This stream of Counseling doesn't just flow to us directly from Christ, only from him; it flows through his people as well. We need others—and need them deeply. Yes, the Spirit was sent to be our Counselor. Yes, Jesus speaks to us personally. But often he works through another human being. The fact is, we are usually too close to our lives to see what's going on. Because it's our story we're trying to understand, we sometimes don't know what's true or false, what's real or imagined. We can't see the forest for the trees. It often takes the eyes of someone to whom we can tell our story, bare our soul. The more dire our straits, the more difficult it can be to hear directly from God.
In every great story the hero or heroine must turn to someone older or wiser for the answer to some riddle. Dorothy seeks the Wizard; Frodo turns to Gandalf; Neo has Morpheus; and Curdie is helped by the Lady of the Silver Moon.
Having a doctrine pass before the mind is not what the Bible means by knowing the truth. It's only when it reaches down deep into the heart that the truth begins to set us free, just as a key must penetrate a lock to turn it, or as rainfall must saturate the earth down to the roots in order for your garden to grow.
"Behold, you desire truth in the innermost being" (Ps. 51:6 NASB). Getting it there is the work of the stream we'll call Counseling.