Monday, October 08, 2007

Psalm 27: People in Need of Help

"Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior." (v.9)

Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Do you ever feel that the tasks that God has given you are too big for you to do? Do you ever feel that God has gotten a wrong address? How do you go about assessing your need of help?

It's something all human beings do. It's called "measuring you potential." We all do if often. The little toddler, who's standing on newly mobile legs, looking across the room at his Daddy as he holds onto his mothers knee, is measuring his potential to make it the five steps from Mommy's knee to Daddy's knee. The teenager who's driving to his first day at his first job, holding the steering wheel with clammy, nervous hands; he's measuring his potential to do well enough in this new world of employment without getting himself quickly fired. The bride who's an upset stomach as she's having her hair coiffed, is measuring her potential to live in life-long intimacy with another human being.

A person normally measures his potential based on two factors. The first is his track record. He does a quick scan of his life assessing how he's done so far. He looks to the past to give him some kind of read on his potential for being successful in the present. He next examines the size of the task. Does he have what it takes to take on a task of this size?

While there's some logic to this way of assessing personal potential, the little phrase in v.9 which says, "you have been my helper," reveals the inadequacy of this kind of assessment for a believer. The problem is that it doesn't account for your new identity, and therefore, new potential as a child of God.

God is the ultimate Helper. He alone has the grace to rescue you from you. What does this mean? He gives you power to deal with all the sins of thought and desire that get in the way of you doing what God has called you to do. Not only does he help you with internal weaknesses, he alone is able to remove external obstacles. Because he's our helper, we don't have to place the completion or success of the task on our shoulders. It's not our job to complete the task, it's our job to obey God's call; he will complete the task. I don't have the power to get people to respond. I don't have the power to make situations change. I can't make my husband or wife love me. I can't get my children to believe. I can't force two people to reconcile. I can't make my neighbor be committed to peace. It's not my job to make these things happen. It's my job to respond to the call of God in each of these areas; the hearts of people and the control of situations are in his hands.

He promise is that when we go he goes with us. He'll never call us to do a task without giving us what we need to do it. He's unshakably committed to meet the needs of his people. He is unshakably committed to the success of his kingdom. Since you're his child, wherever you go his presence and power go as well. He really is with you always and he really is the Helper that you need.

So how are you measuring your potential? Are there places where you're living more in fear and avoidance than with courage and hope? Are there places where you feel completely overwhelmed? Could it be that as you've assessed your potential that you've forgotten who your helper is? You're now personally connected to the ultimate source of help. How's that for potential?


At 3:06 PM, Blogger DeeDee said...

Thank you so much for this post! It is clearly a means of God's grace for me as it is so timely. I've struggled with anxiety this past year(went to IBCD and got great counseling!) and have seen that this is a primary reason for my anxiety.
I often look back at all my failures in the past and get anxious about how I'm going to do things in the future. I need to continually preach to myself the truth you have written here. It's not me. God is my helper and His grace is sufficient. He accomplishes it all! I give myself entirely too much credit! I need to plant and water and remember Who it is that causes the growth.
Thanks again! It was great encouragement to my heart and soul this morning.

At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So how are you measuring your potential? Self in view of the world, people and family
Are there places where you're living more in fear and avoidance than with courage and hope?
Are there places where you feel completely overwhelmed?
Could it be that as you've assessed your potential that you've forgotten who your helper is?
You're now personally connected to the ultimate source of help. How's that for potential?
Potential is hope... Santification is a process... a very long process given that the senses and thought too easily overwhelm the Truth.

At 6:59 PM, Blogger James said...

this is exactly what I needed to hear today as I face obstacles larger than I can handle tomorrow.

Thank you for your ministry, Dr. Tripp.

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