Bible Study

The Ministry of the First Responder

Michael Beck

Many painful situations occur in our life that leave us hurting and wounded.

And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. (Luke 10:30)

The attacks upon us go beyond the actual events. Satan weaponizes these events through an evil interpretation, either directly to our mind, or through the opinions of others.

But ye are forgers of lies, ye are all physicians of no value. (Job 13:4)

The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart. (Psalm 119:69)

While others aren’t aware of the private “war” going on in on our heart; both God and the devil know.

The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy. (Proverbs 14:10)

Satan is a promoter of sorrow. His lines of attack pertain to regret over the past and despair over the future. Others may be ignorant of how their words and actions are playing into his hands.

So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him … Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. (2 Corinthians 2:7,8,11)

comfort > Gr. parakaleo

The ministry of the Paraclete is to come to our assistance in our every time of need, to bring to us truth that will comfort, console, and encourage us.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (John 14:16-18)

comforter > Gr. parakletos

1) summoned, called to one’ s side, especially called to one’ s aid
1a) one who pleads another’ s cause before a judge, a pleader, counsel for defense, legal assistant, an advocate
1b) one who pleads another’ s cause with one, an intercessor
1b1) of Christ in his exaltation at God’ s right hand, pleading with God the Father for the pardon of our sins
1c) in the widest sense, a helper, succourer, aider, assistant
1c1) of the Holy Spirit destined to take the place of Christ with the apostles (after his ascension to the Father), to
lead them to a deeper knowledge of the gospel truth, and give them divine strength needed to enable them to
undergo trials and persecutions on behalf of the divine kingdom

succourer > someone who gives help in times of need or distress or difficulty: recoverer, rescuer, saver.

Man, unaided by the intercession of God, is no match for the devil.

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not … (Luke 22:31,32)

Both Jesus and the Holy Spirit are “succourers” sent to us from the Father; they are His “first responders,” ministering to us when our hearts would become overwhelmed with trouble, fear or sorrow.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:26,27)

Through His “first responders,” God “binds up” our wounds and oversees our healing.

But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. (Luke 10:33,34)

There are times and seasons when the enemy comes in like a flood, wanting to overwhelm us with discouragement. He would break through all our attempts to hold ourselves up. At such times, we need the defense of the Holy Spirit, who lifts up a standard against the enemy which causes him to retreat.

… When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. (Isaiah 59:19)

In an evil day, the fiery darts designed by Satan to destroy us, must be quenched by the shield of faith designed by the Holy Spirit.

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (Ephesians 6:16)

Our shield of faith is forged by the word the Holy Spirit quickens to us.

Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. (Psalm 119:49,50)

But for the grace of God, and the help of the Holy Spirit, the enemy would certainly destroy us – filling our mind with a multitude of unsound thoughts and driving us toward foolish and hurtful actions.

Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction. (Psalm 119:92)

Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up. In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul. (Psalm 94:17-19)

In a time of heaviness we must wait on the Lord to strengthen us with a word in due season.

My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word. (Psalm 119:28)

Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad. (Proverbs 12:25)

A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! (Proverbs 15:23)

The “counsel” that would daily bring us sorrow must be repelled by the comforting response of God that “lightens our eyes.”

How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me. (Psalm 13:1-6)

There is nothing the devil hates more than to see us standing at the end of an evil day.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6:10-13)

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.