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? 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 as the Helper–to help all those who walk by faith. (See Acts 7:54-8:1, Acts 9:1-2)
Helper, Please Help! 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 name, Paul, and a new passion, Jesus. The remainder of Paul’s life was full of persuecution 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. (see Acts 9:3-22)
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?
The Lord 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, sniffing for fresh air, 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; she listened to my answers, she was hungry for truth, she said she longed for peace. And then…I told her 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.
I just want to remind you too, my friend, you do have a Savior who longs to walk with you daily, each and every step. May He shine His light into your heart in a new way today. Bend your knee, change your direction, so you can both receive and give His love. Jesus promised, 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