May 27, 2007

Partnership with God

My daughter and I can hang wallpaper together. We can also share the same kitchen, almost as if we are together and right and left hand. That isn’t true for everyone, and I’m not sure why it works with her, but that partnership is delightful, and I wish it were true for every aspect of our relationship.

Someone this week talked about our relationship and partnership with God. He remarked how he could not understand why God set it up so He works through our prayers. God doesn’t need us, yet in His wisdom, He makes us part of what He is doing in this world.

He also makes us part of what He is doing in our lives. He cleanses our sin as we confess it. He gives us strength when we come to Him in our weakness. He directs our path as we seek direction from Him. Communication is key, but even that would be useless without His commitment to work with us as we work with Him.

In Hebrews 10:23, the writer says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” We hold fast to Him, but He says “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Our eternal security is a partnership.

I don’t understand how or why it works either, but it makes sense. What would we think of a God who holds unto us, but doesn’t care how we behave? What would we think of a God who, no matter how hard we tried, didn’t do anything to help us? It would be like me and my daughter in the kitchen with no communication or cooperation at all. Instead of making a coordinated meal, it would be whatever each determined. We might make two desserts and no main course, or one does spicy Mexican burritos and the other some conflicting flavor, like Italian pasta. Talking wouldn’t help if we were not committed to the same purpose and goals.

God understands the human condition. He knows we are sinners unable to follow Him in our own strength, and while He could zap us into robotic obedience, He doesn’t want robots. Instead, He changes our hearts so we want to obey Him, gives us the inner wherewithal to do it, and then partners with us to make sure it happens.

I’m also certain that I am not “in training” us so eventually I can do this on our own. This is a forever partnership, a unity not unlike the unity in the Godhead where the Father, the Spirit, and the Son are one. Everything done by God is in perfect harmony with who He is. He wants that same harmony in the things that we do—together.

These are peace-producing thoughts this Sunday morning. As I leave my house to go worship with His people, I feel a settled sense of not being alone, and of not having to do anything He wants me to do without His continual and perfect help. I’m sure if He were a physical being, we could easily hang wallpaper together.

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