Almost all of the people who contact us here at Hope Biblical Counseling Center are in destruction mode when they contact us. Their life is a mess because they have not had a real relationship with God. Their life with God has been mechanical, playing a part. They act like a Christian, but they are not real. They are totally engulfed in the sins of this age. 2 Timothy 3:1-7, This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2) For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,(3)Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,(4)Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; (5) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (6)For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, (7)Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

They have a form of Godliness but deny the power thereof.

How many times have I heard the statement, “Pastor please help me” and then hear the details of on-going destruction in a person’s life. Proverbs 13:13, Whoso despiseth the word (does not give proper attention to) shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.
The question is, do they really want help? Many want you to wallow in their sins with them, but do not really want to change anything. Many times I have heard a statement like this, “Pastor, I just do not know what happened. Our son/daughter grew up in this church. They attended the Christian school (or they were home schooled). We had family devotions and we made sure they read their Bible. In fact, they memorized many Bible verses. I just do not understand; can you help me understand?”
The painful answer is yes, I can. The short answer is your child did not have a real relationship with God. Parents still do not understand when I give them that answer. There is a woeful lack of understanding today on the subject of what Proverbs 22:6 means. Proverbs 22:6, Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old (means when he departs the house), he will not depart from it.

If you do not understand what it means to have a real relationship with God, please read the article on our web site

I have also had Pastors tell me, “I sat down with a person and showed them what God’s Word said, and the person went out and did exactly the opposite of what I told them to do and then they blame me for it! I just don’t understand that!” So, why would a person who says they are saved do exactly opposite of what their Pastor or counsellor showed them from God’s Word to do? The Bible tells us very plainly in one word “lusts.” Understand this, people will fight you and lie to you and God for their lusts!

James 4:1-10, From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? (2) Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. (3)Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (4)Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (5)Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? (6)But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (7)Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (8)Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (9)Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. (10)Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

There are 82 different lusts described in the Bible that people can have in their lives. Ephesians 2:3, calls them “desires of the flesh and of the mind.” Ephesians 2:3, Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

The reason they will not accept wise counsel is because of their desire to live for their lusts! However, there is something else behind that. James 4:6, But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

The problem is their pride drives their lusts and they choose to make poor decisions and not listen to wise counsel. Pride means to live independently from God. Most of the people play a part as a Christian. They will sit right there and tell you what you want to hear. They are not transparent. They are silent rebels and still hanging on to their lusts. Then you have the people who are prideful outright rebels who are fighting for their lusts.

Sadly, there are people you can give hours and years of your life to and their life turns out to be a total mess. One of the things I have learned is to be careful how much time you put into people’s lives who really do not want to change anything. You can put hours and hours into people’s lives and then they blame you for their prideful, arrogant, wicked, and ungodly life! Life is a choice and people make a choice to live a wicked life and live for their lusts. Every person makes choices with their lives.

We have spent hours giving of ourselves to help people. Some do very well, but those who hide their lusts, (and they are good at it) and live in pride and manipulation will eventually live a wicked and vile life.

They will make stupid statements like you did not give us Biblical counsel, you only told us what to do. In all of our counseling sessions, we go over Scripture with them concerning their lusts and many other areas. We have had people say “Oh Pastor you have helped us so much,” then go off and live like the devil. One lady said, “We have a corner bed room you and Kim could move in to help us keep straight, and then lied and deceived so many times it is impossible to count.” They did exactly the opposite of what we showed them from the Scripture. Why? Because they felt living for their lusts was more important than living for God. They really did not want to change their lives, only play a part and blame others for their wicked living, poor choices, and the ungodliness of their lives.

When a person is determined to live for their lusts, you can show them from the Bible the need of their life and they don’t care because they are fighting for their lusts.

I have known Christians who have memorized many passages of Scripture and lived like the devil. I can hear someone say they must not be saved then. In some instances, yes. I do not think that is always the answer however. I know the answer is the real relationship with God is not there. There are people who are total manipulators and deceivers because of desiring to live for their lusts.

Here is the child who grows up in a Christian school, the family has family devotions, they have their children read the Bible daily, and yet there is this disaster when the child leaves the home. What happened here?

I believe the Bible teaches it is important for a person to have a real, intimate, personal, and passionate relationship with God. The most important thing outside of salvation in the life of any Christian is to be filled (controlled) by the Holy Spirit. I also find that most Christians have no clue about what this means and to practically have a real relationship with God. Therefore, destruction takes place in their lives and in their homes. In our counseling we have to many times help people to unlearn what they have learned, because what they have learned is how to play a part and be a manipulative mechanical Christian.

When you got saved the Holy Spirit came to indwell you. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Christ is in believers in the person of the Holy Spirit. John 15:5, I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Therefore, if we are filled with His Spirit, he works fruitfully through us. If we are not filled with the Holy Spirit, we are unproductive and great tragedy results. Have you ever wondered why so many children from Independent Baptist homes grow up to live wicked and vile lives? The lack of being controlled by the Holy Spirit and not having a real relationship with God is the problem. What is the average young person taught at home or in the church?

In our counseling, we have found that the average saved person has absolutely no clue about this. Folks, it is almost impossible to exaggerate how dependent we are on the Holy Spirit. We are dependent on Him for convicting us of sin after our salvation, for giving us understanding of the Gospel, causing us to be born again, empowering us to witness, guiding us in our prayer life, in fact for everything. It is no wonder Satan tries to counterfeit the work of the Holy Spirit and confuse His work.

When the devil seeks to pressure your life from the outside, if you are not walking in the Spirit you will cave in to that temptation because the devil will continue to put pressure on in different forms. He does this in three ways. I John 2:15-17, Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

The devil operates with the three ways mentioned here:
1.The lust of the flesh – which is an overwhelming desire to do something. The devil preys on
the Christian’s mind here.
2.The lust of the eyes – which is an overwhelming desire to have something. The devil preys on
the Christian’s will here.
3. The pride of life-which is an overwhelming desire to be someone or something. The devil
preys on the Christian’s emotions here.

The devil operated in the same way with his outside pressure on Adam and Eve. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve fell when they had pressure put on them from the outside by the devil. They caved in. Men and women have been caving in the same way ever since. So, just because you are saved does not mean you will not cave in. If you do not have a real relationship with God, you will cave in and the devil will control what you do.

Through our counseling ministry, I spent quite a few hours with a former pastor who has had a horrible life because of his failure to have a real relationship with God. When I went through this process with him, he said, “I graduated from a Bible college and I had no idea. I have lived after the dictates of the flesh and the devil has controlled my life.” Unfortunately, by the time he got to us he had already lost his oldest child, but we have been able to help with his other children. Nobody in the family had a real relationship with God, nor did they know how to have one. The family has had great disaster. Folks, I have found this to be extremely common among God’s people. You see most of God’s people understand that they cannot work for their salvation. However, they think they can live the Christian life in their own power by their good works. By the way, that is living for the dictates of the flesh or self-righteousness. There are three ways Christians seek to live the Christian life, in unrighteousness, self-righteous, or righteousness. Unrighteousness means they are given over to the lust of the flesh, eyes, and pride of life. Self-righteousness means they are seeking to live the Christian life in their own power. Do they go to church three times a week or more? Do they read their Bible daily? Do they pray from a long list about things they want to pray about? The answer is yes to all the above. However, they do not have a real relationship with the Saviour and it leads to destruction and much pain in their lives and in the lives of their children.

If the parents do not have a real relationship with the Lord, how can they teach the children to have a real relationship with the Lord? The answer is they cannot, and the disaster will be extremely painful for all involved. The devil will control and sift their lives and they will not have a clue about what happened. When people come through our counseling program, I hear phrases like, “Pastor, I am trying hard here.” Or, “I have got to try harder.” What are they saying? “I am seeking to live the Christian life in my own power.” The devil is controlling their soul, therefore he controls their body (what they do). Mark 8:36-37, For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Remember I John 2:15, Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. The devil’s desire for each of us is to love the world. Did you notice in Mark 8:36-37, gain the whole world? You see that is what the devil wants to do in your life through outside pressure. To get you to seek the things of the world through the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life, he puts pressure on you to do so. If you do not have a real relationship with God, you will cave in and you will be led by the soul (mind, emotions, and will), which leads into sin and disaster every time.

As hundreds of people contact us about their children or marriage through Hope Biblical Counseling Center, it is always the same process. The devil does not have to change his program. He has been pretty successful clear back to Adam and Eve as to the way he has operated.

He wants to derail your life and destroy it. He makes war on babies and he will make war on your babies.

Listen to me carefully, parent. You must have a real relationship with God and convey to your children how to have a real relationship with God. Exposure to information about God will not be the answer for your children; it will lead them to disaster. It will lead you to disaster as well. They will be destroyed by the destroyer through unrighteousness or their self-righteousness. You will be in great pain as they will. The sad part here is that Christians do not know how to turn their lives around. They end up in the hog pen and do not know how to get out. They do not fit in at church, they do not fit in in the world, and they are miserable. They are seeking pleasures from the world through the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. The devil continues to put outside pressure on, and the Holy Spirit continues to convict them of their sinfulness. What a miserable, wretched experience.

Many times when the Christians are seeking to live a life of self-righteousness, they eventually tire of keeping up the grueling self-work with very little joy. They have no answers and so they spiral down and quit. The destroyer is destroying their lives. So who is the devil looking to destroy? It is the one who does not have a real relationship with the Lord. The one who is not controlled by the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5 explains this in detail. Galatians 5:16, This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. The answer is the Holy Spirit who indwells us wants us to be Spirit controlled. Our walk is our daily life. The promise is if we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

So, the answer is to have a real relationship with God by walking in the Spirit.

I want you to notice in Galatians 5:19-21 that a person who is not walking in the Spirit will be involved in the lust of the flesh, Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness (unbridled lust), Idolatry, witchcraft (same word we get our word drugs from), hatred, variance (person who quarrels with everyone and everything), emulations (an attitude of deep rage, jealousy and envy), wrath, strife, seditions (division and dissension), heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings (orgies, carousing), and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Folks, if a person can continually and habitually do these things and is never convicted about them by the Holy Spirit, he or she is lost. However, there are people who are saved who do such things and are miserable as they are convicted by the Holy Spirit. The end result is the person is deceived. Galatians 6:7-8, Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsover a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. So, if I do not have a real relationship with God through the Spirit of God, I will have a disaster even though I go to church, read my Bible daily, pray, and memorize the Bible. The person who does these things without a real relationship with God is mocking God (means they treat God with contempt). Unfortunately, a number of people in church fall into this category. They sow to the flesh because of a lack of a relationship with God.

Notice Galatians 5:25, If we live in the Spirit (we are saved), let us also walk in the Spirit. Folks, we have to have a real relationship with the Spirit of God to control our walk. Otherwise the devil will control our soul and he will control our walk. God speaks to our spirit from the inside of us. The devil seeks to control our soul by putting outside pressure on us.

Our relationship with God is a matter of worship. The Holy Spirit of God speaking to our spirit. One of the great joys of my life is to daily have God speak to me through His Word. John 4:24, God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. My daily time with God is worship.

Manipulators, deceivers, liars, wicked living all come from not being transparent and desiring to live for their lusts more than living for God. Make sure to check your heart every day on the matter of your lusts. If not, you will be a person who lives in destruction, pain, and agony and will not listen to wise counsel. What is the answer on those who will not listen to wise counsel? Sometimes you just have to get out of the way and let the rock come all the way down the hill. Sadly, they have to have so much destruction they do not have any place else to go. Their pride has to be crushed, so they will be willing to listen to wise counsel. However, it does not have to be that way.

God wants you to Biblically change, love Him and His Word, and His answer for you is He wants you to have hope in Him.

Romans 15:1-6, We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. (2)Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.  (3)For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. (4)For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
(5) Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: (6)That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 15:13, Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.