Some years back, I had an opportunity to lunch with a friend I hadn’t seen in several decades. This person was a special influence in my growth and development. I was truly excited about catching up. With great anticipation, I marked the calendar. When the day came, I was a bit nervous after so many years. But I found the lunch to be one of the most fun and meaningful days I’d had in a long time. And I remembered how this friend had influenced me to partner with God.
Sometimes we simply don’t know how to partner with God. It’s seems complicated, almost mystical. Since it’s not a “black and white thing,” it’s challenging to define what “partner with God” looks like.
Looking back over the years, experiences and relationships, like the lunch I enjoyed with my friend, have impacted me most. Being able to:
- talk freely about relationship with the invisible God,
- discuss how to grow in grace in practical ways each day,
- gain fresh ideas for action steps and tangible examples.
Such interactions form teachable moments that impact personal growth and priorities.
God’s Original Design
Remembering God’s original design helps you:
- Reflect on the importance God places on you as a uniquely-created person.
- Take ownership to “partner back” with Him according to His design.
- Focus on God’s interests over your own to fulfill your created design. Your life purpose becomes more clear.
The way to live an Alive and Active life of noble character, is to partner with God as a unique individual, putting His interests above your own.
You have an invitation from God to receive forgiveness, freedom, and partnership! This partnership includes fresh learning in effective living which turns into a lifestyle of credible leading and sincere loving.
So, in order to partner with God, it means choosing a life of 4 L’s –
Best intentions just aren’t enough. Pretending doesn’t count. Not even hard, earnest work cuts it. God sees to the center of every person. Since no one is good enough, the price is high for this lifestyle. Jesus paid the price at His cross.
Now He hands out invitations into partnership with Himself that include learning, living, leading, and loving. Your price or investment comes in the form of two commitments toward this partnership.
The first commitment is – believe and obey Christ.
The second is – do good to others.
These two works of partnership are critical if you want noble character.
Partner With God Means Close Relationship
A close relationship with God means responding differently in daily living. Pleasing God becomes increasingly important as you know Him better, which changes you from the inside out. He becomes your “First, Most, and Best” – favorite relationship.
So, what’s your best response to His invitation? Please accept!
To partner with God means using the 4 “L’s.” Let’s look at each more closely.
Let’s talk about learning. God intends people to learn from each other, but more-so, directly from Him. His Spirit lives inside your believing heart to direct decisions, to teach His ways and their application, and to help you enjoy His friendship. Since this is true, embracing learning is being a disciple of Jesus.
What an invitation! Do you accept?
Learning from Jesus creates a new kind of living. “If you love Me, you will obey Me.” (Jn. 14:23) Because actions speak louder than words, they directly influence your living. Jas. 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” Accepting God’s invitation means practicing His character as you live. He nurtures your heart when you respond with His character.
What an invitation! Do you accept?
Credible Leading and Sincere Loving
There’s just no other way to say this. Investment in fresh learning and effective living opens doors to credible leading and sincere loving – God’s way. While doing good, not growing weary, sowing seeds for harvest that please God, you literally invest in others like God does.
So, it’s clear deliberate thought, prayer, and strategy help you apply your portion to this wonderful partnership. Christ’s church needs credible leading and sincere loving.
What an invitation! Do you accept?
A Dream Helped Me Partner With God
I’d like to share a little more from my journey. I mentioned a lunch at the beginning of this content. I also mentioned relationships and exploring how to know an invisible God. Still, I’d like to share one more unusual memory.
BUT FIRST a few thoughts – My inspiration and direction has come from Scripture for practical decisions each day. Prayer has given much needed help and hope. As I’ve already mentioned, relationships and conversations have left significant impact in my quest to partner with God.
I’ve not had – nor sought – experiences or charismatic influences. I firmly believe God’s Word provides all I need. 2 Pet. 1:3 says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” So, that’s been good enough for me.
However, I had an interesting dream years ago that brought great comfort to my heart and taught me more about partnering with God.
I was in a tent, resting. I looked out a small upper window flap and noticed movement right outside my tent. As I watched, a structure began to appear – another tent. It was being put up right next to my tent. It was BIG! As it neared completion, I noticed the shape of the tent fit exactly to the shape of my tent (or maybe it was the other way around), but its volume overshadowed, engulfed, and . . . completed my tent. I did not feel afraid, but rather comforted and peaceful. Somehow, I knew it was God’s tent.
When I woke, as I pondered the dream, I realized God was reminding me He is with me and cares deeply about all events “in my life tent.” He surrounds my tent with His own.
That He pitched His tent so close to mine, overshadowing, engulfing, and completing my life tent, gave me a message: God wants to participate in every detail of my life – in and out of my tent. Companionship. Support. Covering. Strength. All those words describe what His huge tent touching my tent felt like.
Then I remembered some Scripture.
- “The angel of the Lord (the Lord, Himself) encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them.” (Ps. 34:7)
- The tabernacle was a huge, strong, peaceful, holy, BIG tent erected in the middle of the camp of God’s people. It symbolized God tabernacles with His people in protection, comfort, peace, companionship, provision.
I don’t know what you are going through. But I’m guessing you need a tent next to your life tent. You need a dependable structure of love right next to you to provide protection, comfort, peace, companionship, provision.
Because God has pitched His strong, enduring tent very close to yours, it literally fills the bends and crevices of your tent. It holds your tent in place during strong life storms. And it provides a reminder you are not alone.
God’s tent is quite literally the “pillar of cloud and pillar of fire” that stands between your tent and your enemies’ attacks against your heart. (Ex. 14:24; Nu. 14:14; Neh. 9:12)
A Partner In You
As we explore another important strategy to partner with God, it’s time to focus on you. God created you with unique skill sets. He wants to make you a special partner. According to Scripture, you are a “servant” to God. That’s true. However, God lifted you to also be His child and His partner.
You have the privilege to decide to partner with God – back. Since it was God’s original design to let you decide, I hope you pitch your tent very close to God’s – and welcome the companionship of Emmanuel (God With Us) as you learn, live, lead, and love.
Application Questions and Thoughts
- Are you willing to partner with God to learn Christ’s character?
- What areas in your life tent are not fully surrendered to God?
- Do your motives line up with Scripture?
- Will you let God pitch His tent right next to yours?
- How can you apply fresh learning to effective living this week? Specifically target areas where you need to grow.
- What sincere loving thing can you do to help someone or nurture their growth?
- How can you provide credible leadership to someone and invest in their life?
- Why not adopt a leader’s perspective. Leading and loving is helping others learn how to live!
- Set a daily time to be alone with Jesus.
- Pick a special regular place.
- Have your Bible, a prayer notebook, a journal to jot things you are learning.
- Even include a special cuppa!
- Why not partner with God by pitching your life tent next to His? Let His tent overshadow and complete yours.
Content developed from More E-pistles For An i-Generation – a practical, refreshing devotional guide available in our bookstore.
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