The Helper

A message text of Sunday, November 3, 2019 from Melvin Gaines:

Help! (1965)1 performed by The Beatles

Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

[Intro: John Lennon]

(Help!) I need somebody

(Help!) Not just anybody

(Help!) You know I need someone

(Help!)

[Verse 1: John Lennon]

When I was younger so much younger than today

I never needed anybody’s help in any way

But now these days are gone, I’m not so self-assured

Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors

[Chorus: John Lennon]

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down

And I do appreciate you being ’round

Help me get my feet back on the ground

Won’t you please, please help me?

[Verse 2: John Lennon]

And now my life has changed in oh so many ways

My independence seems to vanish in the haze

But every now and then I feel so insecure

I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before

[Chorus: John Lennon]

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down

And I do appreciate you being ’round

Help me get my feet back on the ground

Won’t you please, please help me?

[Verse 3: John Lennon]

When I was younger, so much younger than today

I never needed anybody’s help in any way

But now these days are gone, I’m not so self-assured

Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors

[Chorus: John Lennon]

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down

And I do appreciate you being ’round

Help me get my feet back on the ground

Won’t you please, please help me?

Help me? Help me? Oooh

The title track of the album and the film which followed, “Help!” was released in 1965 as a single, and was ranked No. 29 on the Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Being primarily written by Lennon, the song comments on his feelings about being quickly risen to fame as revealed on The Beatles Anthology. Lennon said he felt that “Help!,” along with “Strawberry Fields Forever,” was his most honest, genuine Beatles songs and not just songs “written to order.”

John Lennon has been very open and direct about the song’s meaning:

“Most people think it’s just a fast rock & roll song. Subconsciously, I was crying out for help. I didn’t realize it at the time; I just wrote the song because I was commissioned to write it for the movie.”

More, he was “eating like a pig, drinking too much and smoking marijuana for breakfast… I don’t like the recording that much.  We did it too fast, to try and be commercial.”2

With John Lennon’s confession in an interview sometime after he wrote and regularly performed the song “Help!” we get a rare glimpse of a personal reflection of his life experience at the time he wrote the song.  It was literally a cry for help…a longing for greater understanding.  His fast and party-hard lifestyle was driven by his band’s meteoric success. 

You may have noticed in the song’s lyrics that he did not refer to help from a specific person.  He only stated that he appreciated ‘someone’ being around and to help him get his feet back on the ground.  Maybe it was because he was always high much of the time.   The pressure of sudden fame and popularity was enormous.

Where can one go to get help?

Have you ever been in a place where all you can do is cry for help?

Each one of us needs help at some point in life.  It comes at a time where what we know is insufficient to carry us forward in a situation or circumstance.  John Lennon’s subconscious cry for help was an effort to make sense out of where he was, and perhaps we have been there, too.

The good news is that when we recognize the need for a personal Lord and Savior in Jesus Christ, we have immediate help to draw upon.  This comes in the power of the Holy Spirit, who was promised for each one of us in our game-changing, life-saving relationship with Jesus.

John 14:16-18 ESV

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

Being a believer in Jesus is wonderful (because He is wonderful—Isaiah 9:6), but we also know that life moves in such a way at times that can make its events overwhelming.

We sometimes need help.

Some challenges are small and some are very significant, but there is no challenge that a believer faces without the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

The Spirit is our ever-present help.

He is the Helper.

If you call on Him, He can get your feet back on the ground.

If you call on Him, He gets us up out of the miry clay.

Psalm 40:1-2

I waited patiently for the Lord;

    he inclined to me and heard my cry.

He drew me up from the pit of destruction,

    out of the miry bog,

and set my feet upon a rock,

    making my steps secure.

A believer in Jesus learns very early on that the highs and lows of life are still evident; nonetheless, there is a great change in the life of a believer.  The change is for the better.

The Spirit is not only our Helper—He is our Change-Agent.

First, the change from the old to a new creation…

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Second, an ongoing life change as the Spirit works from within as a testimony for Jesus Christ…

Romans 12:1-2

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Much of Romans talks about the transformation of a believer from the very beginning of an acknowledgment of Christ’s lordship, and that transformation is taking place because of the sanctifying presence of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 1:30-31 CSB

It is from him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became wisdom from God for us—our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, in order that, as it is written: Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.

Note that the association with Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit gives a believer help and ability in three important ways that cannot be accomplished or harnessed in one’s own strength:

  • Redemption
  • Righteousness
  • Sanctification

Redemption comes from Jesus’ character of grace and mercy.  His death on the cross reflects His sacrifice for all humanity, but our forgiveness of sin comes from His grace and mercy.

Ephesians 1:7-10

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Righteousness comes only through association with Jesus.  His righteousness is His very nature and character.  It effectively counters our nature of the flesh.

2 Corinthians 5:21

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Sanctification is the ongoing work of the Spirit that sets you apart from the world.  The Spirit helps us to live in humility, which suppresses our flesh and allows God to do His work through us.

2 Timothy 2:21

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

2 Thessalonians 2:13-14

But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.  To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Receiving help also means being willing to accept it.

A key element that allows the Spirit to truly help you and function at an optimal level in your life is your humility.  Without a humble heart and a willingness to be taught by the Spirit, your growth can be hampered.

1 Peter 5:5

Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

James 4:10

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

The Holy Spirit helps those who desire to grow in Jesus Christ and live a Christlike existence.

Redemption, righteousness, sanctification: Each of these are of paramount importance as we mature in Christ. The Spirit helps us as He teaches us with His wisdom and knowledge, and He reminds us of His ever-present nature.  Each of these is a constant reminder of how we are to live in the power of the Spirit on a daily basis.

Do you need help?  Well, it’s nice to have friends, but they can’t do for you what the Holy Spirit does.  He gives you the help that you need when you need it.

1 Lennon, J. and P. McCartney (1965). Help! [Recorded by The Beatles]. On Help! [7″]. London UK: Parlophone, Capitol Records (April 13, 1965)

2 Lennon, J. and P. McCartney. “The Beatles – Help!” Genius, 19 June 1965, genius.com/The- beatles-help-lyrics. https://genius.com/The-beatles-help-lyrics

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