God Helps Those...

...who humble themselves.

All my life, I've heard differently. I've heard, "God helps those who help themselves." As with many things, I believed it because, well, for the most part, it sounded right. It sounded like something that could be and should be true. Fortunately for all of us, it's not true and is not found anywhere in Scripture.

Here are some Scriptures that remind us God does not help those who can help themselves, instead the Lord our God helps those who humble themselves; crying out to Him out of their helplessness, and not out of their ability to "help" themselves.

"The cords of death encompassed me; the torrents of destruction assailed me; the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry to Him reached His ears....For You save a humble people, but the haughty eyes your bring down."
~ Psalm 18:4-6, 27

"I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the LORD helped me."
~ Psalm 118:13

"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
~ Luke 14:11

"Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go into such a such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit' -- yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.' As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin."
~ James 4:13-17

"But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, he was brought down from his kingly throne, and his glory was taken from him."
~ Daniel 5:20

We read over and over again in Scripture that God leaves the proud and arrogant people who think they can do anything good for themselves - to themselves. The Lord God in His wisdom and righteousness allows our arrogance to build as high as we can get it, so that when we fall, we will clearly see the truth; God is awesome, and we are only dust [Psalm 103:13-14].

Many a men (Elvis Presley, Donald Trump, Ghandi, Stalin, Hitler) and women (Elizabeth Taylor, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Billie Jean King, Martha Stewart, Madyln Murray O'Hair) have gone before us with seemingly larger-than-life plans, goals and agendas. And they all wanted to do what they thought would be best for themselves and others in the world. But ultimately, they have, and will, wind up in the same place - as dust. And all of them, regardless of their worldly status, have come to their own demise because of their insatiable lust of pride. I'm sure in the eyes of the world, some of these people are still very highly esteemed. But people who esteem these men and women, are also the same people who esteem Jesus not.

We labor, toil and spend our energies, resources and everything we have, on what? To build what? Our reputations? Our earthly rewards, or awards and accolades? Our self-esteem? What? What do we labor and toil for? What is on this earth and of this world that is worth so much of our effort that we should give everything we have for it? When in the end, it will all be as we will be...dust.

Several years ago when I traveled to Louisiana on a missions trip to help those who had been devastated by hurricane Katrina, a very wise 12 year old who sat next to me on the bus said, "You know Mrs. Sunny, unless someone had told me which neighborhood we were in, you know, the rich ones or poor ones, I would've never known. It all just looks like trash. And when it comes down to it, trash is trash. There's no rich people trash or poor people trash. It all looks the same."

How right he is! To God, it all looks the same. The futile efforts of man to make something of himself, to "help" himself be something, or do something that's of value, is of no value in God's sight. It all just looks the same to God - like trash ["We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away." ~ Isaiah 64:6] For God alone can do anything that's worthy of value, or praise, of honor, or glory. And out of His awesome mercy and grace, He allows us, who are only dust, to participate in His good work - and He alone can give value to what we do.

So what are you building today to help your self-esteem and feel as if your life matters or is important? Are you building your marriage with your ideas? Are you building your children to bear the image of what you've always dreamed? Are you building a "ministry" not because God called you to it, but because you've decided since you enjoy speaking, writing or whatever - that you should do it?

I don't ask these questions presuming that I am better and more holy than any of you. I ask these questions of you and beg you to ask them of yourself, because I have done the same. And because of my gratitude to God for His awesome love towards me and also towards you, I beseech you; do not travel where I have gone, but go with me now to the Cross! Let us follow the only Savior given to man - Jesus Christ; carrying our cross to mortify the flesh with all its wicked passions so that the life of Christ may truly be manifested in us [2 Corinthians 4:10]!

Too often in my life, I have done many things, not for God (although at the time, I thought it was), but for myself - so that I could justify my existence. But in the end, I found that I could not justify (that is, make right) my existence. Only God can. And He did, through His Son, Jesus Christ. Nothing I have done or will ever do, will make my existence right with God - only Jesus can make me right with God; and while I was yet sinning, when I couldn't help myself, God helped me, and continues to help me, as I desperately and humbly cry out, "LORD save me!"

"So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
~ Romans 7:21-25(a)