Check out my previous ABC posts: Ask and Accept, Believe and Be Bold, Call on Christ, Delightfully Do, Eagerly Exclaim, Forgiven to Forgive, Give with Gladness…Helper, Please Help:
Helper, Please Help? Synopsis of Acts 7:54-8:1; Acts 9:1-2.
There once was a high standing Jewish leader named Saul who persecuted the faithful followers of Jesus. These new Christians believed in the Messiah’s resurrection, and they now lived with the Holy Spirit inside of them. Saul passionately pursued these men and women, even to the point of imprisonment and death. Saul wanted to stamp out the good news. Although he believed in God the Father, he could not accept Jesus as His Son, nor the Holy Spirit, who came to help all Christ-followers in their daily faith-walk.
Helper, Please Help! Synopsis of Acts 9:3-22.
But then one day, as Saul was traveling on the road to Damascus with the purpose of gathering and imprisoning the Christ followers, God stopped Saul in his tracks. Suddenly, a bright light appeared that brought Saul to his knees and blinded him in the process. Jesus’ voice then spoke saying, “Saul, Saul why are you persecuting Me?” From that point onward, Saul began to understand the error of his ways. A man named Ananias was sent to heal his eyes; and at this time, Saul by faith, received the Holy Spirit. Saul was given a new passion: Jesus. The remainder of Paul’s life was full of persecution and trial for Jesus’ sake, but he pressed onward, relying on the Holy Spirit each step of the way. Because of unrelenting hardship, Paul embraced these words as truth from his Lord and Savior: My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness. (II Cor. 12:9) The Helper had become his help.
When contrasting the before-Christ-Saul and after-Christ-Paul… I want to be like Paul! His passion didn’t change, but his purpose did.
How can I live my out faith in this same way, in my world?
God gave me an opportunity to do so just last night. I was sitting in the window seat of an airplane, really really tired, not wanting to talk to anybody--at all! Then the sweet stewardess led a young woman to sit beside me. When she sat down, I realized that underneath the fluffy pillow and blanket she was holding, a 1 month old baby was pressed against her chest. And this newborn had a sour smelly diaper. My first selfish reaction was, Really?!! Then, because I was working on this post in the airport only 30 minutes before, I prayed, Helper, please help…me make it through this flight without this baby waking up! But then, as I had my head turned away, looking out the window, avoiding all smells and small talk, a convicting Light came on in my heart. I realized I was not supposed to be making self-centered requests for a comfortable flight home. I was supposed to be praying, Helper, please help…me know what to say to this young frazzled unmarried new mom who may not know You personally. Well, thankfully, by her initiation, we chatted the whole flight; she told me about her upbringing, and the more she talked, the more my heart ached for her. She asked me questions about life, about relationships and she listened to my answers. She was hungry for truth; she said she longed for peace. I told her about Jesus and the good news: there is a Helper who can help. When we landed, I gathered her things, walked her off the plane, bought her some water and SunChips, went with her to get the sleeping baby’s diaper changed(!), and then got her situated at her next gate. Now, I’m praying, Helper, please, help her! Continue to pursue her with Your love through Your people.
To close, here are a couple of questions to ponder:
Do I ask God for help? In little and big things, ask.
Do I accept his help? His Spirit can help you do very hard things.
Trust that His powerful Spirit lives in you. Call on Him and He will come.
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth. John 14:16-17a
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:13
Help us to not view praying as a waste of our precious time. On the contrary, may we humbly realize that prayer multiplies our time because when we lift our requests to you, you do things more powerfully and efficiently than we could ever do on our own. The extra blessing is that we gain peace in our hearts and minds. So today Lord, with thanksgiving, we will take time to pray...Amen.