This morning, as we enter into the Christmas season, we’re also beginning a new message series. Together, we’ll recall and dive deeper into that warning and awesome prophetic word from Isaiah regarding the birth of Jesus. Within this prophecy, Isaiah assigns four names to Jesus. We start this morning with the name: Wonderful Counselor.
We live in a world full of counselors. People are quick to give you their opinion and their advice; whether you ask for it or not. There are countless self-help books and Dr. Phil’s galore.
With all of this counsel and advise, you think we would all be generally physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy people. A quick glance at our culture and you quickly see how broken and unhealthy we still are, however.
It’s not that people are rejecting this counsel, either. Many people are trying desperately to improve their lives and to find healing. They do what their counselors instruct them to, but still find themselves broken.
There is a whirlwind of counsel all around us, but what we are in desperate need of is a word of counsel from the Wonderful Counselor, Jesus.
Granted, it can be wise to seek the advice of others, however, not all advice is good and sound advise and not everyone has your best interests in mind.
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
We often fail in life simply because we live life our own way, by our own opinions and by doing what we feel is right. After all, we know best right?
We often lose our battles simply because we quietly fight them alone.
Plans are established by seeking advice; so if you wage war, obtain guidance.
When everyone does what is right in their own eyes, chaos, conflict, and calamity are sure to be there. When everyone cooperates together looking to the interests of one another and seeking after God’s will, unity, peace, and success are enjoyed by all.
We think we know ourselves well, but it is impossible to know yourself by yourself. It is only through the interaction with others that we truly find who we are.
Many, that’s right, Jesus said that MANY will argue with Him saying that they did this or that in His name, telling Jesus who they are, but He will simply respond, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers.”
We think that we know who we are and we think that we do good. However, we must seek out counsel from Jesus through others to know who we truly are so that we will not be one of the many who unknowingly deceived themselves.
Our hearts are deceitful and our understanding corrupt. We cannot trust in ourselves to know what is best for us no matter how much our flesh tells us to. We must give our whole hearts over to the Wonderful Counselor and submit our understanding to Him.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
When we seek out the counsel of many advisers, we must seek out the counsel of those who are seeking after God’s and listening to His word and His voice. This is where healing and success can be found.
19 When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? 20 Consult God’s instruction and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn. 21 Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God. 22 Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness.
1 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—
This world has heard enough doom and gloom messages. They see and sense the darkness trying to overcome it. They are ready for some good news, to hear the better word that the blood of Jesus speaks, to receive the message of Christmas, to gladly receive the life-transforming message of the gospel.
This should be the account and the testimony of our lives!
2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
Jesus said that you, yes you, are the light of the world. Let your light shine bright for all to see. Don’t hide it because of your mistakes and weaknesses, and brokenness. Let the light of Christ shine through those very things so that the world around us can see the power of God at work through people just like them.
Jesus wants to use your life as a testimony to the freedom and joy that He freely offers to everyone who will receive it!
3 You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
when dividing the plunder.
4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor.
5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.
All of these things will be accomplished in the least anticipated or expected way. All of this will be done not through a great and mighty king in the worldly sense, but by a weak and helpless child.
6 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.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty. We need some more of that, don’t we? The zeal of the Lord Almighty! Especially during the Christmas season, we should be overflowing with it!
Christ is born! Our long awaited savior has arrived! Our gloom and darkness has been overcome by the joy and light of Jesus! He is alive!
Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor.
We seek not the counsel from the dead, but from someone who is alive and well.
We seek the counsel from someone who lived within the confines of our weaknesses and temptations and overcame them all.
We seek the counsel of One who has been there and done that, who is right there with you, and who knows exactly what tomorrow will bring.
We seek the counsel from the One who knows and understands all things.
We seek counsel from the very One whom knitted us together in our mother’s womb.
We seek counsel from the One who knew us before we were even conceived.
We seek counsel from the very author of life who has a plan and purpose for our lives.
We seek counsel from the One who holds all things together even when we are falling apart.
We seek counsel from the One whose very word can drive out demons, bring the dead to life, heal every sickness and disease, and create everything from nothing.
Do you think He might have some good counsel and advice to give us?
Do you think we might be wise to apply His counsel to our lives and foolish to ignore it and continue to go our own way?
Do you think He might love you enough to tell you the difficult things to hear, yet walk with you and strengthen you to your victory?
Do you think His counsel is valuable enough and worth setting aside time to seek out and to listen for?
How do we receive the Lord’s counsel? Well, according to Proverbs, it cries out to us everywhere all of the time. The key is learning to listen to the voice of Jesus. He has given us the Holy Spirit to be ever present within us teaching us and guiding us. As we learn to listen more carefully to the Holy Spirit, counsel will come pouring into our lives.
First and foremost from God’s written word, the Bible. Any other form of counsel absolutely will be in agreement with that if it be counsel spoken from Jesus.
However, Jesus is constantly communicating with us. He displays His eternal power, divine nature, and all of His invisible attributes are clearly displayed all throughout His creation. We receive His counsel from the successes and failures of those around us. It’s far less costly to learn from someone else’s mistake than to make it ourselves, right?
There are books, podcasts, conferences, friends, enemies, teachings, stories, parables, fables, counsel galore. Jesus can speak through it all pouring out the wisdom of His counsel into and through our lives.
As we eagerly and zealously enter into the Christmas season, we remember that Jesus is for certain our wonderful counselor!