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Just Ask

Do you struggle to ask for help?

Maybe it comes naturally for you. You enjoy the collaboration it can bring and the way it can make others feel recognized and valued when they are invited to take part in something beyond themselves. Perhaps you have been encouraged in the past when others asked for your help, so you want to extend the opportunity to others. Or is it for another reason altogether, one you shy away from admitting because of the shame it brings? You struggle to believe in your value, abilities and strength, so your first instinct is to turn to someone else for support or to do something entirely on your behalf.

On the other hand, perhaps you’re someone who rarely asks anyone for anything. Similar to the former, there are a host of reasons for this path as well. Maybe from a young age you have had to depend on yourself and now as an adult find it challenging to trust others for help. Perhaps you have always preferred to do things your way and the mere idea of asking for help irritates you. Or maybe you view yourself as a bother to those around you, and that is why you refrain from seeking their help.

Most people fall somewhere within these 2 camps, to varying degrees, of course, and some may even fluctuate between the two. We either flock to or run from asking for help.

Black and white help wanted sign posted on glass door
Tim Mossholder photo | Unsplash

At some point in our lives, we started to believe a lie about ourselves that has manifested into one of these two inclinations. Lies such as those already listed—you’re not “fill in the blank” enough (good, smart, strong, etc.), you couldn’t do it last time and you won’t this time, you can’t depend on/trust anyone else, only you can do it the right way—plus many others. From self-deprecating to self-exalting, the lies behind our disposition to ask for help also spans a wide spectrum. However, they all have one thing in common: they are all lies.

Regardless of their substance, their intent is to misguide, hurt and isolate. The more you entertain them, the more you act upon them until they become your identity. Lies are meant to consume us, not inform us. They do not properly assess with the aim to better us but deceitfully distract to lead us into destruction. Think about it, what lie, whether one you have told or heard, has ever encouraged, reconciled, built up or remedied anything, especially in the long-term?

From nearly the beginning of mankind, lies have run rampant in our world and have done nothing but steal, kill and destroy. Steal joy, kill hope and destroy relationships. They add kerosene to an already raging forest fire yet quelch any genuine efforts toward true peace, unity, truth and love.

Lies are utterly heinous, ugly and evil and lead to destruction. Never do they serve any purpose but to tear down and divide. This is because the one behind them wants nothing other than you to join him in eternal torment. The father of lies, Satan (also known as the enemy, adversary, serpent and devil) prowls around like a lion, seeking his next victim to devour (1 Peter 5:8; see also John 8:44). He uses whatever means necessary—self-deprecation to self-exaltation—as long as it results in one thing: permanent separation from God for nonbelievers and a severed relationship with God for believers.

What does that mean?

Well, for nonbelievers (those who have not given their lives to God and His perfect care), it means Satan wants you to stay where you are. He wants you to keep believing you are perfect, there’s nothing missing from your life and you have no need for a Savior. In fact, if he can convince you you are your own god and in control of your own eternity, he is tickled pink.

Lies are meant to consume us, not inform us. They do not properly assess with the aim to better us but deceitfully distract to lead us into destruction.

The more comfortable he can make you with temporary things, the deeper his clutches in you remain. If you believe this world is all there is, he’s got you. The more numb you are to the deep longing you have for something more, he’s got you. The more you try to fill that void with the things of this world (i.e. possessions, money, notoriety, status, sex, drugs, food) because you think they will make you happy, he’s got you. The more you think you’re worthless and a failure, he’s got you. The higher you think of yourself and your abilities, he’s got you. The list goes on.

With each lie, Satan skews your perspective until it’s so beyond 20/20, nothing can restore your sight. That is when the lie becomes reality. Once you had hope of being saved, now you are beyond hope. All because you believed Satan and his lies and chose yourself over God. Just look at the accounts of Pharaoh in the book of Exodus, Haman in the book of Esther, King Manasseh in 2 Kings 21:1-18 and the Pharisees and Sadducees in the New Testament.

It is true God wishes none to perish and therefore is slow to anger and “is patient toward you” (2 Peter 3:9), but He will also not force Himself on anyone. He created us all with a free will, knowing a forced love is not love at all, only compulsion fueled by anxiety or a selfish desire for rewards. He placed eternity in all of our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11) and nature attests to His existence (see Romans 1:18-20), and He allows you to do with it what you will. He knows those who will choose Him and thus draws them to Himself, just as He knows those who will choose self and thus He reinforces their blatant denial of Him. In each case, God solidifies us in our decision, either strengthened in the Lord or strengthened away from Him (see Romans 1:21-32).

The result of believing Satan’s lies also applies to believers, yet the effects or consequences are different.

Black and white photo of a dilapidated wooden peer in water
Hoach Le Dinh photo | Unsplash

Just to clarify: to be a believer does not mean you claim to be perfect; in fact, it means the opposite. Believers are those who acknowledge sin is what separates them from God and has thus wreaked havoc in the world, both on a personal and global scale. They also recognize there is nothing they can do to rectify this wrong, only God can restore the relationship and He did so by Jesus taking on their sins. And it was His sacrifice that covered the penalty for their sins—death. As 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us, “For our sake He (God the Father) made Him (God the Son, Jesus Christ) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” God also spoke this truth through Isaiah the prophet when he wrote, “But He (Jesus) was pierced for our transgressions (sins); He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed” (53:5).

Because believers hold to this truth, our salvation and eternity in Heaven are guaranteed. Not because of anything we have done, but only by God’s grace expressed through faith in Him, as Paul says in his letter to the Ephesian church, “For by grace (we) have been saved through faith. And this is not (our) own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (2:8-9). If you have proclaimed all of this (from recognizing your sins to Jesus’ sacrifice on your behalf), nothing can separate you from the love of Christ and therefore His protection, strength, presence and promise of eternal life with Him (see John 6:37, 50-51).

Even Satan knows this, but it doesn’t stop him from trying to fulfill his 3 purposes: steal, kill and destroy. He cannot have your soul, but he will try to steal your joy while on earth. He will pull out all the stops to discourage, distract and divide you because when he does, he knows you are not living whole and pure-hearted for the Father’s Kingdom, and that is what brings us joy as God’s children, when we delight in Him and live to glorify Him.

When you are not giving your all to God and doing the good works He prepared for you, you are no longer living on mission. Instead, you are sulking in your inefficiencies and failures, obsessing over things of the world and casting blame and judgment on your brothers and sisters in Christ. You’re down for the count, riding the bench and the lone man (or woman) on the team.

As 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us, “For our sake He (God the Father) made Him (God the Son, Jesus Christ) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Your salvation is still secure, but your joy is tarnished or missing altogether, along with the other fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23). The number of crowns you will lay at Jesus’ feet in Heaven will be next to none (see Revelation 4:10-11) and you will realize you were the one entrusted with little (see Luke 19:11-27). The harvest was white (Luke 10:2), but you were too entangled with the temperature of the water (music styles, baptism method, end times interpretation, etc.) than the great work to which God had invited you, the restoring of sight to the blind and the dead raised to life (see 1 Timothy 1:3–7 and Titus 3:8-11)..

As a believer, you will always have Jesus, but you only have one life (the one here on earth) where you can join Him in reaching the lost. Once He comes the second—and final—time, that gift will be gone. The Great Commission will end, and you will have little, if anything, to show for it. Again, yes, you still have your salvation in both scenarios, but neither place is where you want to be.

Just as Satan distracts nonbelievers from turning to God for salvation, he does the same to pull you out of the fight for them. He will distract you with non-essentials (preferences and opinions), preoccupy you with cares of the world and numb you to the sins that keep you from intimacy with God. He will convince you of one of two things: 1) you’re worthless to God so there’s no point in trying or 2) you have kept all the commandments and are doing all the right things on your own so there’s no need to repent or rely on God (see the story of the pharisee and tax collector in Luke 18:9-14 and of the rich young ruler as told in verses 18-30).

White canvas with words, "Give me Jesus" on bottom
Alexandra Fuller photo | Unsplash

So what does this have to do with asking for help? Well, if you find yourself a nonbeliever and are currently separated from God, ask Him for help. Cry out to Him with all you have, and He will meet you on your knees. You don’t have to understand it all or have all the answers, you simply need to turn away from the lies and turn toward the Truth. Once you do, God will begin a new work in you and mold you into the person He created you to be—His devoted child made in His image. The enemy’s taunts will not stop; in fact, they will increase because he will realize he’s lost you forever and that will enrage him. Yet, have no fear. The One who has you now is stronger and wiser and nothing can separate you from Him (see Romans 8:31-39).

If you are a believer, the instructions are the same: just ask. Ask your Father to solidify your identity in Him. Ask Him to search you, show you if there are any grievous ways in you and create a clean heart within you (Psalm 51:10). Ask Him to rekindle your fire for Him, His people and the lost. Ask the Spirit to restore your communication with Him and give you the strength, faith and knowledge to live in obedience to Him.

You also can—and should—ask others for help. God has given us a family for a reason. Ask them to keep you accountable. Ask them to pray for and encourage you. Ask them to join you in your calling. We are a body of believers, brothers and sisters in Christ.

A special note to the older and younger generations on this: just ask each other. Please ask each other. Those that are older, young people want to hear from you. They want relationships with you when they are built on love and Christ is the cornerstone. Just as those before you made you feel valued, heard and seen, do so with the younger generations. Even if you never had such a person in your life, stop the cycle now. Be the pioneer God has called you to be and be the Paul to someone’s Barnabas. Be the Elizabeth to someone’s Mary. Do it for God, of course, but by doing so, you will be doing it for yourself, the next generation and beyond. This work is bigger than you and them; it is ensuring the baton will be passed—and passed well—for generations. For God’s glory.

The One who has you now is stronger and wiser and nothing can separate you from Him (see Romans 8:31-39).

For those that are younger: just ask. Please ask. Seek mentors. Ask questions. Get to know and build relationships with the elders of faith God has placed around you. Learn from their mountains and valleys. Remind them of their first love. Spurn them on to greater works. They want to hear from you just like you want to hear from them. If you are new to your faith and need such a community, ask God for them.

We need each other. We are the Body of Christ, who is the Anointed One, the Way, the Truth, the Life, the Alpha and Omega, the great Savior, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Let us work together and start honoring Him. Our first step: just ask.


English Standard Version Bible. (2001). Crossway Bibles.

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