What should I make for dinner?
I don’t know if I can solve another conflict between my kids. It’s so endless…How I wish I could stop their sibling rivalry for good! It’s so frustrating…
Oh shoot… I forgot to throw the sheets in the dryer before I left to go to my workout. Oh well…I’ve got to remember to respond to that email and post on my Instagram feed when I get home, too…
Should I thaw chicken again for dinner?
Sound familiar? Internal dialogue crowds my mind most days as a woman, wife, and mother. I’m much more likely to think about these practical survival needs than I am to think about the Holy Spirit. He’s not going to tell me what to fix for dinner.
Or might He help me with seemingly mundane requests if I just ask?
What does the name Helper mean?
When Jesus introduced the Spirit to His disciples He used the name Helper. Just as we have a name most people know us by, so the Holy Spirit is most often called Helper. In Greek, the word is Paraclete, which means comforter, advocate, or counselor. It’s a name with layers of meaning and endless examples in history.
On the night of the Last Supper, Jesus was with His disciples, His dearest friends on earth. In the familiar comfort of shared camaraderie, they gathered to enjoy the Passover meal. Bound together by this Jewish tradition and by their loyalty to their Master, they listened once again as He taught them. Though the twelve were unaware, Jesus knew these would be His last moments alone with them, so His final instructions were intensely focused.
Tenderly woven throughout those hours from Judas’s departure to Jesus’ entrance into the Garden of Gethsemane are beautiful words of comfort and hope, of deep love and concern for His soon-to-be devastated friends. He knew paralyzing fear and bewilderment would be theirs by morning. By Passover’s dusk deep grief and lost hope would banish sleep as their minds replayed the nightmare of the crucifixion.
Jesus knew we, too, would face days or seasons of fear, great loss, and confusion when we have no idea what our next step should be. His eternal words of comfort are for you and me, His disciples today.
As He said to them, He says to us: You will be okay because I will send you the Helper. “Let not your heart be troubled, believe in Me” (John 14:1). “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you” (John 14:18). “The Helper will be with you and in you…” (John 14:17).
Jesus wanted His disciples, and us, to hear His heart of love–I will not abandon you. I will not leave you alone and without help. “Believe Me,” He implored them, and us. Like the many times I reassured my little ones, “Mommy will be back. I promise. I will not abandon you.” So Jesus does the same with us. The Helper will be with you forever.
The Helper Has History
Helper was not a new concept for the men and women who followed Jesus. Even nominal Jews, Gentiles, and other nationalities knew the stories of Israel’s famous King David who was helped by God. David, the author of most of the Psalms, cried out to God, “O Lord, be Thou my helper” (Psalm 30:10). He also reminded himself and his people, “God is my Helper; The Lord is the sustainer of my life” (Psalm 54:4). “The Lord is on my side as my helper” (Psalm 118:7).
Sprinkled from Genesis to Revelation are a plethora of verses describing the help of the Lord for His people. Here is a list of some of the ways God helps us, His people.
Why don’t we go to Him more quickly?
The God Who made us, Who watched the sad fall of Adam and Eve, knows we need lots of help. The problem is we usually don’t go to Him unless we are desperate.
Why? Because we have too many ways we can help ourselves first.
When I was parenting full time, I eagerly read all the best books on discipline, birth order, how to raise boys, how to raise girls, growing creative kids and more. But when all the advice didn’t work as promised I still preferred to ask a friend, often my husband, who didn’t have answers either.
Looking back, my reasons for not asking the Spirit for advice were:
- My impatience– I wanted answers now.
- My fear– I was afraid He wouldn’t reply at all, and I didn’t want the disappointment.
- My misunderstanding– I secretly believed He was too busy with more important crises in the world than to help me with my kids.
- My pride– I should be able to handle this, I reasoned.
My God was too small and my pride was too big.
Does that describe you too? Do you go online to look for parenting or marriage help, read a book or a blog post before asking the Holy Spirit for help?
Moms are especially guilty of the shoulds, thinking, I should be able to figure this out. I should be able to handle my kids. I should be in a better place in my marriage by now. This shouldn’t freak me out! Believing we should be able is nothing but pride. It’s merely an attitude that says, I don’t need God’s help for this. I’m depending on self. I can figure it out.
But we can’t figure it out. We do need His help!
There is nothing wrong with books, online content, or even godly mentors. But the Helper wants us to go to Him first. Ask Him for wisdom, ideas, and guidance to the right information.
Thankfully, God does for all of His children what He did with me. He patiently waits for us to realize our need. He knows that we will eventually see that we can’t rescue ourselves, can’t manage it all, can’t be the perfect mom, wife, or friend.
Recognizing I can’t is what the Spirit, our Helper, longs to hear.
Man’s help is more a one-size-fits-all, but God relates to us and helps us as individuals, each unique in His sight. God is intensely personal with us. He gives me what I need, which is different than what you may need.
In our culture, we often believe we are more advanced and much smarter than previous generations. Truth is our hearts and our self-will—the flesh—remain equally depraved and utterly unchanged.
We are still like the children of Israel who ran to other countries for help when threatened by an enemy instead of going to God, their maker and defender. “Woe to those who go to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in chariots…but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord!” (Isaiah 31:1).
Jesus said it this way: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all” (John 6:63). So why would we rely on ourselves or anyone else over the Holy Spirit who has the answers and help for this life?
What do you need help with?
Have you noticed how much of the Old Testament is about battles and wars? It seems so male focused, so not what I deal with as a woman.
But as a mom, many of my days felt like a battle. I had six children whose wills were often against mine.
The Minnesota Crime Commission published a report, which states that all children are born entirely self-focused, and unless their parents train them to treat others with respect, consideration and compassion, each is destined to become a criminal. The parenting battle is real.
Oh how we need the Helper!
But the battle isn’t just with our children. Your marriage is always in the enemy’s cross hairs. Every marriage Satan can destroy creates a tsunami of destruction with children, in extended families, in our communities. Employees can’t function at full capacity because of grief, and the need for daycare balloons as now single moms have to go to work. The Father of Lies has deceived more than one generation into believing children are resilient and divorce is okay because personal happiness is the highest goal in life.
Oh how we need the Helper!
Complicating both of theses battle zones is the internal conflict we women face every day with enemies common to us all: comparison; jealousy; fear; insecurity; feeling unloved, unappreciated, or unseen; anger or frustration; feeling inadequate, irrelevant, or like a failure. Add the name of your own place of defeat that drains your life away.
Oh how we need the Helper.
Our emotions and thinking can be fed by the whispered lies of our enemy. Or our minds and hearts can be fed by our Helper who uses God’s Word to strengthen us, to shield us from enemy fire, to provide solutions to our many needs, to heal us, to remind us of His great love and His ever near presence. He will be your Victory!
“Thus says the Lord who made you, who formed you from the womb and will help you; For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14). Because of His great love, He is eager to be our help, every day in countless situations and circumstances if we will ask.
Invite Him into the mundane moments of your days. Talk to Him about everything, even what to cook for dinner, thanking Him for His every provision. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).
Gather with Friends
- Think back to week 1, the Holy Spirit as your friend. Have you talked to the Holy Spirit more in the last week? Have you heard or seen Him at work in ways you might have missed before?
- Review the list of ways the Holy Spirit helps us. Share about a specific time when He has been your shield, your strength, your courage, or another provision from the list.
- Look at my reasons for not going to the Holy Spirit for help. Which of the four listed most deters you from asking for His help?
- Have you ever asked Him to help you with dinner ideas, sibling rivalry, or in your marriage? How has He provided?
- Identify the area where you most need His help. Review the suggested battles for ideas. Commit to a way that you will practically ask for His help in this area over the next week.
- If you’ve never read the story of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20, read it and marvel at how God creatively and miraculously came to his help. He longs to do the same for you too.
- On your own this week, read John chapters 13-16 and listen for Jesus’ heart of love and care for His disciples and for you.
After reading this blog post, and all our others, pause and ask your Helper, “What do you want me to hear and learn and practice from what I just read? Show me your desire for me.”
We’d love to hear from you about your group and what you are learning personally. Leave a comment here in the comments section. Feel free to ask questions too! We will be sharing a few Facebook live videos on our Ever Thine Home Facebook page in the next six weeks, too, to answer questions you send in.