BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills — from whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2 NKJV).
There are principally two kinds of help available to humans: (1) Earthly help –This is human help (2) Heavenly (divine) help – This help comes from above (God).
There are also two types of earthly/human help:
1. Natural human help – This is not evil. It is based on the wisdom and power of man, which is greatly limited. There is no dependence on any supernatural power. It can be good or bad, sincere or insincere.
2. Demonic human help – This involves dependence on demonic power. It is based on the assumption that the devil has the power to assist a human being to accomplish what he or she cannot do. This help is the direct opposite of the heavenly help, which God makes available to human beings.
The so-called help that people are deceived to believe the devil can give them is a help unto ultimate destruction no matter the initial good that it does or success that is recorded. It will eventually take the beneficiaries to hellfire. One cannot receive help from the devil and think one can still limit the scope of his involvement in one’s life.
Seeking help from the devil is opening one’s life to demonic traffic and operations. It is a dangerous thing to patronize demonic help; it is the entry point for demonic oppression and outright possession. For example, seeking help from spiritualists and diviners is an invitation to evil spirits to come into one’s life.
The natural help of man is very useful and important but there are times it becomes useless and unhelpful in some situations we find ourselves. Psalm 60:11 captures it well: “Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless” (NKJV). Psalm 108:12 says exactly the same thing. Some translations, including the New Century Version and New Living Translation, refer to the “help of man” as “human help.”
If God does not help one at such a time when human help is vain, one is finished. So, one must be very careful that one does not get carried away by the help of fellow human beings. We can look to the help of mortal men and miss the help of God. Real help is not from any hill but from the Lord above.
It is someone in need that needs help. People who do not know how to look up to God for help will be at the mercy of problems and circumstances or fellow humans. When God helps one, one will do what other human beings can’t imagine can happen in one’s life for good. But if a human being is helping you, such a person will hardly help you above himself because the natural man first protects his own interest. Human beings may not help you above themselves, but God can help you above them.
The limitation of human help
There is a time when the help of human beings cannot help you, and there is a time when their help becomes inadequate. For example, it is one thing to help the poor to cope with their poverty but it is another thing to deliver them from their poverty. Many times, human beings only help or assist the poor and needy and orphans cope with or manage their situations, not to be delivered. But only God’s help can deliver someone from poverty and the challenges of being an orphan. Yes, He can use other human beings to do it. “Who is like the LORD our God, Who dwells on high, Who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in the heavens and in the earth? He raises the poor out of the dust, and lifts the needy out of the ash heap” (Psalm 113:5-7 NKJV).
The woman with the issue of blood could not be helped by the help of physicians of her day until she met Jesus, the help from above. “Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, ‘If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.’ Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction” (Mark 5:25-29 NKJV).
Every problem of life will answer to help from above Jesus said with God, nothing is impossible. In other words, with God, everything is possible (Matthew 19:26). Jesus also said in Matthew 17:20b, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you” (NKJV).
You’ll always need God’s help
God always wants to help you through divine intervention and divine involvement. Divine intervention is the help of God in crisis time. Divine involvement or participation is the help of God in regular, routine time. You should not ask for the help of God only when you are in crisis. In normal times or peacetime, the help of God is not always spectacular, and this is why people don’t often acknowledge the help of God. But He is at work helping you, especially in situations people often describe as coincidence or accident. Someone has rightly said that coincidence is God’s way of making himself anonymous! There is nothing like coincidence; it’s God at work secretly.
You will always need God. The psalmist prayed: “May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble; may the name of the God of Jacob defend you; may He send you help from the sanctuary, and strengthen you out of Zion” (Psalm 20: 1-2 NKJV). But you don’t have to wait for a crisis before you access the help of God for His help is always available to those who recognize their need of it. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV).
Hear what verses 13-14 say: “For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’ ‘Fear not, you worm Jacob, You men of Israel! I will help you,’ says the LORD and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel” (NKJV).
Did you notice one refrain in the two scriptures you’ve just read? This is: Fear not. There should be no fear for those who are being helped by God. You don’t have any logical or illogical reason to be afraid when God is your help. So many times this truth is conveyed to us in the Bible. Hear what Isaiah 44:2 says, “Thus says the LORD who made you and formed you from the womb, who will help you: ‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant; and you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen” (NKJV).
Help from above will take you above life’s situations. Are you afraid of where you are now? Are you afraid of that project, exam, or interview? What is it that is making you afraid? What you need is the help of God. When God helps you, you are helped indeed. Psalm 46: 1-3 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling” (NKJV). There is no reason to fear. When God is helping you all things will work together for your good, not against you.
God’s agents of help
When God wants to help you, God can use men, angels, and nature including wind, water, thunder, earthquake, and fire. For example, in 2 Chronicles 32, God used an angel to defeat the Assyrians – the angels killed the army of the Assyrians. “Then the LORD sent an angel who cut down every mighty man of valor, leader, and captain in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned shamefaced to his own land. And when he had gone into the temple of his god, some of his own offspring struck him down with the sword there. Thus the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all others, and guided them on every side” (2 Chronicles 32:21-22 NKJV).
Isaiah 37:36 tells us that 185,000 men were killed that day in the camp of the Assyrians by just one angel. I know those who’re against you are not as many as the people in the camp of the Assyrians so one angel is more than enough to defeat your enemies! The Lord shall trouble those who trouble you; his angels shall fight your battle for you. Your enemies shall receive angelic visitation! And that shall translate to your deliverance.
In the wilderness, God helped the children of Israel leading them by an angel, a pillar of cloud, and a pillar of fire. Look at that combination – who could have used these to help a people if not God? “And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them. So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night” (Exodus 14:19-20 NKJV).
The Bible says God fed the Israelites with manna in the wilderness; He released the east wind in the heavens and guided the south wind by His mighty power raining down meat as thick as dust—birds as plentiful as the sand on the seashore! He caused the birds to fall within their camp and all around their tents. The wind became a tool of help in God’s hand (Psalm 78:23-27).
In the days of Jehoshaphat, God helped the people of Judah in the war against them by three nations. He caused their enemies to kill themselves. Only God could have done that! After Hezekiah had sought the help of God, He confused them. “For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another. So when Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and there were their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped” (2 Chronicles 20:23-24 NKJV). In that battle, Judah, with the help of God, didn’t need to fight the enemies; they slaughtered themselves.
Knowing our weakness, God allows His Spirit to help us also in prayer. “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26 NKJV).
God knows the help that is appropriate for you at every point in time. God will not send an angel to do what a human being can do to help you and He will not send a human being to do what an angel can do to help you.
You’re not without help. Human beings won’t always help you when you cry to them for help. It takes a bad experience for some people to realize this. The Bible records that even God noted the unwillingness of man to help fellow human beings at a most crucial period. God had to come to their rescue himself. “I was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed. So I myself stepped in to save them with my strong arm, and my wrath sustained me” (Isaiah 63:5 NLT). The New King James Version puts it thus: “I looked, but there was no one to help, and I wondered that there was no one to uphold; therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me; and My own fury, it sustained Me” (NKJV).
All you need to do is to ask for help from God rather than trying to run after a man to help you. Psalm 72:12 says God will deliver the needy when he cries, the poor also, and him who has no helper. God may use man to help you but you don’t know the person He wants to use. This is why you shouldn’t focus on any human being. “Thus says the LORD: ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited’” (Jeremiah 17:5-6 NKJV).
Let God determine the human vessel He has chosen to help you. And when the help of the Lord comes, you will be delivered from shame and brought into fame. Psalm 107:13 says those who had rebelled against the LORD cried out to Him in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses.
Don’t overestimate your strength
As I said earlier, God also helps us through divine involvement. That is when there is no crisis. We need God’s help at all times. We should not fall for the deception that we can handle some things ourselves and we only need God’s help when we feel some situations are beyond our power. Don’t overestimate your strength. By strength, no man shall prevail (1 Samuel 2:9b).
Without the help of God, you can fail where you think you’re strong. Never feel you don’t need God. When you think you don’t need God that is when you need Him the most. Hear the word of God to Amaziah: “But a man of God came to him, saying, ‘O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the LORD is not with Israel — not with any of the children of Ephraim. But if you go, be gone! Be strong in battle! Even so, God shall make you fall before the enemy; for God has power to help and to overthrow’” (2 Chronicles 25:7-8 NKJV). Without God’s help no matter how much you try, you’ll fail. God has the power to help.
I love the blessing that Moses, the servant of God pronounced upon the tribe of Judah in Deuteronomy 33:7. He said, “Hear, LORD, the voice of Judah, and bring him to his people; let his hands be sufficient for him, and may You be a help against his enemies” (NKJV). The Lord will help you against your enemies. When God helps you against your enemies – men, demons, circumstances, situations, challenges, etc., you’re a winner ultimately! I think you should pray for yourself that God will help you against your enemies.
When the Lord answers your prayer, all your enemies will become your footstool. As they come, you will defeat them and they shall be nowhere to be found. “All the nations fighting against Jerusalem will vanish like a dream! Those who are attacking her walls will vanish like a vision in the night” (Isaiah 29:7-8 NLT). This shall be your personal testimony in Jesus’ name.
Acknowledge God’s help
Don’t attribute to your intelligence, your prayer, your contacts, etc. what is simply the help of the Lord. I hope you still remember God chooses what and who He uses to help us. Courtesy demands you appreciate anyone that comes in as human help for you but don’t ever forget that no man can offer authentic help to you without God moving him to help you. Thank God for men that help us but let no man take the place of God in your life. No man should arrogate to himself the power of God.
The Levites knew and acknowledged the help of the Lord during David’s second attempt to bring the ark of God to Jerusalem. The first attempt had ended a disaster with the sudden death of Uzzah. This second effort was hitch-free and the Levites who carried the ark knew it was not by their power nor by their might; they knew it was the help of the Lord. “So David, the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD from the house of Obed-Edom with joy. And so it was, when God helped the Levites who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, that they offered seven bulls and seven rams” (1 Chronicles 15:25-26 NKJV).
In 2 Chronicles 18, King Jehoshaphat of Judah, a good king, made a serious error of his life going with Ahab, king of Israel, a bad king, to fight a war. Jehoshaphat disguised himself as Ahab and was nearly killed. “Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains of the chariots who were with him, saying, ‘Fight with no one small or great, but only with the king of Israel.’ So it was, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, ‘It is the king of Israel!’ Therefore they surrounded him to attack; but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him, and God diverted them from him. For so it was, when the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him” (2 Chronicles 18:30-32 NKJV). Jehoshaphat would have been killed if not for the help of the LORD.
Many times, it is the help of the Lord that didn’t allow some terrible things to happen to us. But because the help of God in such situations was unobtrusive or not spectacular, we overlooked it; we took it for granted. Because there was no dangerous incident, you failed to recognize the help of the Lord but if you’ve had a close shave with death, you would readily admit that you escaped with the help of the Lord as seen in Jehoshaphat’s case. God’s help does not have to be spectacular. He alone determines how He helps us whether in a conspicuous way or an unremarkable way. But never fail to admit that it is the help of God.
Uzziah is a case study on how not to abuse the help of God. Uzziah was enthroned as king of Judah at the tender age of 16 years. He sought the Lord in the lifetime of Zechariah and was successful everywhere he turned and went. His fame spread abroad. But after he became strong, his heart was lifted up unto destruction He became proud, probably thinking that he and not God was responsible for the outstanding success he had recorded. He did not acknowledge that his remarkable success was because of the marvelous help of God (2 Chronicles 26:16-23).
Uzziah messed up a glorious reign just because he failed to see or continue to acknowledge the help of God in his heart. To show us the height of his pride, the Bible says the High Priest and 80 other priests – 81 men of God could not prevent him from intruding into the office of a priest to burn incense. He was adamant. He became leprous, and as a result, he couldn’t enter the house of God as from that time. He lived and died in isolation and denied himself of being buried where kings were buried. What a tragedy! When you fail to see that it is God that’s helping you, there’s the tendency for you to become proud.
Make the Lord your help
Make the Lord your help and you’ll have no fear to fear. “So we may boldly say: ‘The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:6 NKJV). You can never know shame when it is God that is helping you, “For the Lord GOD will help Me; therefore I will not be disgraced; therefore I have set My face like a flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed” (Isaiah 50:7 NKJV).
Because of the help of the Lord, the psalmist boldly declares in verse 9: “Surely the Lord GOD will help Me; who is he who will condemn Me? Indeed they will all grow old like a garment; the moth will eat them up” (NKJV). This can be your testimony too if you seek the help of the Lord and quit running after human beings who have limitations, and, don’t always fulfill their promises.
Many times, the psalmists cried to the Lord for help and the Lord answered (Psalms 38:22; 40:13; 70:1). Psalm 18:6 says, “In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came before Him, even to His ears” (NKJV). This is recorded earlier in 2 Samuel 22:17. The writer of Psalm 118 also testifies of the help of the Lord, saying, “You pushed me violently, that I might fall, but the LORD helped me” (verse 13 NKJV).
In the psalms David wrote, he acknowledged, many times, the help of God. He didn’t credit his military exploits to his military prowess but to the help of God. David testifies in Psalm 144:1-2, “Blessed be the LORD my Rock,Who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle — My lovingkindness and my fortress, My high tower and my deliverer, My shield and the One in whom I take refuge, Who subdues my people under me” (NKJV).
But moved by the flesh and the devil, David embarked on a census of Israel and Judah which made the anger of God be kindled against him, leading to the death of 70,000 people in an epidemic. The Bible says, “Now God was displeased with this act [of arrogance and pride], and He struck Israel” (1 Chronicles 21:7 Amplified Bible).
God knew David’s motive for wanting to count the people was not righteous. God is more concerned about our motives than our actions. “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:10 NKJV). The New Living Translation says it this way: “But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve” (Jeremiah 17:10).
Beware of arrogance and pride. Never replace your trust in God with trust in your abilities, possessions, achievements, etc. Put your faith in the Lord and He will be a very present help to you. “The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me” (Psalm 116:6 NKJV). The simple are the simple-hearted, innocent, untrained, inexperienced, defenceless, or helpless.
The enemies will want you to be brought low, but no matter how low they bring you, the help of God will always lift you up and high again. But you need to have faith in God and be obedient to His Word. Psalm 119:173 says, “Let Your hand become my help, for I have chosen Your precepts” (NKJV). Obey God’s Word. Sin will strengthen the hand of the enemy against you, but righteousness will exalt you.
Will you repent of your sin today and hand over your life to Jesus? Will you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, and begin to obey his Word as from today? Will you bring him to the centre of your life and begin to serve Him? Then you will cry to Him for help and He will help you.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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