Working with God

 

 

Holy Spirit Stained Glass
Holy Spirit Stained Glass (Photo credit: hickory hardscrabble)

 

1Samuel 14:45: Then the people said to Saul, “Shall Jonathan die, who has worked this great salvation in Israel? Far from it! As the LORD lives, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day.” So the people ransomed Jonathan, so that he did not die.

 

God is at work all the time, therefore there is ample need for people willing to cooperate with His plan on the earth.

 

Abraham worked with God to make available a family, nay a nation on the earth, which will many years later be a platform for the emergence of his Son, Jesus. Hence, that step of faith taken by Abraham to leave his father’s house for a city “whose builder and maker is God” had eternal consequences (Hebrews 11:8-10). In the same way, working with God will ensure that your relevance lasts for eternity.

 

Noah worked with God in preserving a remnant while God’s judgement came hard on the people on the earth (Hebrews 11:7). Noah responded to the call of God to build an ark not only for the purpose of preserving the human race but also to preserve the animal species on the earth. He followed both the initiative and timing of God.

 

Those are two key things those who want to work with God must put in mind: his timing and his initiative. Whatever you are building in the name of God as Noah built an ark must be by his initiative and timing. That is just the way the kingdom of God wants.

 

In Genesis chapter 11, the people on the earth decided to build a tower that will reach to heaven, it was not God’s initiative and definitely not His timing and He eventually scuttle that plan by scattering their language (Genesis 11:1-9).  When it is on God’s timing and his initiative, then it is guaranteed his resources, his grace, otherwise, it qualifies to be scuttled by it.

 

The Holy Spirit asked the leaders of the church in Antioch to separate Paul and Barnabas to him for a work to which he “had” called them (Acts 13:1-3). That was His initiative and on His timing and that meant His resources would be available to them. And they had remarkable results in all the places they went, they had ample fruits to show for their efforts.

 

The Holy Spirit has earlier instructed Paul and Barnabas on that assignment but the timing was not given. That meant that they knew what the Holy Spirit has as initiative but they did not know his timing. They had to wait.

 

They were not permitted to only run on mere zeal, but to move when he says so, running on his word. That was training in patience, in waiting on the Lord. The bible says those who wait upon the lord will renew their strength, so the waiting time is the strength-renewal time (Isaiah 40:31).

 

When the disciples were appointed by Jesus, the bible says that the purpose was first, so that they might be with him and then he can send them out to do the work of reaching the people of Israel with him (Mark 3:14). They went out on his timing. But the time of being with him was the waiting time; it is strength-renewal time.

 

Elisha had to wait for the elevation of Elijah before he stepped into his assignment. He had the call to be a prophet but his coming into that place of influence would take some time.

 

Man lost the ability to work with God through the sin of Adam. Adam was chased out of the Garden of Eden and was made to get on with life on his own initiative (Genesis 3:1-19). He was removed from God’s presence and provision. Because he now runs on his own initiative, God’s ultimate provision was far from man. His ultimate provision is the Holy Spirit to guide us.

 

But in Jesus, we have someone who worked with God, with the Holy Spirit and modelled it for us, as the last Adam (1Corinthians 14:45). When Jesus left the scene the disciples would step into his shoes in working with the Holy Spirit.

 

The call now is for us to be instructed in the ways of the Holy Spirit and be more aware of him. Jesus was focused on introducing the disciples to the personality of the Holy Spirit, towards the end of His stay on the earth, both before he died (John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13) and after rose from the dead, just before he was taken to heaven (Acts 1:4-8).

 

Long before then, however, he hinted on the sensitive nature of the Holy Spirit. When the Pharisee accused him of casting out devils by the prince of demons, Beelzebub, he warned then to be careful lest they be found sinning against the Holy Spirit, something that is without a remedy (Matthew 12:31).

 

Paul would later on say: do not grieve the Holy Spirit with whom you were sealed to the day of promise (Ephesians 4:30). You need to know how the Holy Spirit works.  If you spend your lifetime learning about the operation of the Holy Spirit and practising what you learn, then that would be the most rewarding thing you ever did. That is how vital it is to know the Holy Spirit. He gives your life true meaning.

 

Jesus told the disciples that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth who will guide them into all truth. That was supposed to help them to recognise the Holy Spirit as guide, without whom nothing really will be accomplished.  Your life will not be measured by the flurry of activities you are involved in, but how much you walked according to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. That is the gold standard of God.

 

And whatever we are doing will be tested by fire, of what sort it is, whether gold or silver, wood or rubble. So it is not the impression we create in the eyes of men that matters ultimately, it is not the height of our ambition or the awards we have collected or how famous we are in the sight of others, it is the operation of the Holy Spirit within us and how our activities reflect that. Working with God is not about looking for whom to copy, it is about moving in the flow of the Holy Spirit, in his river within you (John 7:37-39).

 

 

 

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