God as Co-laborer

Today are we as Christians doing God’s work?

That might seem like an unusual question but is it? Dr. Willard cites Paul as an example; “his Holy Spirit would not let him go.”

“These purposeful and conscious communications by words seem to have been quite normal experiences for the early Christians” [Willard p. 53].

I Corinthians 14:26 “When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.”

The book of Joel: “That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”

Dr. Willard is giving us examples of early Christians who are immersed in the work of the Lord.

I think of this relationship with God as a worker who really knows his or her job. You don’t have to tell them what to do. They just know what to do. Dr. Willard calls this person a “model employee.”

Here is another example.   A wise older golfer “schooled” me in how to play the game. He told me that between shots I should use my time well and do the work of the game that I needed to do.

When going to a green, have your putter ready, “read the green”, pull the pin for the other golfers when they are all on the green, place your extra clubs between you and the cart so you won’t forget them and lose them etc. There is a lot to do that you can do without being told by another person. Then you will be ready to putt the ball when it is your time. You don’t slow every other golfer down.

To this day, his wise lessons are acted out by me when I play. I take care of my business so I can be ready to putt.

Looking at Divine instruction, can God tell us every step of the way when we want to do something? Of course He can.

What happens when that is no longer necessary?

Do we become the model Christian? Do we become the Christian who knows how to play the game and is ready to execute his shot when the time is right?

Maybe.

Jesus courted controversy when he did God’s work and went against “worldly” rules. He healed on the Sabbath. You know the story. The man with the withered hand appeared to Jesus and he needed healing. Jesus healed and the people then planned to kill Him for working on the Sabbath. Why did Jesus do this? He knew that God would want Him to do it. John 5:17 “My father is still working, and I am also working.”

Dr. Willard states that our union with God becomes stronger when we are not only His friend but also his “co-laborer in the affairs of the kingdom of the heavens.”

Think about this type of connection with God. Is this not what we should strive for?

Shared activity.

We become a temple of God.

We understand and cooperate with God’s purposes.

We have a clear-eyed identification of ourselves with Jesus Christ.

All these expressions are used by Dr. Willard to describe the way things were in the lives of the early Christians and the way things could be today: “the royal priesthood of the believer.”

I call it [to use a car analogy] “hitting on all 8 cylinders.” You are doing your best work of your life, God’s work.

“For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” [Galatians 2: 19-20].

Want to have the best conversation with God? Want to hear His Word on a regular basis?

Ask Him to use you. He will. Whatever He asks you to do, put your whole heart into it. He will lead you from step to step in accomplishing His work.

He wants you to work with Him.

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