WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
JANUARY 28, 2021
TOPIC: HUMBLY ASK FOR HELP
BY T. O. BANSO
“Now Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, ‘We are setting out for the place of which the LORD said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us, and we will treat you well; for the LORD has promised good things to Israel.’ And he said to him, ‘I will not go, but I will depart to my own land and to my relatives’” (Numbers 10:29-30 New King James Version).
Everybody needs help from time to time. Don’t be ashamed or too proud to ask for help. I am not talking about begging or harassing others for money, which, unfortunately, is the only definition of help some people know.
I recall many years ago I travelled with some people to a far part of my country. I was not the only one who had not been there before. Some of us had been there but never knew the location of the hotel we were to lodge. Our driver claimed to know the place. We were confident that we were in a safe hand.
However, long after we had reached the town and were, in fact, in the area the hotel was located, we never got to the hotel. We all noticed that the journey was becoming unnecessarily prolonged. There was no map then to guide us to the hotel. At a point, we noticed our driver was struggling to locate the hotel, though he didn’t tell us. We noticed we were going around in circles. We had passed some buildings more than twice, yet our driver assured us there was no problem.
Everybody was becoming worried about the overconfidence of our driver who was not even a regular visitor to this town. He had only an idea where the hotel was located. We had travelled a long distance and were so tired that we were eager to get to the hotel as soon as possible to go and rest. At a point, we became impatient and pressured our driver to park and ask passersby for directions to the hotel. We should have done that much earlier and saved ourselves the trouble of driving around the town as if we had come for site seeing.
The first person we talked to was more than willing to guide us. Actually, we were in the right vicinity just that we had made some wrong turns so we would never get to the hotel! After he had guided us, we were in the hotel just in few minutes. We were too tired to blame the driver. There was no need to. He had learnt a lesson. We had too.
He drove us safely to that city without anyone guiding him but his best was not good enough to take us to the hotel successfully without someone helping him. But he failed to ask for help, and we suffered for it. Failure to ask for help from the right persons has caused people huge losses. We were just too glad to check in and relax after a long journey. Many years after, I have not forgotten that incident.
While it is important to do your best and not wait to be spoon-fed or become lazy or a burden on people, you must recognize when you should humbly ask for help. What you don’t know you don’t know. And you may never know except you ask for help.
In 1 Samuel 9, Saul with his servant was in search of the lost donkeys of his father. They got to the land of Zuph, and at the suggestion of his servant, decided to go and see Samuel, the seer, for his help. They got to the city where the man of God was living. As they went up the hill to the city, they met some young women going out to draw water and asked if Samuel was there. If they knew, they wouldn’t have asked. They got the needed help.
Verses12-13 say, “And they answered them and said, ‘Yes, there he is, just ahead of you. Hurry now; for today he came to this city, because there is a sacrifice of the people today on the high place. As soon as you come into the city, you will surely find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. For the people will not eat until he comes, because he must bless the sacrifice; afterward those who are invited will eat. Now therefore, go up, for about this time you will find him’” (New King James Version).
Saul and his servant probably got more information than they had asked for because they asked for help. They followed the direction they were given. They went up to the city and as they were coming into the city, Samuel was coming out toward them on his way up to the high place. Saul’s meeting with Samuel on this trip was a life-changing one for him.
Recognize when you should ask for help so that you don’t waste more time and other resources. Some people are lost but they’re still pretending! Don’t have a false sense of self-sufficiency. Don’t be too proud to invite those you think could add value to your mission or project. Nobody knows it all; no one can do everything.
Nevertheless, as a child of God, let God lead you on who you should ask for help. Nobody is sent to everybody. It’s not everybody who can or will help you. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6 New King James Version).
In Numbers 10:29-30, Moses invited Hobab to be their guide through the wilderness because he was familiar with the wilderness but he rejected the invitation. “Now Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, ‘We are setting out for the place of which the LORD said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us, and we will treat you well; for the LORD has promised good things to Israel.’ And he said to him, ‘I will not go, but I will depart to my own land and to my relatives’” (New King James Version).
However, Moses prevailed on him, persuading him on why his help was needed. “So Moses said, ‘Please do not leave, inasmuch as you know how we are to camp in the wilderness, and you can be our eyes. And it shall be, if you go with us — indeed it shall be — that whatever good the LORD will do to us, the same we will do to you” (verses 31-32 New King James Version).
Although the Bible does not state Hobab’s reply to Moses’ plea, Bible scholars are of the view that Hobab changed his mind and went with the Israelites on the journey to the land of Canaan. Reference is often made to Judges 1:16; 4:11, and 1Samuel 15:6, which show how his family dwelled with the Israelites in Canaan.
Even though it was Moses that God called to lead the Israelites, he didn’t despise the help of Hobab since he knew the places in the wilderness where they should camp. Don’t despise the help of man. God also works through humans to help. That was why Moses listened to the counsel of his father-in-law, Jethro, in Exodus 18:17-27.
Nevertheless, don’t make a human being your source. God could have other ways He wants to help you than what a man can do. His thoughts are not our thoughts or our ways His ways (Isaiah 55:8). That was why He led the Israelites through the shortest route after they left Egypt.
Exodus 13:17-18 says, “Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, ‘Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.’ So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt” (New King James Version).
God works in mysterious ways. “Truly, O God of Israel, our Savior, you work in strange and mysterious ways” (Isaiah 45:15 New Living Translation). The Bible goes further to say in Exodus 13:20-22, “And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people” (New King James Version). This didn’t render useless the help Hobab could render. They’re complimentary.
Other scriptures also make reference to the fact that God led the Israelites by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to be able to travel by day and night (Numbers 14:14; Nehemiah 9:12, 19; Psalm 78:14). Only God could have helped the Israelites this way. Thus, they could not afford to depend on the help of man to the exclusion of the help of God. They needed the two. The miraculous leading of God does not make human guidance unnecessary.
Furthermore, when you invite people to come and help you, let them know why you’re inviting them or how they would be useful to you, and what they stand to benefit from it. This could help them consider your request as it happened in Hobab’s case. “‘Please don’t leave us,’ Moses pleaded. ‘You know the places in the wilderness where we should camp. Come, be our guide and we will share with you all the good things that the LORD does for us’” (Number 10:31-32 New Living Translation).
Nevertheless, don’t be surprised that not everyone you approach for help or invite would respond, even after you’ve prayed. The fault could be theirs. It could also be yours. When Jesus invited the twelve disciples, none of them rejected his invitation (Luke 6:12-16, 9:1; Matthew 10:1-4). They helped Him in His ministry and continued after His ascension to heaven.
However, Jesus called a man but he made excuses. “Then another of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, let me first go and bury my father.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead’” (Matthew 8:21-22 New King James Version). Luke 9:59-62 tells us two similar stories involving two people. The Bible does not tell us if these people followed Jesus. Also, the rich young ruler went away from Him sorrowful; he couldn’t follow Him (Matthew 19:16-22; Mark 10:17-22; Luke 18:18-23). At a point, many of the disciples of Jesus deserted Him because of his teaching (John 6:66).
In your ministry, academics, business, life assignment, project, etc. humbly ask for help. I am not talking about begging for money. Please note that there is help that only God can give you and He is willing to help you. That is a vacuum that only God can fill. For instance, the Bible says, “In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weaknesses, for we don’t know how to pray as we ought. But the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which can’t be uttered” (Romans 8:26 World English Bible).
No man can give that kind of help that the Holy Spirit gives. Without despising human help, Paul told the Philippians, “For I know that as you pray for me and as the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will all turn out for my deliverance” (Philippians 1:19 New Living Translation).
You need the help of God and the help of man. Jesus enjoyed supernatural provision in His ministry but He was also helped by human beings who contributed from their resources to support Him and His disciples (Luke 8:3).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit 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.
PRAYER PRAYER POINTS: Father, send me help from above. Deliver me from pride caused by a feeling of self-sufficiency. Holy Spirit, lead me to the right people that will help me; connect us with each other. Holy Spirit, help my weaknesses; teach me how to pray as I ought.
(For over 400 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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