards when they willfully sin against their body and their Creator. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:18 that don’t you know that your body is temple of the Holy Spirit who dwells in you. For the temple of is holy and you are that temple. Christians who allow themselves to control by drugs, alcohol, and sex, self-centered habit such gossip or laziness etc are sinning against their bodies. Life dominating sin is dangerous to the Christian health.
Christians who suffer from life dominating sins need counseling and deliverance in their lives. Is it possible to live for God when someone is facing a spiritual problem that is associated with demonic influence? I say no. Demonic influence in the life of a Christian undermines righteous living before God. Habakkuk 1:17 said that on Mount Zion, there shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness, and the children of Jacob will possess their possession. The prophet might be speaking to difference audience and under different situation; however, the application of this scripture can be applied to the Christians today. The subject of deliverance is abhorred by some churches today that are not in the evangelical circle. Despite of our denominational orientation or foundation, all believers need deliverance in some areas of their lives.
LESSON 21: LIFE-DOMINATING SINS (Part two)
We live in the societal diabolical environment where we are surrounded by unseen forces on every side of life; consequently, Apostle Paul admonished the believers to put on the full amour of God in Ephesians 6:10-13 so that when the day of evil comes believers will be able stand against the devices of the devil. Christians are redeemed people; therefore, they must not allow themselves to be controlled by the kingdom of darkness. Allowing sin domination is allowing the works of the devil in one’s life. Satan’s primary purpose is to make the believer to continue to sin against God’s law. Having experienced the new birth, it is evidence that the Holy Spirit indwells the believer to empower him or her to live above reproach thereby bringing glory to God in the time of temptation. Believers have the responsibility to put on the full armor of God. This is biblical guideline or principle the believers must do to make the difference.
In the counseling session, many clients who come to the session might not be a believer; therefore, the counselor needs to discern the problems of every clients through interview and listening to the Holy Spirit for information crucial to the success of the counseling.
Sin must be referenced always in biblical counseling to get to the core of the issues confronting the individual. The biblical counselor must not use humanistic judgment to counsel, but he or she should listen to the Holy Spirit for guidance and information. The purpose of the counseling is to restore the individual to wholeness; therefore, the counselor should be a praying individual to be effective in the counseling. Many people look at counseling as a profession, but I thing biblical counseling should be a calling or vocation.
LESSON 22: GOD’S STANDARDS FOR LIFE
The Bible clearly states that God foreknew us before the foundation of the world; therefore, he predestined us to be holy and blameless in His sight. God is in the business of reminding the believer the path to take to become successful in life and vocation. It is God who works in us and to act according to His good pleasure. The counselor should always point the client to God’s original purpose for him or her. He or she was made for the glory of God; consequently, it is God’s desire for him or her to be a celebrity for his generation as he or he gives or reveals God to the world through testimonial lifestyles.
God has set standard for every believer. His standard is encapsulated in His holiness; consequently, God will not break His law as the result of man sinfulness. He will eventually punish sinful acts. The subject of repentance must be aired always by the biblical counselor as to re-enforce God’s standard of life in the individual.
YOU CAN CHANGE BIBLICALLY (Part One)
God is the architect of our building. The song writer writes, “I am working on the building and I am one of the thousands working for my Lord, and when I am finished, I will be going to meet my Lord.”
The Bible has the ability to change people no matter what kind of conditions they are facing in lives because the Bible is God’s blueprint. Since God can not fail; therefore, the Bible is the blueprint God has given to the counselor for deliverance and healing in any areas which include drugs addition, sexual addition, pornography, drunkenness, witchcraft, sexual perversion etc. God’s word is the medicine for human souls remedy. The Bible should be used in biblical counseling. Incorporating psychology into biblical counseling is the act to devalue God’s word thereby removing the presence of God in the counseling to have no lasting fruitful result. The Bible is the solution to human problem. The biblical counselor must not divorce the Bible anytime in the counseling session. Any attempt to remove or divorce the Bible from the session is the attempt to work without tool. The same manner the carpenter will fail in his endeavor to do woodwork without using the saw, nail, or hammer is the manner the biblical counselor will fail if he or she refuses to use the Bible. It is the word which is sharper than any two double edges sword according the Hebrews 4:12. The Bible divides the soul, bone or marrow, and the Bible says it is the intent of the heart and the divider of the soul. The Bible has the propensity to do these things; then, the wicked or ugliest person whom people regard to be the outcast can be changed biblically.
The counselor should be emphatic regarding the penalty when the client rejects the Savior. Rejecting the Savior is the direct result of coming under God’s judgment, being ignorant of spiritual matters, rejecting the power to live sin, and eventually unable to please God. Scriptures such as John 3:18, 36, Romans 1:28-32, Isaiah 55:8-9, I Corinthians 1:18a, 2:14, John 8:34, II Peter 2:19, Romans 8:8 and Hebrews 11:6 should be referenced. These are Bible verses the counselor can use to direct the unsaved individual to accept Christ. God is the solution to human problem today and the counselee should know this.