Accepting Godís Help
A myriad of views exist regarding God and how he operates in terms of man whom he created. Certain branches of Calvinism present God as controlling and having pre-determined just about everything regarding man, even to the point of those whom he will save, even against their will. Other religions believe in an impersonal God, a Being far removed and indifferent to the daily needs of men. Some acknowledge Godís desire to help man, but they seriously err in terms of knowing how God assists. First, be assured that God desires to help. In writing of Jesus, the writer of Hebrews states:
"16: For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17: Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18: For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted" (Heb. 2).
We must also be assured that not only does God desire to help man, but God possesses the ability to assist. The scriptures say that when man approaches God, "Ömay obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb. 4: 14-16). God has the ability to providentially arrange it to where man can handle temptations, "Öbeing able to bear it" (I Cor. 10: 13). We must understand, though, that God does not deny manís free moral agency. What this means is, man must look to God and be willing to accept Godís help (cp. Matt. 23: 37, 38).
God wants all men saved. It is the expressed will of God that none perish but that all be saved. Such is clearly articulated in Peterís statement:
"9: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Pet. 3).
Notwithstanding the desire and will of God, the reality is only a relative few will be saved (Matt. 7: 13, 14). Why is this the case? This is so because most will not accept the grace and help of God. Men must accept Godís teaching and incorporate it in their lives (Tit. 2: 11-14). The doctrine of Universalism emphasizes Godís desire that all be saved, but ignores the fact that most will not be saved. Such, however, does not reflect on any lack of desire on Godís part, but on manís refusal of Godís grace and mercy (cp. 2 Cor. 6: 1).
God wants to help us overcome trials and temptations. Trials are part of life and can either advantageously or adversely affect us (Jas. 1: 2f.). Consider Paulís teaching about temptations and how Paul presents God in this circumstance:
"13: There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (I Cor. 10).
Appreciate the fact that God does not remove the possibility of temptation, but he will provide a way of escape. Notice also that God does not force us to escape, we must exercise ourselves and prevail. Nonetheless, such shows the care of God and fact that he wants to help us.
God seeks to spiritually provoke us. In writing to the discouraged Hebrews, the writer states:
"24: And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching" (Heb. 10).
Some complain and attempt to find ways not to be a member of a faithful local church and feel justified, but it is in such a circumstance of membership that God helps us. God works in his children, but, again, we must allow and accept his working (cp. I Thes. 5: 14).
God wants to help us in monetary matters. The gospel is not the get rich system that some false teachers present it to be. However, the Christian has the promise of all necessities being provided (Matt. 6: 33). We should notice, though, that such a promise does not exclude men from working and doing their part (Eph. 4: 28, 29). In the utterance of the promise in Matthew 6: 33, there is the matter of man putting God and his kingdom first.
God teaches us how to be financially responsible. We are to avoid debt (excessive spending and failure to pay what we owe), this is a major cause of financial failure today and a barrier to financial success (Rom. 13: 8).
God wants to answer the prayers of his people. Prayer is certainly one of the greatest privileges the Christian has. Rather than "faint," the Christian has access to God through prayer (cp. Luke 18: 1). Anxiety should not characterize the faithful Christian, due to prayer (Phili. 4: 6). Relative to confidence and prayer, the Christian is assured of answered prayer. Consider Johnís teaching:
"22: And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight" (I John 3).
Notice, though, that God has only promised answered prayer to certain ones, those, "Öwho keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight."
God wants us to learn from the hurt of sin. Many cannot understand why a loving and caring God placed man in the Garden of Eden in a circumstance in which the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was present (Gen. 2). Such involves the free moral agency of man. Adam and Eve had a choice of obeying God or not obeying. Alas, they elected to not obey and ate of the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3). Their sin not only brought hurt to them, but also the whole world has experienced many of the consequences of the sin of the first parents (Gen. 3; Rom. 5).
Today, man must elect to either obey God or go the way of sin and rebellion. Such, though, does not mean that God does not care.
It view of common denominational teaching that perverts what the scriptures teach and presents God as irresistibly inserting His own will on man, it is no wonder that many are confused and in a state of delusion. Many do not exercise their own responsibility, but simply wait for God to intervene, as they have been taught and instructed. Never think for a moment that God is an impersonal God, totally removed from man. He is not! (Acts 17: 30f.) However, do not think that in helping, God will deny you your freedom of choice. You must choose whom you will serve (cp. Josh. 24: 15, John 3: 16). Allow God to help you, first, by accepting his gospel, belief, repentance, confession, and water baptism for the remission of sins (John 8: 24; Acts 17: 30, 31; Rom. 10: 9, 10; Acts 2: 38). Be a member of his church and live as he would have you live (Gal. 3: 26, 27, Matt. 16: 18, 19, Acts 5: 1-11). In this situation, God will ever be present to help you (cp. Matt. 11: 28-30).