IS GOD YOUR HELPER?
by Wayne S. Walker
"Behold, God is my helper; the LORD is with those who uphold my life" (Psalm 54:4). The heading of this Psalm says, "A contemplation of David when the Ziphites went and said to Saul, ‘Is David not hiding with us?’" This event is recorded in 1 Samuel 23:14-29. Throughout his life, but I suspect especially during that time when he had to flee from the wrath of Saul, David understood that God was his helper and that without God’s help he would never have survived or succeeded. I do not know whether David thought that the people of Ziph would protect him or not, but during this period of time he often found that he could not trust other people. He needed God’s help.
When our children were little, there were things that they wanted to do for themselves, and, of course, our goal as parents was for them to learn to act independently. However, there were many times when they needed help. We taught both of our boys to do laundry, but the very first time we did not just send them to the washer with a load of clothes and say, "Have at it!" No, we gave them instructions, we showed them how to get the job done right, and we continued to work with them until they knew what they were doing. And those things which they could not do for themselves (e.g., earn a living), we did for them (2 Corinthians 12:14). In short, we helped them.
In the spiritual realm, there are things that we must learn to do for ourselves, and God expects us to do them. He will not do them for us. But, just as I would not expect one of my sons to do a job that he is unequipped to do without providing some means to enable him to do it, so God will help us in doing what He wants us to do. "Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ….And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6, 4:19).
Furthermore, those things which we cannot do for ourselves (e.g., make atonement for our sins), God has done or will do for us. Every Christian will experience his share of temptations, sufferings, disappointments, conflicts, burdens, and other problems in life, and God expects us to remain faithful to Him through all of them. At the same time, He will provide whatever blessings, gifts, encouragement, and other provisions that we need to help us. "Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’" (Hebrews 13:5-6).