For to us a child is born . . . And he will be called Wonderful Counselor . . . (Isa 9:6)
. . . the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. (1John 5:20)
“For to us a child is born . . . ” This oft-quoted passage in Isaiah describes the names by which Jesus will be called when He comes — which happened some 700 years after the prophecy was written.
The first of the names is “Wonderful Counselor” — not “Savior”; not “Deliverer.” As I asked God about this, it came to me that salvation is not just deliverance from an eternity in hell. Salvation in its fullest meaning is deliverance from everything that would deny or threaten the development of a loving, trusting personal relationship with Him. That relationship will reach it’s ultimate state in heaven.
From the very first, God’s longing has been for our hearts to be attuned to Him. He put it this way to Moses: “Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children for ever!” (Deut 5:29)
The fear of the Lord involves giving Him the awesome respect He deserves and, I would argue, loving Him as He ought to be loved. When I have a loving, just and forgiving parent who desires my greatest good, I want to please and honor them. I obey their commands because I know it’s best for me. It should be the same with God our Father.
God wants nothing less than our whole hearts, because He knows that when we are ready to put Him first and keep Him there, we will be equipped to tackle whatever the world and Satan throw at us.
I don’t know about you, but the thing I need daily from my relationship with the Lord is His counsel. It’s taken me a long time to recognize that I don’t just need to ask Him about the big decisions, but to be conscious of Him all through the day. As a counselor, He has unique credentials:
- He’s always with me.
- He knows me completely.
- He wants to bring about His highest purposes for me.
- He knows the end from the beginning.
- He’s always available.
- His integrity is unimpeachable.
Who wouldn’t want a counselor like that?
It’s not that I didn’t want His counsel. I just got into the habit of making a whole bunch of decisions myself. I didn’t really stop to think about the opportunities I was passing up — the chances to get input on anything and everything from the highest source possible. So I took on problems that weren’t really mine, did a fair amount of fretting, sometimes got very discouraged, and often felt weighed down.
What a difference it has made to see my whole day as an opportunity to avail myself of His presence, to share my minutes and hours with Him. What a peace I feel when I can take every question, every concern, to Him — and leave them there until He prompts me to do something specific. When I am able to do that, my entire perspective changes, and I feel whole in a way that doesn’t happen otherwise.
Wonderful only begins to describe this Counselor!