SUNDAY MESSAGE | 26/11/2017 | Pr. Suma Ann Ninan |
Radical lovers of God hunger to experience the fullness of who He is. God invites us into a glorious participation in His divine nature.
[Scripture Portions: 1 Corinthians 3:9, 2 Corinthians 6:1]
“Becoming co-labourers with our beloved Lord is our divine destiny”
“We are co-labourers – apart from Christ our work is not complete, and at the same time, amazingly, His work on earth is not complete without us.”
Returning to our primary mission
God’s first commission to mankind. (Genesis 1:28)
In Matthew 6:9-10, Jesus said clearly and concisely
“Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven”
The will of God is simply this – “On earth as it is in Heaven.” This is in a nutshell, our assignment as believers on earth. The normal Christian life begins with the realization that we were put on earth to do the will of God on earth as it is in Heaven – and what a joy it is to participate in that.
Proving the will of God
We are not just to be people who believe the right things about God but people who put the will of God on display, demonstrating it. The only way to consistently do kingdom works is to view reality from God’s perspective. That is what the Scriptures mean when it talks about renewing our minds. God has made it to be the gateway to the supernatural.
The renewed mind enables His co-labourers to prove the will of God.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
It is understood that there is often a hesitation when we talk about mind as a tool of God. That is because the intellectual aspect of mind is exalted disproportionately at times. And theology and academics have been exalted at the expense of belief and first-hand supernatural experience. But Christians often overreact to error and create another error in the process.
However, God designed our mind to be one of the most supernaturally powerful tools in the universe, but it needs to be sanctified and yielded to the Holy Spirit so that we can carry out His designs, creative ideas and plans in our everyday lives. This explains why there is such an intense war being waged against our minds and our mental agreement to the will of God. Every thought and action in our life speaks of allegiance to God or Satan. Both are empowered by our agreement.
Co-labourers with God – Being a friend of God
And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain
(2 Corinthians 6:1)
Normal Christian life is a partnership between God and each one of us and is played out in everyday living as we become the gate of heaven, releasing the manifestation of the will of God for those around us.
Bible shows us how co-labouring works
- Genesis 2:19: God let Adam name all the animals
- Another example is in the life of Moses. Moses had one of the most intimate relationships with God in all of the Scripture.
Here is a breath-taking interaction: God and Moses speaking face to face
God said to Moses: Exodus 32:7-10
Moses responded: Exodus 32:11-13
God’s response: Exodus 32:14
This was a conversation between intimates, not a talk between a servant and his master. Co-labouring is a huge aspect of ministry that many of us do not understand because true friendship with God is so foreign to us. Jesus affirmed that we should have this kind of relationship with God throughout.
- John 14:15, 16
- John 15:15
- John 14:14
- John 15:7
Servants are not co-labourers; but friends are. There are major attitude differences between the two of them. A servant is task oriented, but he/she does not know the master’s business from inside.
A servant does not share personal times with his Master. God however has elevated us from being servants to friends. He is willing and desiring us to engage with Him – to change His mind, to direct His ideas, to share in His creative work. He just loves our participation.
One of the greatest examples of co-labouring was King David’s idea about building a temple. (1 Kings 8:15-17). God said, “I did not choose a city, I chose a man and the temple was in the heart of the man.” David’s creativity and desires wrote history because God embraced them.
Our desires matter to God
Sometimes we think that if we really desire something, it must not be of God. We try to suppress our desires and ideas and we just wait for instructions. On the contrary, God delights in you. He has made Himself vulnerable to the desires of His people.
History unfolds according to what we do, what we pray, what we do not do and what we do not pray. God made you and me. He knows everything about us, but He can only commune with us as we open ourselves up, in relationship with Him. That is where pleasure is derived when dreams and desires spark dialogue and interaction and the co-labouring begins.
God has opened Himself to the desires of His people (Psalms 37:4). He values your desires and He wants to be impacted by what you think and dream.
“Desire springs from what we commune with”
God trusts the heart of a man who is lost in friendship with Him. As we come into intimacy with Him, more of what takes place is a result of our desires, not only of our receiving specific commands from God. God begins to encourage our wishes and desires same as He did to David’s desire. The temple did not even appear to be God’s idea, but it was so good that God made it a part of His work on earth.
Bible says, Jesus only did what He saw His Father do (John 5:19). It means He saw the Father do it first in the spirit; but also I think Jesus was saying much more than that. I think He was telling us,
“I see what moves the Father and I allow what moves Him to set my course.”
As He sees you and me, surrender to His agenda, He is suddenly interested in hearing what we have to say. Our yieldedness and surrender make Him vulnerable to our dreams. It becomes a co-labouring effort.
The Tree of Life
Our desires, far from being evil, are intended to make us strong and healthy in all areas of life. Bible calls the fulfilment of our desires a tree of life (Proverbs 13:12, Proverbs 13:19).
Desire is part of God’s system, His economy. He draws us into intimate friendship with Him, then responds to our desires and prayers and answers them. When He does, it releases courage into us. When the tree of life grows sturdy in our spirits, it bears delicious fruits in all areas of life.