The Pastor's Pen: "God, I Need Your Help"
Message by Dr. Lovely Haynes - 2 Corinthians 12: 7-8
This pen grew out of a conversation with a beloved brother, Theodore Johnson, as we praised God for His bountiful blessings. The blessing of freedom that He has granted us is not without a price, it cost His son Jesus, whose life was sacrificed for the world (John 3:16-18).
The fact that every born again child of God has access to Him through His Son (Matthew 21:22; John 16: 24; 1 John 5: 14-15), makes it imperative that we make requests of God for the right reason (James 4:2-3; 2 Corinthians 12:8). So many prayers that are prayed by believers receive a "no" answer because of the petitioner's attitude. The point is this, you want God to bless your mess in asking Him to do something so you can escape from reality like Elijah, Jonah and the mother of James and John (1 Kings 19:1-4; Jonah 4:1-3; Matthew 20: 20-21). The mother of James and John wanted seats of authority and power for her sons while Elijah and Jonah requested to die.
Now, my friend Theodore said "Pastor, I asked God to help me but it was not until I gave Him something to work with that things started to happen in my life. I gave Him me!" He went on to say, "I had to let go of everything that I was holding on to that I thought I needed in order to get through my situation." Theadore experienced the joy of life from His savior and he had freedom within. His prayers and worship of God took on a whole new meaning as his brother reminded him of the Savior he knew since he was a child.
When God's help shows up in your situation, don't grandstand (that is, put on a show), you should instead recognize that it is not about you, it is about the Lord. That is why the apostle Paul and Silas could pray and worship the Lord while locked up in a Philippian jail (Acts 16: 25-34). My friend and I are learning that when you ask God for something you better be prepared to receive His answer, and act according to His will (Matthew 26:36-46; 15:21-28).
Although Theodore knew Jesus as savior, Jesus had not become Lord of his life until he surrendered his will to Him; then God used him as an ambassador of good will to those who knew him as a person that you do not mess with. Theodore gave God something to work with, and the Lord is still working through him. That is exactly what the apostle Paul did as he received God's grace (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). It is what Simon Peter did when he said "Thou art the Christ" (Matthew 16:13-20; John 21:15-21). It is what the apostle Thomas did when he said "My Lord and my God" (John 20:24-29). "God's grace is sufficient" and it is available. In reality we are experiencing His grace every day, the saint and the sinner; the question is, what are you doing with the privileges that are being granted to you because of His grace?
The Psalmist said "I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all fears" (Psalms 34:4), he went on to say that when you ask God for something then "Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry" (Psalms 34:13-19). Now, if you are seeking help from the Lord, and you have not given Him something to work with, then you are just "marking time" and going nowhere.
I thank God for Jesus, whose life is a pattern worth following. What about yours?