1. Why Don't Men Obey God?
2. My Father
3. Narrow Escapes From Death
4. My Mother
5. My Father's Conversion
6. God First Speaks
7. Tithing Opens The Way
8. Childlike Faith
9. A Child's Prayer
10. Parental Discipline
12. First Obedience
13. Jesus Reveals My Companion
15. Our First Pastorate
16. "Come With Me, Son..."
17. "...And Perfect Will Of God"
19. Baptized With The Holy Spirit
20. The Calling
21. Spiritual Burdens
22. Leaving All
23. Waiting On God
24. Home Built By Faith
25. Warning From A Watchman
26. The Beginning
1"WHY DON'T MEN OBEY GOD?"|
Pulling the front door shut of the lovely home which Jesus
had provided us, I started to turn toward the car where my dear
wife was waiting to accompany me to a restaurant. At that moment
God spoke within me: "Someone is near death!"
The burden was severe. "Honey," I told my wife, getting into
the car, "the Holy Spirit is revealing to me that one of my
family is close to death. I must call out to God for them." As
we drove toward the highway, I prayed and prayed, but the
revelation became so intense that I finally said, "We can't go
any farther. We will have to go back home and intercede with God
for this dear one in peril."
A fine meal now forgotten, I returned to my prayer room and
cried out to God, "Oh, God deliver, deliver, deliver! Lord,
undertake! Jesus, we need you badly!" I pled and prayed for two
or three hours before I began to get relief.
The following day my parents were called to officiate at a
funeral in Cromwell, Indiana, several miles north; but my mother
awoke that morning with an unusual feeling upon her. When she
started to get dressed for the journey she would almost lose her
breath. The burden was so strong that finally she said, "Eldon,
I am not supposed to go to that funeral."
My father was surprised: "But Mother, they're expecting us.
They're all expecting you." They had pastored in this community
years before and had many friends there.
"I can't help it," she insisted. "It takes my breath to
talk about it." So my father made the trip alone.
On the way home, he began to round the bend at Big Lake in a
1959 two-door Ford, when a man in a large Hudson, outweighing my
father's car by about a thousand pounds, swerved over into the
left-hand lane and hit him head-on. The impact drove the engine
back into the driver's compartment a little, injuring him.
If Mother had been in the car, it would surely have killed
her; but Dad was always an exceptionally strong man. He had more
power in his arms at the age of seventy than many men have at the
age of fifty. This enormous strength spared him from worse
injury or death, because he simply braced his arms against the
impact and bent the steering wheel down. As it was, the wheel
dealt him an awful blow, and left its impression in his chest for
some time. A few ribs were hurt and the muscles were badly
bruised. One of our dear friends who saw Dad's car following the
accident remarked, "How did he ever get out of there alive?"
I answered him, "God's mercy spared him."
The doctor prescribed a strong pain medication, which Dad
took Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. By Wednesday the pain pills
had lost their effectiveness and nothing would diminish his
suffering. He told me, "These pills don't do me any good now,
Son. I don't know whether I can stand much more pain."
At that, I dropped to my knees beside his chair, laid my
hand across my father's arm, and began to pray: "Oh, God, my Dad
is hurting so badly, and nothing seems to stop this pain. Would
you, dear Father, in the matchless name of Jesus, now remove this
suffering for your glory and honor?" The power of God came down
into his body and I sensed it. "Did you feel that?" I asked my
"Ohhh, yes!" he answered. "That feels so much better!" He
got up from his chair, took his cane in hand, and began to move
about. To God's glory, he never again had pain from that injury.
It was the Lord who had heard and answered prayer. He
had revealed the burden of this accident the day before it
occurred. His message to me just as I turned to leave our home
was: "Some of your loved ones are about to leave home now." I
praise Him for His faithfulness.
I praise the Lord that I was born of parents who feared God,
who loved God and taught me of Jesus. My earliest recollection
is of my mother talking and singing to me of Jesus. She would
hold me in her arms and sing, "Oh, yes, there is power in Jesus'
blood to wash and make me clean."
I came from a line of people who loved God. On my father's
side of the family, my great, great-grandfather helped build the
little Methodist church at Windsor about 115 to 120 years ago.
He was a very faithful man, a very humble man.
His son, my great-grandfather, walked to Sunday morning and
evening services, to prayer meeting and evangelistic services,
and not a short distance either. Rev. Eddie Greenwald said to me
years ago, "I think perhaps your great-grandfather didn't miss a
service in thirty to thirty-five years." My mother remembers
going up the church steps when she was a little girl the age of
eight to ten hearing her mother say, "Well, we will have a good
meeting tonight: Uncle Jerry is here." He was only an humble
farmer, but he loved Jesus.
The home of my mother's folks, Loran and Elizabeth Dickson,
had always been the home of visiting ministers. Regardless of
their church affiliation, they were welcome at my grandfather's
table, and also at his father's table. Rev. Gilmore, the first
man I recognized as a man of God, had a deep appreciation for my
mother's parents. He told me years later when he was not well
and I was taking him to a medical clinic, "Loran, your
grandmother, Elizabeth Dickson, lived for others. The epitaph on
her tombstone could read: `She lived for others.'"
I was born in Muncie, Indiana, February 3, 1916, the first
son of Alvin Eldon Helm and Mary Rosetta Helm. We re-
mained there only a short time before moving a few miles
southeast to the small village of Windsor, where we lived in what
Dad and Mother called "the little red house."
It is in the village of Windsor that I really first remember
prayer, remember church, remember the preaching. The Lord has
somehow permitted me to recall definite experiences from an early
age. I can remember well the buildings which stood across the
street from our home when I was less than three years old. You
would wonder how a boy could recollect when he was so small, but
I see them now just like a picture. Standing in his place of
business in one of those old buildings is a man they called "one-
armed Dudley." Over to the east I can see Mary West sitting on
her porch. Those buildings were torn down to build the new
Christian Church dedicated in 1920.
Most vividly I recall sitting in church near the front
listening to Rev. Gilmore preach. Following one Sunday morning
service I remember very well my father coming home and asking my
mother, "Mary, why didn't men and women obey God in church
today?" And she answered, "I don't know." Upon another Sunday I
can hear my father again saying, "Mary, why didn't men obey the
Lord this morning in church?" And my mother replied, "Eldon, I
just don't know what to say."
Each time my father asked, "Why didn't men obey God?", it
was getting inside of me until I began to wonder myself: why
aren't men obedient? Why aren't they humbling themselves? This
question pierced my heart. Somehow God allowed my little four to
five-year-old heart to hear that question deep in the interior
life and hold on to it.
In the last few years God has revealed to me that the
seriousness and the urgency of obeying the Holy Spirit is not
getting into the hearts of many people, even into those who have
been in the church for fifty years. God has made known to me
that very few in either the ministry or the laity have perceived
the mystery or the absolute necessity of
truly obeying God. Few have grasped the message that we must do
what God reveals rather than what we desire, what we arrange, or
what we plan. Surely it is a miracle that the seriousness of
obeying God took root in my heart at such a young age.
I believe my hearing God's call to obedience as a child was
because of the Holy Ghost falling upon me as I was born. It is
of such consequence that I hesitate to speak of it; but my mother
tells me that the Holy Spirit fell upon both of us as I came into
this world. She did not relate this to me until May 1956, when I
was forty years of age.
I had taken Mother to Rev. L. M.'s church in Kokomo, where
God had led me for revival services, and after returning home the
second night of services we were enjoying the sweet fellowship in
the Lord. The presence of Jesus was to be sensed all around, and
Mother said to me, "Son, I have had the most wonderful rest in
the last two nights that I have had in two months."
I replied, "Mother, it is because of the precious presence
of the Holy Spirit."
She nodded her agreement, for the Spirit of God was then
falling so sweetly upon us. She then said, "This is the way I
felt Son, when you were born."
I was stunned. "Mother!"
"Yes, Loran," she continued, "the Holy Spirit fell upon me
when you were born, just as you came from my body. I thought
that all mothers experienced this with each child, until I had
borne five more sons and never felt that Presence again."
"Mother!" I managed to say again. "This is so sacred! It
is so serious!" This knowledge of God's Spirit falling upon me
at birth brought me, as it were, with my face to the floor
beseeching God that I would be faithful to Jesus. I was crying
out in my heart not to fail God as men have in the past over
women, over money; through prayerlessness, faithlessness,
trustlessness; by disobedience, resentment, strife, or
analyzation. If you read the Bible carefully, you will observe
that almost all men failed God; they came short of His will. I
prayed, "Oh, Lord, deliver me that I may never grieve Thy Holy
Through my mother and father, God taught me the urgency of
obedience, and made me aware that men seldom consistently obey
God. In my early background God was preparing me to see that men
should obey the Lord and strive to do His will, for Jesus said in
Luke 13: "Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for
many I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be
So, you see, it isn't by accident that I have been striving
to obey God. It isn't by chance that I heard at this early age
the command: "Obey God; [ Acts 5:29]
obey the Holy Spirit; do what God wants you to do." It is because
the Lord has been dealing with me. It is because of my heritage.
It is because of the gift God gave us in Jesus Christ that He
laid it deep in my heart--placed it deep in the interior life
(and the Holy Spirit operates within me as I tell you this)--to
obey what the Holy Spirit wants me to do. Praise God!
These thirty years and more of walking with God seem but a
few days, because the delight of all living is to walk with
God, to trust Him, to wait upon Him (and when I say that, I feel
the power of God coming through my body and up into my arms). Of
course, my path has not always been easy, but it has been
wonderful and glorious. I have not looked to the difficulties, I
have looked to Jesus. I have not proceeded according to the
patterns of the earth, I have endeavored to follow God's Word
and the revelation of His Spirit. It is God who has brought us
to victory. It is God who has given us daily strength. He is
the One who has 'given all things' [John 3:35 & John
13:3] that we have experienced in this sacred walk
with Jesus Christ. Praise be unto His name forever.