Holy Spirit Counseling
Why go to the memory?
If we have identified the emotion, and we think we have discovered the lie, why go to the memory? Sometimes we don't discover the lie till we get into the memory, other times it's all about figuring out why we believe the lie so we can fully own it at the source. This step is important in getting us out of denial regarding the lie, and truly taking ownership of it. That's where we really get in a good place to be able to receive truth on it. Is this necessary every time? No, but it is a very important step many times you'll be ministering to people.
When going after memories, there may be a lot of them, so where do you start? Go after either the oldest memory connected to that emotion, or at least the strongest memories where that emotion stands out. It is usually not necessary to visit every memory to resolve the lie, but be prepared to go after more than one memory as it may be necessary for compete healing.
Owning the lie is crucial
One of the reasons why we don't hear the Holy Spirit is because are so buried in denial about what our heart truly believes. I have had some amazing success in this type of ministry (as of the writing of this article, over 90% of those I minister to hear from the Holy Spirit), but I think one of the secrets is getting the person out of their place of denial, and getting them to truly own the lie. If you've ever seen me minister, you'll know that I get really real with people really fast. It is a waste of time to remain in denial or continue to bury the very thing that is holding us back from moving forward!
In western cultures, we have become masters are burying our pain and denying how we really feel inside. Unraveling this is a major key to hearing from the Holy Spirit concerning the lie(s) that your heart believes. Writing off how you feel does no good when you're trying to hear from the Holy Spirit!
The victim mentality roadblock
Victim mentality means you are always looking for somebody else or something around you to change before you take responsibility for your own issues and choices. Those caught up in victim mentality will blame others for their issues, instead of taking responsibility for what they are responsible for. Victim mentality basically believes that it's okay for you to behave and make the choices you do, because of something that somebody else did to you earlier in life. It makes sin okay and somebody else's fault. It takes spiritual maturity to take responsibility for your actions and choices, own the problem, and choose to deal with it. Victim mentality is a trap to keep you in bondage to your issues, and prevent you from ever being the person that God called you to be.
If you are going to break free from your issues, you first have to own them and give yourself a reason to change, not an excuse to live in your stuff. While it is true that having a demon can make it harder to resist sin, the choice is still yours to sin. Having a demon doesn't make you do anything, he just makes it more tempting to give in. Many times we give demons strength because of what we believe in our hearts, which is why it's so important to deal with the faulty beliefs in our hearts.
Lies vs conclusions
Often mistaken as lies, are something we call conclusions. These can be true or false, and the bottom line is that they really don't matter in whole scope of things. They may be painful truths, but once a person receives truth on the core lie(s), the conclusions won't have their damaging effect. The types of core lies that we are looking for almost always fall into two categories: something you believe about yourself and who you are, or something you believe or perceive about God that isn't true.
A conclusion might look like this: "They didn't love me. I didn't matter to them." Such a thing may be false, but it might be true. But behind these types of conclusions usually there's a lie that makes the conclusion painful. The lie behind the conclusion here might be "I'm unlovable." THAT is a lot more painful than somebody not loving you! I could care less if you don't love me, but if I believe I am unlovable, your not loving me might be very painful to me. Even when a parent didn't love a child, those deep wounds can be healed when the Holy Spirit speaks to them with something like, "But you are my special child. I loved you from the day you were born. You are of great value to me." Who cares what a parent thinks of you, when God Himself feels that way about you?!?
The Holy Spirit speaks to us concerning our core lies, not necessarily our conclusions. It may be true that your parents didn't love you. But if you dig down to the core lie that you are unlovable, that's where the Holy Spirit is eager to speak to you and give you truth on that.
The Holy Spirit always has the answer!
I don't care how horrific the memory or how terrible to wound, the Holy Spirit wants to heal your heart if you will let Him. There is no question you can throw at Him that He isn't ready to answer. Many times people are angry with God, but never admit it because it's not the Christian thing to do. He wants to debunk the lies that we believe about Him, and is ready to answer even the toughest questions we have.
Keep in mind that the answer that a person receives in a ministry session is tailored just for them. It may not satisfy you, the minister. What one person needs to hear, is not always the thing that the next person needs to know. I dealt with one person who believed they were stupid and the Holy Spirit said to them, "You are wiser than your years" while the next person who struggles with the exact same lie that they were stupid received, "You have my DNA in your blood." Both people received healing and peace in those memories, but through completely different words from the Holy Spirit. He knows you better than anybody in the world, and knows the most perfect thing to say to you about what you are struggling with!
Things that will keep us from hearing
While the Holy Spirit wants to speak to every single one of us, there are things which will keep us from hearing His voice. Being able to recognize and deal with the roadblocks is essential to successful ministry.
Not wanting to feel pain: If a person isn't willing to allow themself to feel the painful emotion or visit the traumatic memory, they are suppressing the pain and are in denial about it to some degree or another. Owning the emotion and the lie behind the emotion is key to receiving truth on it. If a person isn't willing to feel the emotion, they'll likely never discover the lie, as the emotion is the bridge to the lie.
Guardian lies: A guardian lie is a lie that stands in the way of a person accessing memories and emotions. Somebody struggling with panic may not be able to go to the feeling or memories because they believe something such as, "If I go there, I will die!" or "If I let myself feel that emotion, I won't be able to handle it." The key to dealing with these is to treat them as a lie which also needs the Holy Spirit to speak truth to. As a minister, you might ask something like, "Jesus, if Jessica allows herself to feel that emotion, will she lose control?" or "Jesus, Dan believes that if he goes there he will die. What do you want Dan to know about that?" By the way, guardian lies can come in all shapes and forms, and recognizing this is a skill that us ministers must develop. Somebody simply believing, "This won't really work God won't speak to me about that" is a lie that reveals to us something they believe about their worthiness to have God personally speak to them. In a case like this, there's self-worth issues rooted in lie-based belief. They probably don't feel worthy for God to speak to them. Once the guardian lies are broken down, they can then proceed on to receive ministry.
Anger: Whenever a person cannot hear the Holy Spirit, anger is often present. It can be difficult to hear the Holy Spirit while there is anger present. Many times it is important to first deal with the anger before proceeding. Sometimes you can just ask the person if they willing to let Jesus hold the anger, and when finished if they want it back He will give it back to them. By knowing that they aren't giving up the anger for good, it makes them more apt to give it to Him and by the time you're done, they will likely not want their anger back. This is a shortcut that often cuts past a common roadblock that keeps them from hearing from the Holy Spirit.
Failure to get the core lie: You may encounter lies that it seems the Holy Spirit is silent on, and that's usually because they are not the core lie that really needs to be dealt with. If grandma really did love that person, but they feel like she didn't, that is not a self-lie or a wrong perception about God. That is a conclusion whether it's true or not, it won't really matter all that much if you get to the core lie. Conclusions often stand in the way or block a person from recognizing the core lie(s) that are hiding out behind the conclusions. Stopping at the wrong lie or a conclusion is a great way to keep from getting to the root and thereby getting the genuine deep level healing that God intended.
Not wanting to hear God's answer: This sounds almost absurd, but it's often a roadblock that can keep a person from hearing God's voice. They may be afraid to find out the truth, because they are afraid God will say something harsh or too burdensome for them to bear. This is all lie based beliefs that are rooted in a wrong understanding of God's heart and nature. Jesus said to take upon us His yoke, for it is easy and light to bear (see Matthew 11:30). It was the Pharisees who laid heavy burdens on people that literally crushed them. They would set God's standards so high that nobody could reach them, and therefore the people felt discouraged and crushed beneath the load that was put upon them (see Matthew 23:4). The Bible tells us that the letter of the law kills, but the Spirit gives life (see 2 Corinthians 3:6). We should never be afraid to hear God's take on something, but for somebody who does not perceive God correctly, it can be a frightening thought. If somebody is caught up in this position, dealing with their perception of God may be their key to moving forward. Look for guardian lies such as "God is going to lay a burden on me that I won't be able to bear" and then lift those lies up to Jesus for an answer. These are nothing more than guardian lies that the enemy has planted in hopes to keep that person from ever getting free in that area. Some of the most damaging things we can believe, are things which keep us from running into our heavenly daddy's arms when we need Him the most.
Filling in the blanks: Yes, sometimes a person will receive the truth, but it does nothing to heal their heart. This is often because they are filling in the blanks. They hear their own voice giving them the answer they ought to be hearing. It's important to test for and recognize this, so that we can keep pressing forward to truly hear from the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit speaks, it's very healing, so if no healing is taking place, then it's not Him doing the speaking. Even if they feel some genuine healing, it can be Him addressing one of several lies that must be addressed, so don't be discouraged if one answer doesn't rock their world. Just be on guard for those answers that do nothing for them it's usually just that person's own voice filing in the blanks. They could be doing this out of other issues, such as the desire to be accepted by the minister or fear of letting the minster down. They might be afraid of the ministry session not working, and either they fear the minister will not like them anymore, or they don't want to make the minister feel like a failure. Or it could just be their logical mind getting in the way and firing off religious answers to the questions before the heart has a chance to hear from the Holy Spirit.
Knowing the Holy Spirit's voice
The Holy Spirit is very gentle and loving, and will speak to some of us through an inner voice, others with visions, and some even hear an auditable voice (I'm jealous!). I think most of us hear Him through an inner voice, that "still small voice" as the Bible talks about. Here are some questions you might use when discerning the voice of the Spirit:
- Does the person feel peace (not numbness) and a sense of joy and freedom?
- Is the answer in alignment with the Word of God?
- Does it belittle or make the person feel stupid or worthless?
- Do they feel discouragement or condemnation?
I've found in my own experience, that even when I get correction from the Holy Spirit, it's in such a way that is so loving and motivating that I know in my heart that He is looking out for my best interest and it is indeed truth spoken in a tone of love and concern.
This is a multi-part teaching!