working with the Lord
SCRIPTURE: Joshua 8
I and all those with me will advance on the city, and when the men come out against us, as they did before, we will flee from them. They will pursue us until we have lured them away from the city, for they will say, `They are running away from us as they did before.’ So when we flee from them, you are to rise up from ambush and take the city. The LORD your God will give it into your hand. [Joshua 8:5-7]
This battle is very different from Jericho.
No passive walk around the walls for seven days; here they have to strategically out-manoeuvre the enemy with a shrewd military technique.
When Jesus sends us out, we trust in God for success (as Jericho illustrates), but that doesn’t mean we are to be passive (as Ai illustrates).
As the Lord’s partners we bring our gifts and abilities to the table, contributing our part to the work.
We work with humility (trusting in the Lord, not ourselves) integrity (in an honourable way) and ingenuity (using all of our skills).
Being wise, shrewd, clever, ingenious is not being unspiritual.
It is using what God has given us for Him.
The only qualifier is that we do it with integrity.
Listen to how Jesus puts it when He sends out His disciples on a mission: I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. [Matthew 10:16]
In our ministry roles, we recognize BOTH our dependence on God AND our own role in the work.
The two extremes are doing nothing (‘let go, let God’) and doing it all (‘God helps those who help themselves’).
The balance is in partnership with prayer as the dialogue between partners, working out together what each partner will contribute to the kingdom cause.
For example: You see a young mom struggling in the store with her kids.
You ask the Lord to make it easier for her and to calm the children.
The Lord compels you to offer to help, to walk with her as she gets her groceries, to keep the kids occupied or distracted.
She is so thankful.
Meanwhile, the Lord is working in her heart, and though nothing comes of this conversation, you meet again a week later, and a conversation follows…
But lets go further, lets be shrewd – actually look for opportunities around us, not just wait for them to happen.
Let’s look for God-moments where we can partner with the Lord in someone’s life.
The Lord does not want us to be passive, to do nothing and let Him do it all.
He looks at us, and asks us to do our part with Him.
With humility, integrity and ingenuity.
Lord, help me to see myself as a partner with You. Help me to trust You for what only You can do; help me to work with You in what I can do!