Deep Posts: Help!

Hello friends!

Every time I preach a sermon, I almost always walk away thinking "Man, I wish I would have had more time to elaborate on this point or that point." Today was no different, except that today I woke up and remembered that I have a blog where I can expand upon any idea I darn well feel like it. So if you were at the Bridge this morning, this is a bit of a deeper exploration than what we went through this morning. If you weren't, well then hopefully this is just thought provoking.

In Psalm 50, God prescribes for us what praise should actually look like:

"Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me." (Psalm 50:14-15 NIV)

We have this idea brewing in the American psyche that we need to be able to accomplish anything and overcome any obstacle that lies in our way completely on our own. I'm not sure where this came from, but I'm fairly certain we can all blame John Wayne, or perhaps Chuck Norris. But I am no exception. I know that there are times in my life that while I desperately need somebody's help, I will not ask for it. There will typically be a conversation in my head that includes rationalization, and a desire to not look like a sissy or a wimp or whatever word is going through my head at the time.

Ultimately, this is a rather destructive approach to life. There are a few things that happen when we take on the maccho man (or woman) bravado of figuring things out for ourselves:

1. We can't do it.

This should come as no shock to anyone. We know this going into certain situations don't we? "There's no way I can do this on my own..." we say as we proceed to the starting line without the rest of the team. I don't know how many times I've failed at doing something because I thought I could do it on my own. Or perhaps a better way of saying it, I don't know how many times I could have done something better if I had just sucked it up and asked a friend or two for help.

2. We alienate ourselves from the community.

God's word is clear time and time again that you and I were created for community. It's in our blood, it's in our DNA. God hard-wired us to need each other, and when we put on the tough guy routine, we begin to shift our way out of the community. Of course, you've got to ask yourself, how tough can you really be if you're running away from the design of the Creator of tough?

3. We lose opportunity to praise.

This was the new revelation to me this week as I was preparing for the sermon. In Psalm 50:15, God tells us that we bring him honor when we ask him to help us. Think about that for a second. Asking God for help is not a sign of weakness. It is not a sign of your life falling apart around you. It isn't even a sign of a weak faith. In fact, just the opposite. Asking God for help is actually an act of praise. Having the boldness to take our entire person and place it in the hands of the creator takes a kind of trust that few people are comfortable with. But placing that kind of trust in the creator is to proclaim to ourselves and those around us that he is trustworthy, and that he deserves to be praised.

So, it's time to drop the John Wayne impersonations. If you're anything like me, you long ago realized they weren't working anyway. Let's take some time together this week and Praise God, by being bold enough to ask him to help us when we need it. I think we'll all be pretty amazed to see what he comes up with to rescue us!