What if I?
By Richard Thomas / June 2017
Solomon the wise said; “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (ESV)
One of the great hindrances to moving forward in life is the fear of making mistakes. The fear of making mistakes stems from the mortification of being wrong. Many die from indecisive old age at the metaphorical fork in the road. Yogi Berra said; “When you come to a fork in the road, take it!” It takes a man to admit he is wrong, a wife to point this out. She’s just tryin’ to help ya, man! After all, God appointed the woman whom He formed from Adam’s rib to be his helper because He knew Adam would need directions. It is my opinion that God chose Adam’s right side to extract a rib to form his helper. That must be why the wife is always right. Only a wise husband will humble himself to admit this. Trust me! This will lead to bliss in your home, guys!
Before Jesus finished the work of redemption on the Cross of Calvary, he promised to provide a helper as he would be busy interceding for the saints. “…Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” Romans 8:34 (ESV)
Jesus is referring to the Holy Spirit as the helper, the one who nudges the Christian, whether male or female, in the right direction, but never with an “I told you so” attitude. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,” John 14:16 (ESV) Without Jesus there is no salvation. See Acts 4:12.
The Holy Spirit reminded the apostles the words Jesus spoke before ascending to the Father. The apostles transferred, through preaching and because humans have short memories, through writing. By the end of the 1st century, the apostles produced scrolls filled with the teachings of Christ to be passed along to future generations of Christians.
By the 4th century, a collection of 27 New Testament writings appeared, compiled by Athanasius in A.D. 367, canonized by the Council of Carthage in A.D 397. The first collection of New Testament writings were read only by the educated. The first copies were hand crafted works of art, revealing the reverence for such sacred script in the hands of mortals. It is from these sacred scripts the Holy Spirit moved men with deep conviction to expound upon open hearts, life giving words of Jesus.
By the mid-1400’s technology, the Holy Spirit nudged Johannes Gutenberg of Mainz, present day Germany, who by the way was a gold smith by profession, to mass produce an estimated 180 bibles during the early 1450’s. But still, not everyone could read let alone afford one. Bibles were purchased by the wealthy.
By the early 1500’s The Holy Spirit nudged a young German priest to read from the bible, “…the righteous shall live by faith…” Romans 1:17, turning Catholic religious dogma on its ear, spawning deadly retribution from the celibate Vatican. Thus, the protestors of Catholic rule during the tumultuous reformation split the church between Protestant and Catholic.
Despite the war ignited by religious friction, the Holy Spirit nudges men and women forward in faith to carry their candle, burning in the soul, into the darkness for all to see the light, knowing death cannot extinguish the flame of revival. The flame of revival was stoked in the heart of William Tyndale, c. 1494-1536. Accredited with mass producing the first printed English New Testament at the expense of his life, literally by the hands of the Church of England.
William Tyndale’s punishment for heresy was to be burned at the stake. But was granted mercy as he was first strangled while tied to the stake, then his dead body was burned. The execution of William Tyndale was a public event. This form of capital punishment drew great cheering crowds, anxiously awaiting the crescendo; when the dead flaming body of the criminal would soon heat the internal organs to the boiling point. Wagers were placed as to when the body would explode.
I could add to the above list of men and women passing the flame of the Gospel message Jesus admonished His followers to do at the cost of their own lives. Nobody in their right mind would sign up for this kind of misery. Unless of course these nobodies in the worlds eyes were given eyes to see and ears to hear what the Holy Spirit gives to those who obey God.
The difference is; the Holy Spirit! So, what if you falter in your walk of faith? The Holy Spirit will never falter to remind you of who you are in Christ. “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” Romans 8:16 (ESV)
The point is that we all stumble. Perfection comes as you cross the finish line of this life. As Brennan Manning said; “…come to Jesus as you are, not as you should be. Because nobody is as they should be…” The Holy Spirit is our counselor, our teacher, our coach, our helper, comforter, our corrector, director, our connector. The Holy Spirit will make sure you cross the finish line.
The Holy Spirit is not bound by time. He hovers over the surface of the water to move as God the Father directs. The Holy Spirit delivered the eternal message of the ages into the present to provide light on the road of life for the children of God. “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin…If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:7.9 (ESV)
The blood of Jesus is sufficient to continue to cleanse from sin. The Holy Spirit will make the Christian very uncomfortable with sin until confession is made. That’s what a helper does!
Walking by the Spirit means there is no "what if?" The Holy Spirit's direction may seem haphazard, as seen by the wind propelling a beach ball around the swimming pool. "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." John 3:6 (ESV) The Holy Spirit moves at the direction of God. Where God deposits His servants is of no concern to the believer.