Cooperating with the Great Physician

Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. –Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)

I went to see my doctor and I was taken to an examination room. A nurse walked in and said, “Undress!” I said, “No problem. I can do that. I do that all the time.” She said, “Put this on,” and she handed me a paper gown. Then, she had me hop up on a 4-foot table that was covered with a long strip of toilet paper. As the nurse left the room she said, “The doctor will be with you in a minute.” (This was a huge lie.)

So, I waited for the doctor, wearing my paper nightgown and I experienced wind chill factors found only in the Antarctic. Apparently, when it’s freezing, no germs can survive.

The doctor finally came in and he wanted to play unnatural games–you know what I mean–(1) the rubber tomahawk game, (2) the cold stethoscope game, (3) the fill the little bottle game, and (4) the rubber glove game. Since I was in no mood for games, I wanted to grab the stethoscope and shout, “You don’t know me well enough to be doing these things!” But, I refrained and cooperated. Why? Because he was the doctor and he was doing things (although they may have been unnatural) that would lead to my health. He’s got his part…and I’ve got my part.

It was a great reminder to me that the Great Physician uses the same principles. If we want to stay or become healthy spiritually, we have to cooperate with God. One of my favorite phrases is this: “You do the possible with faith, so that God will do the impossible.” When it comes to God and His healing power, He always works in us and with us, not against us or without us. Our job is to cooperate with Him, without regard for our own personal agendas or comforts.

God’s healing process is unique to each person. His ways are unpredictable, and He doesn’t do things according to how we think we should grow and change. His process doesn’t always look like progress, but it always leads to change.

God is in the healing business, but understand that in most cases, He uses a process to heal, rather than through an instantaneous event. Spiritual growth is a journey, not an overnight success story or a walk through a rose garden.

Today, spend some time reflecting on the areas of your life that God wants to heal, and ask yourself, “How can I cooperate with God in this moment?” The actions that come to mind may seem unnatural and uncomfortable, but remember that God’s ways lead to your health. He’s got His part…and you’ve got yours. Cooperate.

1. What areas of your life do you find most difficult to cooperate with God?

2. What is one action you are willing to take today in order to cooperate with God in an area of life you feel He most wants to change?

Philippians 3:12-14; Philippians 1:6; Psalm 40:5

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Doug Fields

Doug Fields is the senior director of HomeWord. He speaks to thousands of leaders, teenagers and parents each year. He’s also the author/co-author of 50+ books including: Parenting in a Screen Saturated Culture; Intentional Parenting; 7 Ways to be Her Hero – the One Your Wife Has Been Waiting For; and To Have and To Hold. In addition to Doug’s speaking and writing, he is also the co-founder of and the youth pastor at Mariners Church. Doug has been married for more than 35 years to his wonderful wife Cathy, and they live near their 3 married children and 3 grandchildren in Southern California.

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