What is a kingdom counselor? A Kingdom Counselor advances the Kingdom of Christ by speaking Kingdom Truth to others. Most local church members do not consider themselves to be counselors, but the Bible makes it clear that if we are going to fulfill the great commission by making disciples of all ethnic groups then we must learn to speak truth in such a way that we advance the kingdom of Christ in our families, our local church and in our community. We must become Truth Speakers for the Kingdom of Christ.
“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)
Matthew chapter six is part of the Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus describes the contrast between the “new” way of life of a true follower of God and the law which revealed the futility of self-effort and outward conformity. The focus of the Christian life is on inward submission to King Jesus. His kingdom is not of this world, but in the hearts of men. But there is great opposition from other kingdoms that would rule our hearts – the world, the flesh and Satan. (1 John 2:12-17) One of the most neglected but most powerful ways to defeat these enemies is for believers to learn to lovingly speak Truth to one another.
The power of becoming a kingdom counselor is determined by how much our words are filled with the Word.
“Parakaleo” is one of the words the New Testament uses to describe one who counsels for the kingdom. It literally means “to call to one’s side in order to comfort or exhort.” The Holy Spirit is our Comforter (Parakletos) in John 16:7. The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to guide us to all Truth. Sometimes that involves encouragement, other times it involves confrontation of sin. (John 16:8-11) As Kingdom Counselors, we are to follow the Spirit’s example when coming alongside others to carefully speak the appropriate Truth. Some of us are good at noticing faults in others and speaking Truth, but it often is presented with a pharisaical critical spirit that does not advance Christ’s Kingdom. Those believers need to work on communicating with love and humility. Others have much compassion for those that are hurting or offended but are hesitant to speak Kingdom Truth for fear of offending or losing their friendship. Those believers need the courage to promote Christ’s Kingdom and let God take care of the heart response of those we are counseling.
The following study of the uses of the word “Parakaleo” may help us all. Look at how these verses describe how Truth/love and comfort/exhortation should be natural among all believers in the body of Christ.
- In times of grief – “Wherefore comfort (Parakaleo) one another with these words.” (1 Thess. 4:18)
- When a fellow believer is in sin – “But exhort (Parakaleo) one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:13)
- When we share the gospel – “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech (Parakaleo) you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20)
- To call a brother in Christ to live a holy life – “I beseech (Parakaleo) you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1)
- When there is conflict in the church – “I beseech (Parakaleo) Euodias, and beseech (Parakaleo) Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.” (Philippians 4:2)
- In times of spiritual weakness – “Dearly beloved, I beseech (Parakaleo) you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul…” (1 Peter 2:11)
- When we gather for Worship – “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting (Parakaleo) one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25)
Though it may be uncomfortable at times to be a Kingdom Counselor, it helps to remember the goal: for Christ to be formed in us. (Gal. 4:19) We are not striving to be Christlike externally, but internally. We want our heart and mind to be like Christ before working on the outward expression. (Phil. 2:5) This involves being willing to speak Truth to the heart and being willing to receive Truth spoken to our heart.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:16)
Dallas Willard in his book “Renovation of the Heart” paints this powerful scenario.
“When we do things we later regret – especially when we do them publicly or are found out in some way – we often forge great intentions to change. A prominent Christian leader regretted his public display of anger privately but noticed that his chastisement of the one that questioned him about his actions was effective in shutting down the criticism. As a result, he was affirmed in his sinful anger and the pattern continued. Perhaps he truly regretted his sin, but such regret usually does not change us. But what if that person met regularly with other believers that loved him and together, they devised some simple disciplines to help him stop managing his world with anger and contempt? Perhaps his vision of life in the kingdom – in which he didn’t insist on his own way – would fuel his intention to change as he was bolstered by those who loved him. Perhaps he would go on to become someone who invited questioning, and all his endeavors would profit enormously by that.”
Imagine how the body of Christ would grow and mature and draw unbelievers to Christ as we live this out. This is Kingdom Counseling. What is God calling you to do today to advance His Kingdom?