When we run into problems we might be inclined to think that prayer and bible reading are enough to keep us going. Afterall, God is sufficient, isn’t He? When we are depressed, lonely or anxious spending time with God should get us headed in the right direction. What we’re going to find in this week’s crazy maker is that God uses a wide variety of sources, not just Him alone, to help us with our life’s daily challenges.
Ephesians 4:16 “He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”
We’ve talked in previous chapters how God uses people to meet other people’s needs.
- Why is letting God meet our needs through other people the key to the correct functioning of the body of Christ?
God isn’t limited to achieving His work in us through other people. The Bible doesn’t specifically tell us how God will meet our specific need. He is perfectly capable of meeting our needs in and of himself or through people that He chooses. It is unfortunate of us if we presume that God working directly in our lives is somehow more holy than when we see Him working through other people.
This chapter talks about 4 fundamental spiritual and emotional arenas where God meets people directly and through others indirectly.
- Growth – most of us can say that we want to grow. We want to get better, to know better ways of doing things. and one of the ways that this can begin to happen is with each other. As parts of Christ’s body we all help each other grow up in Christ. (Ephesians 1:22&23)
- How have others enhanced or enabled your spiritual growth?
- Comfort – this is a basic spiritual and emotional need. There are times in life where we need someone to ease our pain…to listen to our hurts…and people are intimately involved in this process.
- When have you received good comfort? (Philemon 1:7)
- Wisdom – we all need wisdom because not of us have it all figured out. People are some of God’s best resources at seeking and gaining wisdom.
- How has God used people to help you understand His truths found in the Bible?
- Repair – we are all broken in some way or another as we have both sinned and been sinned against.
- How have God’s people helped you learn discipline, accept your weaknesses…etc…?
Here’s one last thing to think about. When we think about this crazy maker that we only need God and not others, what that also does is distance us from the man Jesus. A cornerstone of the Christian faith is that Jesus became flesh and lived among the rest of us for 30 some years. When we say that we don’t need people, we’re in affect saying that what Jesus did by leaving heaven and coming to earth was all for nothing.
Consider this statement from page 124…”Most religions detail how to reach God. You perform certain rituals, you remain fiathful to commands, you live the best life you can, or you recognize the god that you are. In Christianity however, we don’t reach for God. We don’t find the pathway to God. He reached for us, he made a path for us: God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins again them’ (2 Corinthians 5:19) God saw we were in deep trouble and would never be able to reconnect with him in his holiness. So he did the work for us: Christ paid for our sins on the cross.” “By becoming man, God showed us that he understand our suffering.
That’s how Christ met our needs when He was on earth – by direct, hands-on compassion and unrelenting love.
- What have you learned about God from your relationships with people?
Here’s a wonderful end to our study of this crazy maker from page 232:
“The Scriptures teach that people are a means of distributing God’s grace to others. If you’re not receiving grace from God’s people, your perception of God is too small. And, as the apostle John understood, your joy will be incomplete. Complete your own joy. Get face to face with others who love you and whom God can use to show his love for you.”
If you’d like to join this study in real time…I’m teaching it at HopePark Wednesday Mornings & Thursday Nights. If you’re a Nashville local, the door is always open. We’re at 8001 Hwy. 70 South, just off I-40. Online at http://hopepark.com and on twitter @hopepark.
Me…well you can find me twittering @jodytodd.
Have a great week!
Questions and assigned quotes from the study by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend entitled “12 Christian Beliefs That Can Drive You Crazy.”