Partnership with God

  I am rereading Philip Yancey’s book, “Prayer – Does It Make Any Difference?”  It is thought- provoking reading.  I have to struggle with some of his concepts. But, I find it important, for me, to struggle with understanding prayer.  May I just mention some remarks Yancey writes such as: “The main purpose of prayer is not to make life easier, nor to gain magical powers, but to know God.”  Yancey writes in his chapter on “Partnership”: “History is the story of God giving away power.  After entrusting the human species with the gift of free choice, God invited its representatives to act as partners…Jesus stayed on earth barely long enough to assemble a dozen followers…to whom he handed the keys of the Kingdom of God. Against all odds the movement took off, and the human partnership has not stopped since.  We are “God’s fellow workers,”  the apostle Paul said…And as God’s coworkers we are encouraged to submit our requests, our desires, our petitions in prayer…Prayer is cooperation with God…God has ordained prayer as a means of getting God’s will done on earth, not ours…God has made the work of the kingdom dependent on the notoriously unreliable human species.  

  I appreciated this illustration that Yancey writes:  “My pastor spent a day of hard labor installing stone steps in his backyard.  The individual stones weighed between a hundred and two hundred pounds, and it took all of Peter’s strength and a few tools to maneuver them into place.  His five-year-old daughter begged to help.  When he suggested she just sing, to encourage him in his work, she said no. She wanted to help. Carefully, when it would not endanger her, he let her place her hands on the rocks and push as he moved them.
Peter admitted later that Becky’s assistance actually complicated the task.  He could have built the steps in less time without her “help.”  At the end of the day, though, he had not only new steps but a daughter bursting with pride and a sense of accomplishment.  “Me and Dad made steps,” she announced at dinner that night.  And he would be the first to agree.”

  The Apostle Paul writes to the Christians at Philippi: “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed-not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence-continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”  Philippians 2:12-13
Paul again writes of Christians being fellow workers with God in Ephesians 2:10: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
To the Church at Corinth, Paul wrote: “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.  The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.”  I Corinthians 3:7-9   In this same chapter, Paul writes in verse 16: “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” 

  I do not agree with people who say that God does not need us, that He can accomplish His work without us.  I believe that God needs every single one of us.  God made mankind and seeks to save humanity.  He desires for the saved to serve Him.  God committed Himself to work with human partners, no matter how flawed the partners are.  Do we realize that we Christians are all that God has to work through?

  The question may be asked, “What is God doing in the world?”  The answer is another question: “What are God’s people doing?”  We are Christ’s body on earth. 
         What a sobering thought that we are in PARTNERSHIP WITH GOD.

3 Responses to “Partnership with God”

  1. Max, I anxiously wait for your devotionals. And I do have questions about prayer. Thank you so much.

  2. Max, You know just what believe and know about Prayer. . I am so thankful that God has given me the opportunity to talk with Him about any thing,any time.,any where.
    And when there are times that I don’t know what or how to pray, The Holy Spirit does it for me. It is just that simple ! My Prayer is : That My Wants will be what God wants for me for He is always right ! He always answers my prayers !

  3. Praise The Lord …he is willing to use a poor lost sinner like me ….. I have learned through the years that God does not have any small jobs for us to do …. he just has jobs that allows us to contribute to the kingdom… my prayer has been ‘Jesus Use Me’ …and believe me … he continues to answer that prayer …. and he blesses me with awesome fellow-workers and friends …. just like you !!!!1 Thank You Jesus !!!!

    Preach On !!!

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