Help me!

On Saturday morning, I went to watch my grandson play hockey. I know nothing about the game except that the goal is knock the puck into the net on the ice but even to my eye one thing became quite obvious- it is a TEAM sport. The game moves quickly as the puck is passed from player to player, moving it down the ice. One takes his place to take the shot, another sets it up.

While I watched that game, I renewed my understanding of a spiritual lesson. The richest Christian experience is one that is shared, lived in the community of Believers. No one person owns all the gifts of the Spirit. When we cultivate our gift, live contentedly in our place, and receive help as well as give it, God smiles on us.

For some of us those words, “Help me,” are hard to say. I like being independent, strong, in control. Last week, while I was attempting a task I knew I should not be trying to do alone, my ‘weakness’ became evident quickly and I had to say “Help me.” I grumbled about ‘getting old’ and made it a moment of angst instead of seeing the care of others as the blessing it is!  This is a common response to life. From time we are toddlers to octogenarians, there is an attitude that says “I can do this myself” evident in us that it robs us of the joy of knowing just how much others love us and experiencing their care.  

Here is the wisdom of Jesus about the life that knows God’s best.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth
.” (Matthew 5:3-5, NIV)

I have heard so many preachers try to explain away what He is saying, trying to make those words fit into our culture of independence. Just read them for what they say!  “Poor in spirit” is a phrase that means ‘humble,’ describing the person who knows his own limitations, even the one that life has beaten down!  When we bring ourselves to the place where we truly can say “God is my life, my Source, my Strength, my Hope” we enter the place of heavenly care, living within the realm of the King of kings.  Peterson paraphrases that passage this way – “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.”  Are you resisting God’s invitation to lean on Him, to say “Help me?”

Jesus takes it even further by teaching us that mourning can be a path to blessings. “For God can use sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from sin and seek salvation. We will never regret that kind of sorrow. But sorrow without repentance is the kind that results in death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10, NLT)  I confess that sometimes I regret consequence of my wrong but fail to feel much sorrow. I like my own way so much that I fail to mourn, to enter true sorrow for breaking God’s heart.

I remember doing something wrong when I was a kid and seeing my Dad get sad.  Most of the time correction was swift, but that time, he just got tears in his eyes and said, “Why, son, why?”  His sadness moved me to genuine ‘mourning,’ that led to change.  And in that change, I found the comfort of restoration. My friend, if your heart is broken by the sin of another, by your own sin, or by life itself – run to your Father. He won’t turn away. He waits with open arms, with comfort.

By nature, I am not a meek man. I usually charge into situations, am quick to offer direction. But, I am learning that being willing to let others take point, that encouraging the gifts of others, receiving the prayers of others, I find myself strengthened. Jesus says that this choice to put away the ‘me first’ attitude and receive the His Lordship in our lives leads us to gain real power, ‘inheriting the earth!’  The meek are not weak, they are submitted. 

Many years ago, I trained horses. Those amazing animals had great strength but they could be trained to submit that strength to me and when they did, they became useful. Will you give yourself to God, inviting Him to direct you, to use you as He sees fit?  It is part of the path of peace to which we are invited.

This morning, I invite you to consider again those key phrases:   poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek!  Those words do not generally describe what our culture sees as the best life, the way to fulfillment, but Jesus in His wisdom does. Pray to understand, give Him first place, and enter His joy!

The word from the Word: “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, you hypocrites. Let there be tears for the wrong things you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. When you bow down before the Lord and admit your dependence on him, he will lift you up and give you honor.” (James 4:7-10, NLT)

(Video of this blog at this link)

_______________

Build My Life

(Let this worship song speak to you today)

Worthy of ev’ry song we could ever sing
Worthy of all the praise we could ever bring
Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe
We live for You

Jesus the name above ev’ry other name
Jesus the only one who could ever save
Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe
We live for You We live for You

Holy there is no one like You
There is none besides You
Open up my eyes in wonder and show me who You are
And fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those around me

I will build my life upon Your love
It is a firm foundation
I will put my trust in You alone
And I will not be shaken

Brett Younker | Karl Martin | Kirby Elizabeth Kaple | Matt Redman | Pat Barrett

© 2016 Martin, Karl Andrew (Admin. by Arkyard Music Services Limited)

Kaple Music (Admin. by Bethel Music Publishing)

Bethel Music Publishing

CCLI License # 810055

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