In a recent tweet you wrote, “Christian relationships have this as their goal: to help each other stay satisfied in God.” Give us some practical ways for how we can do this in our ordinary lives. What does this look like for just an average Christian trying to help another average Christian stay satisfied in God?
Sure. First, let me say why I think that. First Corinthians 14:26 says, “Let all things be done for building up.” And two chapters later, in 16:14 it says, “Let all that you do be done in love.” Now I think building up faith and doing everything for love is virtually the same as encouraging people to be satisfied in God, because I think faith is, in its essence, being satisfied with all that God is for us in Jesus, so loving somebody is helping them be in a situation where they will have the greatest benefit.
Romans 8:28 says that all things work together for the good of those who love God, so I want to help them love God, because then everything is going to work together for their good. That is what love is and loving God is being satisfied in God. So that is where that little statement comes from.
Speak the Promises of God
So here is my “how to.” People are satisfied with what they see and taste as satisfying. If they see something as satisfying, they are going to be satisfied in it and, therefore, our job is to show God as satisfying. So we need to help people see and taste God as more satisfying than their television or their money or their job or their relationships.
And we do that first by speaking the word of God and especially the promises of God into their lives. Here is an example. This morning I was at a prayer meeting with a friend named Dave who’s getting on an airplane tonight and flying to India to minister to pastors. He is an older guy and is challenged to make that trip, and so we got around Dave, people prayed, and I closed it by saying, “Dave, fear not for I am with you. Be not dismayed. I am your God. I will help you. I will strengthen you. I will hold you up with my righteous right hand. Amen.”
So I spoke God’s promise from Isaiah 41:10. I spoke it to him and I hope ringing in his mind at that moment is: “God is going to help me. God is strong for me. God doesn’t want me to be dismayed.” So I used the Word of God to try to satisfy him on God’s promised help.
Fill Your Wells for Friendship
Piper: “Your greatest ministry to me is your own enjoyment of Christ.”
And then the only other thing I think I would say is we be satisfied around people. You don’t just speak words of satisfaction into people, because if you are living a life of dissatisfaction in God, your whole life is going to contradict those words to dilute their effect. And so a life of joy shows that you are satisfied in God and a life of sacrificial service shows that you are satisfied in God.
So we speak promises of God to reveal his all satisfying goodness and we enjoy his promises thus manifesting by our own freedom from joylessness that God actually is satisfying. And we give ourselves to people in a way that shows we don’t need them to serve us because God has served us so well, and we can now give ourselves to serving God and people.
Love Your Neighbor by Enjoying God
So it seems if we want to serve others to help them stay satisfied in God, a key requirement is our own personal discipline.
Yeah, it does. It comes down to whether we taste and see that the Lord is good. You know, I have said this to the church, and I have said to pastors, and I have said to my wife, “What I want from you, Noel, what I want from my staff, what I want from my congregation, is for you to be happy in Jesus. The greatest ministry you can have to me is your own enjoyment of Christ.
And so I think when we turn that around and say, “How can I be the greatest blessing to the people around me?” The answer is: Get up in the morning. Go to the word of God, and like George Mueller said, “Get your heart happy in God” before you meet other people.