So apparently Joy Behar thinks Mike Pence is crazy, for talking with Jesus and all. In a way, I get that. Why wouldn’t she think Pence, or anyone, is crazy for following and listening to someone she probably thinks was a good, but dead, teacher. Unless you believe the resurrection, talking with Jesus is crazy. We’re told flat out, “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit” (1 Cor.2:14).
Even for believers, the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is probably the aspect of our faith that leaves us most baffled. But we can’t ignore him, tuck him away into a that’s too weird box. Without the Spirit, we’re unable to accept or understand the things of God.
Because we need help.
Yep, we’re back to that again.
The concept of needing help was, yet again, demonstrated in my own life a couple weeks ago during my second bout with the flu (a different strain than the flooded Motel 6 variety.) By day four I told myself I needed to be over it. I had a class to teach, a play to block, thirty teenagers waiting. I’ll push through, I figured. Crash later. Yet five minutes into class, I realized that either I needed to climb down from the stool I was perched on, or faint. I had no choice but to slither to a corner of the room and ask for help. One student brought me my coat. Another student said she’d direct. A parent stepped up to supervise. A friend drove me home. My husband brought me Advil and juice. Help came quickly and I was grateful.
Yet the last thing I wanted that day was to ask for help.
Giving and receiving help can abused. There’s a reason for the no work, no eating rule in 2 Thessalonians 3:10. But when we think we don’t need God’s help, when we shush the Holy Spirit and ignore the plethora of verses that say we are to live and work and act with him empowering us, we are – as believers – acting like fools. We are acting out of pride. As a believer in Christ it would be the height of foolishness to not ask God for help, to not communicate with Jesus. How could Mike Pence, or any believer, profess to need a savior and then not communicate with him? Not accept the help of The Helper who was given to us by Jesus?
[Jesus speaking] “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:15-16).
Jesus gave us the Spirit because we needed the help. For wisdom, empowerment, understanding, and comfort. For help the big stuff of life and the day to day.
I can think of times I’ve walked with the help of the Holy Spirit, and times I’ve walked on my own. Looking back, walking with the Holy Spirit is just so much easier. Lighter. Freer. I know we’re commanded to live by the Spirit and not by the flesh, and that we demonstrate our love for God by obeying his commandments, but the “pay-off” for walking with the Spirit, the “what I get out of it” is… is… hard to put in words.
Yes, walking in The Spirit is about being obedient. Yes, it involves discipline and even sacrifice and hiding God’s Word in our hearts so we can draw upon it for wisdom, comfort, truth when need be. But seriously, above all of that, it’s a joy. Why wouldn’t I want to let God lead me by my right hand? (Ps. 139:10)
I need his help for sure. And so do you, you great big messed-up world. So I get you Ms. Behar, but I also feel really bad for you because while you mock and make fun, you’re missing out. You are so missing out and you don’t even know it.
I hope that someday you’ll take the hand.
I pray that someday you’ll take the help.
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Rom. 8:25-27)
…I pray that out of his glorious riches he [God the Father] may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. (Eph. 3:16)
(Stay tuned for Help Part 3: Wife as helper. Yikes. What does THAT mean?? Now we’re wading into some murky waters…..)