“My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth”
Psalm 121:2; NASB
One of our most deep-seated emotions is the desire to be accepted. It can alter the course of our lives without us realizing it. The feeling of not being accepted can cause crippling insecurities in some people. The desire to be thought of in a certain way dictates our choices about nearly everything we do. Our concern for how other people perceive us can motivate short-term decisions that have the potential to determine long-term outcomes. It can affect our choice of clothes, our posture, speech, the car we drive, our hobbies, and the list goes on. Yet we are seldom aware (or willing to admit) that this is the case. Even the self-proclaimed “free-spirited person” or “independent thinker” are not free of being bound by this. In fact, they are usually the most concerned about how others perceive them. They just want to control the perception or have permission to be different without judgment.
When you pray for help from the Lord, you must be willing to accept that help in whatever form it comes. God’s help might come through someone you would least expect the Lord to use. It might come from a trusted friend. It might come from someone with whom you seldom agree. Let’s face it, the One “who made the heaven and earth” can use anyone He chooses to answer your needs. We should not discount the thoughts that come during or after prayer because they make us feel uncomfortable. It may happen that the answer God gives to your prayer challenges your desire to be accepted. Doing God’s will is not always the most popular avenue one could take, but it will always be the most fruitful.
Another area where God’s help can challenge us is in holding other believers accountable for their behavior. Although this is a crucial part of our Christian walk, many do not practice it. Scripture tells us, “…if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness…” (Gal. 6:1). Having an uncomfortable conversation with someone about their ungodly behavior is difficult. It can cause bad feelings, or worse, end a long-time friendship. I do not know anyone who enjoys being called out for their behavior, even privately. Jesus details how we are to do this in Matt. 18:15-17. In short, we are to go privately to our brother and show him his fault. If he doesn’t listen, bring two or three others, and if he still doesn’t listen, bring him before the church. This process might seem severe, but it is how we are told to do it. And it works! But it cannot work if we are too afraid to begin the process because of what anyone might think, including the one to be confronted.
We can look to God for help because He is all mighty and all powerful. There is nothing beyond Him. There is no problem too great for Him. Psalm 139 tells us He is everywhere and knows all things. Jesus said, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28). Being accepted by God should be our primary concern. If doing His will requires not being accepted by man, so be it. You will find that by doing God’s will, those who love Him will be accepting of you. Anyone else simply needs prayer.
God bless and have a great week