How can I help?
How I found the way to know the right time, the right words, and the right actions to truly be able to help and bless others.
“And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, called by God as High Priest ‘according to the order of Melchizedek.’” Hebrews 5:9-10.
Melchizedek – he is a character in the Bible who is a bit of a mystery. He suddenly appeared and gave Abraham food and wine and a blessing after Abraham hadd to free his nephew Lot in the city of Sodom. He was “the King of Salem,” but no one knew who his mother and father were. And as quickly as he had come, he was gone, disappearing back into the unknown. (Genesis 14:18-20.)
Though there is relatively little known about him, his story has always fascinated me. He came to Abraham just at the right time, spoke the exact words Abraham needed to be strengthened, and then went on his way.
How can I be a Melchizedek?
It has given me a longing to be able to be a blessing like Melchizedek when I deal with others. There can be many needs in those around me. Perhaps someone needs a kind word, a hearty meal, or just a listening ear. Perhaps someone is sick, alone, or struggling in some way. If I am always absorbed with myself, and my own needs and wants, it is so easy to miss those opportunities to be a blessing for the others. But if I have a mind to bless, and a longing to serve God in all I do, then I can listen to the voice of the Spirit and trust that He can lead me to do those works that can be a help for others.
But how do I know what to give? How do I know what to say to someone who might be in need? The answer is first to have a pure heart – to do the things that I already know are right in everything. When God wanted Moses and Aaron to speak to the Israelites, He said, “Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.” Exodus 4:12. When we live according to what we know is right, then we also have this promise. When God has a work for us, He also gives us what we need to fulfill the task. We must just go in faith, speak or do what comes into our heart, and then leave the results to God.
Entrusting God with the results
I know for myself, sometimes leaving is the hardest part. It lies so close to want to see the results of our works. Did I say the right thing? Is the person thankful for what I gave? Do others know that I am such a “blessing?”
All these thoughts can come quite easily. But if I am looking for thanks, or honor or even to see if what I offered was the right thing, then I am only seeking my own. That is not what God wants when He uses me to bless someone, and it is not what Melchizedek did either. He quietly went away and entrusted the results straight into God’s hands. It is not known if he ever knew the results of his actions. The truth is, his offering of food and wine strengthened Abraham after battle. But most importantly, his words of encouragement caused Abraham to refuse earthly gain from the king of Sodom. This is extremely significant, because it meant that Abraham did not place his trust in things of the earth or in man, but only in God. This act was so significant that Melchizedek was also known as “the king of righteousness.” (Hebrews 7:1.)
There have been times in my life when I know I have the best of intentions to help someone. But I have also sensed that I have reached the limits of my human strength, and I have had to make a decision. Do I stay, and continue to offer my services, knowing that I am only doing it in my own strength? Or do I go, and entrust that person into God’s hands, knowing that He has a plan for those I care about and that He will continue His work? First in that person’s heart, and second perhaps through others who can also hear His voice.
God gives the increase!
Melchizedek’s story has been a tremendous strength for me in those times. His example has given me a firm faith in my heart that when I listen to the voice of the Spirit, I can trust His promptings. I can believe completely that God continues to work even after I have quietly gone, and I can entrust the results completely into His hands.
I am reminded of the verse in 1 Corinthians 3:7: “So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.” Whether I see the results of my works and prayers now or in eternity, it makes no difference. Because it is God who is to receive the honor for them.
May I always be pure so that I can hear God’s voice in my heart, humble so that I can carry out the works He has prepared for me, and righteous so that I can be like the wind that “blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8. That is my goal in life, and I know that I will have everything I need – for myself and for the others.
You may be interested in reading more on our topic page about Relationships with others, or in the articles below:
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.