Feeling Your Way to Jesus
February 19, 2023 / Jeff Vanderstelt
Guest speaker Jeff Vanderstelt teaches from 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 on how the path to strength and wholeness actually comes through surrendering to our weakness before God.
- Weakness opens the doorway for healing, help, and strength. Like Paul, we honor God and position ourselves rightly when we show off (or boast in) our own weaknesses and limitations.
- God has gifted us with feelings to help us be aware of our needs and so that we would move toward communion with God and other people.
- God is constantly inviting us to locate ourselves using our feelings. Just like God asked Adam in the garden, “Where are you” God also asks us to bring our feelings and our neediness to Him for help and wholeness.
- Jesus was the perfect forerunner of humanity’s neediness and He understood his neediness more than anyone who ever lived. (John 5:19,30)
ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE REFERENCES:
- Genesis 2:18-3:10
- Hebrews 4:15-16
COMMUNITY GROUP QUESTIONS:
- Have someone read through 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 aloud. For context, Paul wrote 2 Corinthians to a church that, previously, had been divided and not submitting to its leaders. Many had repented and reconciled but there were still some who challenged Paul’s authority on the basis that he had suffered too much to actually be a Spirit-filled apostle of the risen Christ. But Paul argues that his suffering is the means God uses to reveal his glory (2 Cor 1:3-4, 11, 20).
- What do we see that’s true about ourselves if left to our own devices (verses 6-10)?
- What do we see that’s true about God in this passage?
- In this sermon, Jeff stressed the importance that feelings are God’s gift and a tool for understanding our needs. He relayed that we’re primarily driven by our feelings and desires and less so by our rational thoughts.
- How have you viewed your feelings? A burden you have to manage? A gift to help you? Something else?
- How has this viewpoint helped or hindered you in relating to God and others?
- In Genesis 2:18-25, Jeff taught that God created people to realize their neediness. He put Adam in the most vulnerable state of unconsciousness to show him his need for God and others. And before sin entered, Adam and Eve actually enjoyed and embraced their vulnerability and neediness.
- Have you ever enjoyed or embraced being weak and needy? If so, briefly explain the situation and what you learned from your weakness and neediness.
- How can you practically move toward opening yourself up to your neediness and vulnerability with God and others?
- To understand what it means to be totally needy and vulnerable we have to look no further than Jesus. He fully understood his need for the Father and perfectly took his feelings to Him. He feels what we feel when we feel it (Heb 4:15-16).
- Do you really believe that Jesus feels what you feel when you’re feeling it?
- How would your journey as a follower of Jesus be different if you were able to fully embrace this truth?
- So “where are you?” What are you feeling lately? Joy? Peace? Fear? Sadness? Anger? Indifference? (check out the feelings wheel).
- How can you commit to opening yourself up to your neediness and receive help and healing from God and others going forward?