Have you ever struggled to flip a mattress or move an oversized sofa all by yourself, and thought help, I need somebody? Or ladies, have you ever struggled to reach the back zipper of a dress without success, and thought help, I need somebody! Or you stand in front of a closed door, with hands full of heavy groceries, thinking hello?! I need someone...help!
We’ve all been in these kinds of situations (and likely in much more serious ones), when our souls cried out for help as we’ve struggled to do life alone. But the truth is, mankind has a universal need for help.
There are numerous biblical examples of people just like you and me, who found themselves in need of rescue, wisdom, healing, provision, and deliverance. And God in fact showed up to help, through miracles like parting the Red Sea and defeating enemy armies. But nothing we read about compared to the experience of the disciples who had Jesus present in the flesh, healing the sick, raising the dead, and exposing the corruption of the religious leaders.
Walking the Earth with Jesus
Imagine today if you had Jesus with you, in the flesh, whenever you needed help. Imagine if the Miracle Worker was present with you when you needed healing, or the Source of Endless Joy was sitting next to you when you were depressed? What if Jesus, the Fountain of Wisdom, was as close as a phone call when you didn't know what to do, and the Giver of Peace and Calmer of Storms wrapped His arms around you when you were overwhelmed and afraid?
Imagine if you could just walk up to Jesus, tap Him on the shoulder and say help!
That’s exactly what the disciples had. Remember, Peter was drowning in the Sea of Galilee and he yelled to Jesus Lord, save me! Jesus reached out His hand, lifted Peter from the water, and put him in the safety of the boat.
Or when the disciples faced a sudden storm at sea so fierce, they feared for their lives. They woke Jesus from sleep, saying Lord, help us! He got up and spoke to the seas, and there was immediately a great calm.
And when Jesus taught in parables which the disciples also didn’t quite understand, they were able to pull Him aside and ask, Lord, help us understand! Talk about getting real help when you need it – from not just anybody, but getting the help of God, manifest in the flesh!
But then came some bad news as Jesus told them:
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).
What do you mean go, Jesus? Go?!
After 3½ years of constant, ever-present help, the disciples were understandably distraught at the thought of Jesus leaving them alone. But Jesus assured them “I will not leave you orphans” (John 14:18).
The word “orphan” not only describes a child left without father or mother, but also describes a younger, vulnerable person deserted by trusted advisors. Jesus was telling these believers, in essence, I love you too much to abandon you. I’m not going to let you down. He would not leave them alone, without help.
“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17).
As Jesus was preparing to leave this earth, He promised to send them (and us!) the Holy Spirit, that Someone who could be ever-present help to each and every believer, no matter where they were, or what they needed in life.
The Holy Ghost Is Our Helper
We don’t always hear much about Him these days, so let me reintroduce you to the One who was sent by Jesus to help us live an abundant life: our helper, our paraclete, the third person of the Trinity – the Incomparable Holy Spirit!
Paraclete (advocate, comforter) means someone who comes alongside another to give aid or assistance. He’s our guide through life's rough spots, and the bearer of all wisdom we could ever possibly need. He’s our source of physical strength and spiritual power. He’s our financial provider, our advocate in the fight, and our defender from the enemy. He’s our counselor when we're confused and He’s our coach when discouraged.
We all need the Holy Spirit Who is invisible but ever present, Who can’t be seen but can always be felt. Perhaps we can't tap Him on the shoulder like Jesus, but we can touch Him with our spiritual faith.
Do you need assistance with something blocking you? Depend on the Holy Spirit to make a way (Isaiah 43:19). Do you need wisdom to make a decision? Depend on the One who Jesus said would guide us into all truth (John 16:13). Are you anxious and depressed? Depend on the One who fills us with joy (Romans 14:17).
Stop trying to live the Christian life on your own, and never try to rely on another human being for your help, happiness or peace. There is simply no substitute for the power and presence of the Holy Spirit of God in your life. You cannot be what God has designed you to be, or have what God has destined you to have in this life, without intentionally cultivating your reliance on the Holy Spirit.
Jesus needed the Holy Spirit. In fact, His whole ministry was dependent on the anointing of power He received from the Holy Spirit after coming out from the wilderness (Luke 4:4; Acts 10:38). And clearly, if Jesus needed to rely on the Holy Spirit, so do we!
Always Having Jesus Here
“And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever” (John 14:6).
The key is the word here “another.” It's from the Greek word allos and it means, not one who is just additional, or even simply resembles another, but one who is identical in every way, or one who is an exact duplicate.
Jesus was, in essence, telling His panicked disciples: I will pray to the Father and He will send you someone who is just like Me in every way, He will be identical to Me in the way I speak, the way I think, the way I operate, the way I see things and the way I do things, He will be exactly like Me in every way. If He is here, it will be just as if I am here because we think, behave and operate the same.
And here is the reason He could make that claim: the Holy Spirit is God.
Jesus is the exact imprint of the Father, which is why He could say, “If you’ve seen Me you’ve seen the Father.” And the Holy Spirit is the exact imprint of Jesus!
“For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one” (1 John 5:7).
The Holy Spirit is God, the third person of the Trinity; having Him ever present in our lives is equivalent of having Jesus with us, on earth, in the flesh!
Having a vibrant relationship with the Holy Spirit is key to living a victorious Christian life. In fact, I would argue it’s lack is the reason why many believers live a defeated Christian life. Most Christians begin their journey by building a relationship with the merciful, forgiving Savior, Jesus. Some pursue a further relationship with our loving, holy Father. But it seems relatively few pursue a relationship with our helper and comforter, the Holy Spirit.
However, the Apostle Paul knew that this relationship was key to living a victorious Christian life.
When he said “the communion of the Holy Spirit,” he was not talking about eating the little round wafer. He was actually saying, and the intimacy, fellowship and partnership of the Holy Spirit be with you all!
Paul says don’t just receive God’s forgiveness, don’t just accept God’s love, but commune daily with the Holy Spirit! When people stop short in their relationship with God and never move on into the victorious Christian life made possibly through a close relationship with the Holy Spirit, they struggle through life, battling with the same issues and temptations and problems over and over again.
He was sent to help us walk in the destiny God created for us, but we must allow Him to lead, guide, instruct, coach, empower and anoint us!
The Holy Spirit Provides Constant Help
The presence of the Holy Spirit can certainly be, at times, “manifest” or felt, for example, during the loving intimacy of worship, the power of intercession, supernatural peace during crisis or gentle comfort in the midst of grief. Although it's wonderful when we suddenly become aware of His presence, we must not forget He is always there, regardless of our immediate attention.
As the Paraclete, it is His “job assignment” to stick by you, when you walk with God and are tempted to walk away from God. He sticks by you when you deserve it, and when you don’t. He remains constant when you want Him in your life, and when you want to give up.
He’s the reason why the prodigal thought about returning to his father’s house. He's the One who emboldened Peter, who denied Christ, to stand and deliver the gospel on the day of Pentecost. He's the One who initiated a song of deliverance on the lips of Paul and Silas in the darkness of a prison cell. And He’s the One who picks each of us up when we stumble.
The Holy Spirit doesn’t just make cameo appearances that we can feel on special occasions. He has been sent to stick by us through thick and thin and lead us into receiving every promise of God. He is faithful to give us help when we call! If you haven't yet done so... take the time to cultivate your relationship with the Holy Spirit. When you cry...help! I need somebody! He is there.
Photo credit: Unsplash/nega
Frank Santora is Lead Pastor of Faith Church, a multi-site church with locations in Connecticut and New York. Pastor Frank hosts a weekly television show, “Destined to Win,” which airs weekly on the Hillsong Channel and TBN. He has authored thirteen books, including the most recent, Modern Day Psalms and Good Good Father. To learn more about Pastor Frank and this ministry, please visit www.franksantora.cc. Photo by Michele Roman.