“For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13…………………….
One day a beloved friend whom the Lord has blessed with an enormous generous and giving heart decided to help me with something. She had the best of intentions, I am quite sure. She jumped in head first to help with something I had shared with her I was considering needing and asking for help with, but I had needed to seek the Lord first before proceeding with what had been on my heart. It turned out what I had been contemplating did not fit at all with what the Lord’s will for me turned out to be, but my friend unbeknownst to me had already made a decision to dive in headfirst. It turns out despite her loving and good intentions, she ended up causing more work for me and more stress because she hadn’t come to me first, ended up doing some of what I’d already done, and distracted me from what it was in fact the Lord had wanted me to do, and in the process she became distracted from whatever it was the Lord did in fact want her to be doing with her spare time.
The Lord led me to let her know that though her help was appreciated, that it was not His will for either of us, and I asked her essentially to let go of what she had begun to do in the way of what she felt would be a good way to help me. Almost as soon as she stopped helping me in the way she had chosen, I returned my attention fully to the Lord, began to seek Him like never before for His will in the particular area of my life in which I needed help, and the answer for which I had been searching for what seemed like so very long began to unfold. He gave me clear directions, His magnificent wisdom, and began to fill me in on the details of what He wanted me to do.
Over and again since the issue I had been facing had arisen, both well-meaning friends and I had jumped headlong in with both feet, trying to fix the issue with our own minds, in our own flesh, sometimes reminding each other to pray and wait on the Lord and follow Him, but then over and again jumping back in there with our flesh, becoming distracted from what in fact He did want us to do with our lives, becoming stressed with the consequences of living by the flesh instead of by God’s Spirit, getting in God’s way and His ultimate perfect plan, and becoming so bogged down in everything that we were unable to clearly hear from God.
I wish I could tell you what my friend did in her well-meaning effort to help me when she jumped in without seeking what the Lord desired and what I actually needed was foreign to me, but the truth is I have done the very same thing countless times in my life when it comes to seeing someone in need and trying to help and fix the situation and figure everything out rather than to seek the Lord, wait on Him, and proceed if and as His Spirit would so lead me. My friend was merely mirroring back to me what I have done on and off for as long as I can remember, what I have learned not to do, and what I am trying day by day to not revert to, for which I most assuredly need to repent when I do fall back into it.
This lesson is for each and every person who has ever been led to help someone else with something, and we are ALL led to love and serve the Lord and to love and serve and help others. The best way to help someone, my friend, is not to use our own human minds and in our own human flesh jump in with our backs turned on God, no matter how well-meaning we may be. The best way is to seek the Lord, to wait for His answer, and as best we can in His strength by the leading of His Spirit with His resources He gives us help others in Christ’s love for God’s glory. We need to do this one step at a time, one person at a time, all the while continuing to seek God in prayer, to seek His Word for guidance, and to faithfully lovingly humbly submit to Him as far as when, how, and what He wants us to do in the way of helping others.
And always, always, always, we need to help others in the love of Christ without the desire for praise for ourselves but with the desire and commitment to bring glory, honor, and praise to the One to whom it is due. To the Lord, my friend, to the Lord!