The first step to getting the answer to our needs is studying and
investigating all the objective facts related to the problem we need an answer
OBJECTIVE: Dealing with things external to the mind like a person, a
book, an apple, etcetera; rather than with thoughts or feelings (1 John 1:1-4).
SUBJECTIVE: That which is not tangible in physical reality but rather
thought, imagined, perceived, or discerned in the spirit, soul, mind and heart.
(1 Cor 2:9-11).
There are two sides to Biblical Christianity that lean to two extremes: the
Conservatives and the Charismatics. The Conservatives tend to reject anything
subjective as a means of the discernment of truth. The Charismatic tends to
reject anything to do with the intellect stating that they are led by the
Spirit. Both are right and both are wrong.
The Conservative is right in that before we put stock into anything
subjective we must first take into consideration the objective facts before us.
God gave us a mind and he expects us to use it. When we reject the use of the
mind we are not rejecting the Holy Spirit but one of Godís created avenues in
our personality to help us discern what is true.
When we reject the subjective leading of the Holy Spirit, though, we are
equally in error. Jesus said, Do not judge according to appearance, but judge
with righteous judgment. (John 7:24). In other words Jesus was saying that
if we trust in our intellect alone and in just what we see objectively we will
also fall into error. Why? Because what we see objectively does not always
reflect what is going on in a personís heart and mind. It doesnít reflect
manís motives for what he does or does not do. Many times when a personís
motive are taken into consideration we realize he is innocent to charges based
only on objective facts alone.
One example in Scripture on this point is when the Prophet Samuel was looking
over Jesseís sons who were prospects to become king of Israel. One of Jesseís
sons, Eliab, for some reason caught Samuelís attention objectively so that
Samuel said to himself, "Surely Yehovahís anointed is before Him."
What was Yehovahís reply?
"But Yehovah said to Samuel, ĎDo not look at his appearance or at the
height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for I do not see what man
sees, for man looks at the eyes, but Yehovah looks at the heart.í" (1 Sam
This is why the Scribes and Pharisees always judged Jesus wrongly. They
judged by what they saw in man outwardly. They would say things to Jesus like,
"Donít you know what manner of person this is that is touching you or you
are dealing with?" The Scribes and Pharisees only saw the outside of the
man. Jesus saw what was in the heart.
The reason why we start with the objective facts first though is because it
is more easy for us to be deceived subjectively. We need to investigate the
objective facts first so that when we turn to Jesus in prayer for insight on the
things we cannot see (subjective facts), we can determine whether what we
believe we are receiving subjectively is true by comparing it with what is
absolutely true objectively. Subjective truth will never contradict what
is true objectively. What it will do is give us the ability to see the objective
facts in proper and true perspective. The Bible states that even
Satan disguises himself as an angle of light (2 Cor 11:14) so it is very
dangerous to rely on subjective impressions alone.
Another reason why it is dangerous to rely on subjective impressions alone is
because we are not without sin like Jesus. Our flesh is hopelessly corrupt.
Because of the corruptness of our flesh, often what we think is the Holy Spiritís
leading is nothing more than our prejudice response to a personís beliefs, our
subconscious prejudices and presuppositions coming to the surface. Getting the
objective facts first will help us to discern that what we think is Holy Spirit
insight really is Holy Spirit insight and not just self projecting his or her
own beliefs and prejudices.
It is because of our corrupted flesh, hidden presuppositions and prejudices,
that we also must never say, "The Lord has shown me this about you."
Maybe the Lord has and maybe he has not. When you make a statement like that you
are forcing the individual to submit to your conscience, not Jesusí. Because
you have a corrupted nature, you can never be sure that what you receive
subjectively is absolutely true. For this reason you should say, "I could
be wrong, but could this be the problem?" Or, "I could be wrong, but I
think the Lord is showing me this about you." This is an indirect way of
telling the person what you think Jesus is showing you about his problem. This
then frees the Holy Spirit to confirm or deconfirm to the individual that what
you said is true or false and leaves the discussion open for further prayer for
insight into the true nature of the problem. Any other approach is evil and
fraudulent to the individual you are ministering to because again you are asking
him to trust in your conscience and integrity whereas the approach suggested
above gives God the freedom to confirm or deconfirm that what you say is true
and thus he is submitting to Jesusí authority, not your authority. (Jer
The first step then to effective ministry and counseling is getting all the
objective facts related to the need being ministered to.
After getting all the objective facts about a personís problem or need,
take this objective information to Jesus through prayer to get the Lordís
insight on these problems.
Depending on how serious or urgent the issue is, it is good to sit on what
you believe is the Lords answer to you for a couple of days. Give Jesus and the
Holy Spirit ample time to confirm to you that what you believe is His answer
really is His answer.
If these insights relate to a friend, share them with them and then let them
respond. You may need to seek the Lord two or three times about their problem
before getting all needed information related to the true root of the problem
and to the true root solution.
What we want to deal with now is how we approach Jesus for the answer to our
and otherís needs.
When we obey Jesusí instructions in how to approach Him, He promises to
manifest Himself to us, and give us the answer to our needs. Jesus states,
"He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and
he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will
disclose Myself to Him." (John 14:21).
Why is it so important that we approach Jesus through worship and praise?
First, it gets our eyeís off of ourselves or the person we are trying to
minister to, the problem; and on to Jesus, the Way, the Truth,
and the Life, the solution to all our problems. Second, it frees
us from our own ideas and our own strife so that we can be free to receive Jesusí
ideas and instructions concerning the problem. The Prophet Isaiah, speaking for
the Lord, said,
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways. .
. . For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than
your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9).