Lord, Please Help Us?

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High. God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed. From the very break of day, God will protect it.
Psalms 46:1‭-‬5 NLT

I read or heard one time that one of the most effective prayers is the simple surrender of, “Lord, please help me?

When we are in that genuine place of giving up on trying to fix it on our own and surrendering to receive His help, it isn’t demanding our own way or stating a complaint. It is acknowledging that He is the help that we need.

As my family started back our morning family devotionals today, the imagery of the second sentence “many people stumble out of bed in the morning and head straight for…” was perfect for reminding me that what we consume into our minds, especially for that all important first meal to start the day, will feed us. And what better meal to start our day than time with the one who is peace, is help, is a refuge.

There are many things that we could do first — and I’ll be completely honest and transparent here — while also trying to not be gross. When I first wake up, even before consuming my breakfast for my body, and even before my mind consumes the Word for that day — I have to first get rid of whatever was left over from yesterday. I stumble first to the bathroom and evacuate my physical body of its waste — just as I should evacuate my mind of its waste from the day before. A simple, surrendered, heartfelt prayer like, “Lord, please help me?” helps posture my mind to receive what is needed for today and let go of anything clinging in my mind from the days before.

Let me explain why this is important. I’m not holding onto shame that we stopped doing morning devotionals for a while. If I went into this from a place of shame for my past shortcomings, I would see it as a religious obligation and a checklist — to either do and be proud “at what I’m doing” each morning — or to miss and be shameful about “not doing enough” — and that misses The Way on either side of the narrow path.

But when I’m truly seeking to “wait in His presence”, when I’m eager for His help, when I stumble to Him as my first — it is amazing how much more fruitful to my day than turning on the TV, phone, tablet or radio first. It’s amazing how much clarity and insight comes instead of the anxiety, frustration, fear or offense that seems to drive so much of the world around us these days.

Lord, please help us in these things? Help us establish a consistency in our faith that isn’t just empty repetition, but is a meaningful washing in your Word and your presence, and that brings salt and light into our lives, so that like a good bloodhound, we know the sweet aroma of your presence and we follow you straight away — not turning to the left or to the right, but walking with you along The Way that you have cleared for us today? Amen.

Today is the day, Now is the time

For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.
2 Corinthians 6:2 NLT

The Word of God is focused on what some call “living for today”. And that idea,  that concept is that we should be awake and aware of our ability (even our responsibility) to make the most out of THIS moment, this “now”. And if that is our perspective and we are believing and following “now” in each step we take, as an awake and alive person being led by the Holy Spirit – it is then that we can know that we are tapped into the vine of life.

The point isn’t to think heavily upon the things of yesterday,  because those might lead us into either guilt and shame over our failures or into pride over our successes. Nor is the point to think too heavily about the future, because that might lead us into anxiety or stress. By remembering the price that Christ paid upon the cross for us and believing now, we will follow Him, He will be our way and our example and our teacher and our guide.

The point isn’t too ask ourselves if we “once upon a time” received Christ into our lives. Nor is the point to hold off for the future saying “as long as I ask forgiveness before my last breath”. No, those attitudes can be an example of someone who is acquainted with the words of religion but who has no relationship with the Word of God.

Don’t you know that Jesus Christ is the Word of God come in the flesh to die on the cross and be raised to life? Don’t you know that those He loves have the Word of God written on their hearts? Don’t you know that He sends the Holy Spirit,  that same power that raised Christ from the dead to live in you,  Christian? Don’t you know that Holy Spirit is our Helper,  guide,  teacher,  comforter,  and even our disciplinarian?

So for us who say we follow Christ, today is the time for salvation,  now is the opportunity to demonstrate “His Kingdom come, His will being done on Earth as it is in Heaven”. The “right time” for us to walk as Christians in His righteousness is NOW.

And isn’t that the choice of all choices?  Whether we will remain awake and conscious and alive and participate in God’s will for our “now”, or whether we would rather sleep in the arms of the enemy, letting our old nature that is focused on self and the pleasures and comforts and sinful things of this world rule or lives – it is our choice.

Do you want to be alive? Even if that requires the focus and attention, yes,  even the work and sacrifice of being a true follower of Christ today,  now?

I pray that you will not be satisfied slumbering now, awaiting destruction,  relying on either your past or your future to prove you a faithful servant of the Lord. I encourage you to instead set your eyes upon Christ now,  and see salvation played out in the fruitful life of a humble servant today,  now.