Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
Counsel implies interaction for the purposes of both the individual and common good. As individual members are made strong, the body is strengthened; as we care for others, our own lives are enriched.
In the New Testament sense, a counselor is not a casual acquaintance–but rather, someone who has intimate understanding of our daily walk, as we do also of their own–whose lives are prophetically linked and inter-meshed with our own by the power of the Spirit. These are our trusted advisers.
Multitude implies that we are living corporate lives–that we have a deep care and concern for others in our fellowships–as they do for us. This corporate life yields itself to corporate ministry, the body ministering to the body as the Spirit wills: for when we share our daily lives, there is ample opportunity for saints to speak into one another’s lives.
It also implies a natural exchange in which the ministry of the Spirit occurs without design, each saint mentored by the Spirit through their interactions with the rest.
Safety implies that our assemblies are faithful to the apostolic pattern and the Lord’s design: for which cause, the Holy Spirit rewards our faith.
Therefore, we are to gather expectantly, seeking the Lord’s counsel, which is plainly revealed and made known to us through the ministry of His saints.
And here is where many saints stumble: they neglect to consider one another, to fully value the Lord’s promise in each of His saints, a sin that grieves and restricts the flow of the Holy Spirit.
Would you rather drink from a stagnant pond or a flowing stream?
The Spirit desires to flow through His assemblies, each saint a chosen vessel of His will, all able to contribute as God leads.As more saints begin to follow the apostolic pattern and take their place in ministry among the saints, the flow of the Spirit will increase–for the ministry of Christ will be multiplied–just as Jesus multiplied the fishes and the loaves (Matthew 14:17-21).
And this is the principal point: the elders are to encourage this expectation and practice, as servants of the Lord, for they know the scriptures and the Spirit’s will; moreover, they understand that the contributions of the weak among us are as valuable as those who are strong.
Why did God design the body to function in this way?It is a living illustration of our unity in Christ, reminding us that we are to have the same care and love for any one, as we do for any other.
But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
–1 Corinthians 12:20-26
We are have the same value, care, and love for every saint.
Moreover, we can easily identify those assemblies who are walking in the love of Christ–for they partake of one another’s sorrows–and share in one another’s joys.
May God be praised for His goodness and mercy upon us!