Memo 1089: Partners and Friends
Last week, we began our third series examining the life of David to search for lessons to help us occupy and maintain the place God has assigned us. This new series is titled PowerPoints For Life and seeks to identify the paths you can walk that lead to an abundant life, as David wrote in one of his psalms:
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand (Psalm 16:9-11, emphasis added).
In our first study, we saw that David knew God was speaking to and through him and pointed out that now you can also be confident that God is with you, working and revealing Himself through you. Let's continue to consider the implications of this important truth.
On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached a message and saw thousands of people respond to its content. In it, he said,
“Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it" (Acts 2:29-32, emphasis added).
Peter acknowledged that David was a prophet and then quoted from three Old Testament passages and prophecies that pertained to the Messiah, of which Psalm 16 above is one. However, notice the mix of David's prophecy. By that, I mean that sometimes he was speaking about himself and at other times He was prophesying about the Christ: "you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead (personal), nor will you let your faithful one see decay (Messianic)." That pattern reflects your walk with the Lord. It's a partnership where God is giving you insight into yourself and into Himself. He isn't threatened or hesitant to invest Himself in His people so that His interests are intertwined with theirs and now with yours.
I say that because some have a perpetual servant's mentality that they will do whatever God wants them to do, which is commendable and necessary. However, they never get past that servant stage to the friendship/partnership stage as Jesus announced to His disciples:
"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other" (John 15:12-17).
What does this teach us about our relationship with the Lord? First, we are in partnership with God. We take Him where He needs to go and He leads us where we need to be. He speaks to us so He can speak through us to others. While He certainly directs our steps, there are times when He asks us, "What do you want to do with this situation or opportunity?" We can then ask for wisdom and He will give us input, but it's still up to us to make the decision of what to do or how far to go, or as Luke wrote in Acts, "After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them" (Acts 16:10). Paul and his team examined the evidence and came to the conclusion that God wanted them to go to Macedonia. What's more, Jesus seemed to give us a lot of leeway in how we pray, promising to give us whatever we ask, as long as it contributes to us bearing fruit.
What evidence do you need to examine as to what God has for you? Then what is God showing you about Himself in that evidence? About yourself and your purpose? What makes you cry? Laugh? What will you do for free because you love doing it? Where does God want to use your interests and curiosities to make a difference in your world and ministry? What does that say about God's will for your life? As we wrap up this second lesson, here's PowerPoint for Living #2:
You can serve God by being who He made you to be, using all your gifts and reasoning abilities to learn more about Him and then about yourself so you can impact others in your generation and beyond.
As you seek to be God's servant, partner, and friend, be at peace that God is working with you and in you and is comfortable with you expressing who you are in situations into which He leads you. If God is comfortable being your partner, shouldn't you be as well? Have a blessed week.