I must begin by first saying that I am so incredibly blessed by the Unglued Online Bible Study, the ministry of Melissa Taylor and team, and the writings of author, Lysa TerKeurst. And it is from this blessing that I was equipped to be used by the Lord this very afternoon. I hinted on Twitter to Melissa Taylor this evening that a story was coming soon. Well, soon has arrived. Here is the story.
In addition to my full time living–wife, mom, administrative assistant, graduate student–I also work part-time as Marriage and Family Therapist Trainee. I see a range of clients–couples, families, individuals, those with relationship concerns, and even those with serious mental health–and my desire is to consistently offer Biblical counseling with Christ-like love and humility. Some days my work is very difficult, feeling as though I can never reach the heart of a client or help them truly overcome their struggles. Other days, my drive home is filled with smiles and rejoicing as I praise the Lord for this opportunity to be used by Him. And today was one of those days.
I had the blessing of meeting with a client who, although happily married, was feeling very guilty about some inappropriate thoughts. These thoughts seemed to overtake their mind and the guilt amounted. This client was convinced that if these thoughts continued, they would destroy their relationship with their spouse, and far worse, their relationship with the Lord. And so, I sat and listened as this client poured out their heart in brokenness. I was initially uncertain as to how to direct this person. My MFT training has included a great deal of helping clients process irrational thoughts, rooted in irrational beliefs, that lead to destructive behaviors. But what about just straight sinful thoughts? Thoughts that are clearly not of the Lord, nor even of the individual themselves, but rather thoughts that are created and played upon by the devil himself.
And then it dawned on me…the memory verses from the Unglued Online Bible Study…Chapter 2 and Chapter 5.
Chapter 2 – 2 Corinthians 10:5
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.
Chapter 5 – 1 Peter 5:8
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
My heart skipped for joy as I remembered these verses and shared them with my client. Now, I have to admit that I totally blanked on the references, but I was able to recite these verses word for word. The timing was perfect. My client quickly grabbed a pen and began writing. And then I encouraged them to memorize these verses as well. For to truly overcome these awful, plaguing thoughts, my client would need to take these thoughts captive to obey Christ, and continue to be mindful that the devil is seeking to devour them. This battle for pure thoughts is not only within the client themselves, but with outside spiritual forces who seek only destruction for followers of Christ.
My client was encouraged. And so was I. My client was empowered. And so was I. My client now had hope. And so did I. In the very moment where I felt ill-equipped to help, the Lord stepped in.
Thank you again to the Unglued OBS team and Lysa TerKeurst. For without the past few weeks of awesome study, fellowship, and of course, scripture memory, I would not have been prepared to be used by God. May your team too be blessed as you learn of the Unglued OBS Scripture Memory at work.