Collaborating with God in times of Social Distancing
Collaboration is the predecessor to new experiences and creations.
Think about it – every time people get together to collaborate, it is done to combine individual efforts and assets to create new outcomes and products.
While COVID-19 has disrupted our norm and social distancing has restricted our collaboration with others, it has all worked together to make way for us to collaborate with God. In this time of limited activities and physical separation from others, God is inviting us into intimate fellowship to develop both a deeper relationship and collaboration with Him.
He wants to share ideas and strategies with us, a blueprint for the new era that is upon us. As a prerequisite, He requires us to partner our hearts, minds, gifts, and talents with Him to flesh out and make His blueprint a reality. While there are some routine ways we can connect and collaborate with Him such as prayer and fasting, reading the Word, and worshipping, here are some other ways you may not have considered to collaborate with Him.
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It is easy for a humble heart to hear and collaborate with God. Humility takes the focus off from us and transposes our importance to the magnification of His Glory. Humility will gently nudge you to stop self-seeking and self-serving to seeking Him instead because, in the end, He is all that is worthy. I have somewhat discovered that the antithesis of humility is not just arrogance but also fear – the fear of being unworthy, unacknowledged, and unloved. We feel that if we do not focus on or promote ourselves and our agendas that we will become lost in the shadows of others and eventually forgotten. God is a loving Father who when exalted, exalts those who exalt Him. Doesn’t He promise that He will give grace to the humble and exalt them in due time (1 Peter 5-6)? How can you begin to acknowledge Him beyond your inhibitions and selfish desires? Take comfort in knowing that He will help you as you begin to surrender in humility in order to collaborate with Him.
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One of my favorite verses in the Bible is where Jesus tells us that if we love Him we should show it by doing what He tells us to do (John 14:15). Genuine love seeks to serve and to please the object of that love. Observe a man who is courting a woman he deeply loves and you will witness how ardently he tries to please her. Likewise, if we truly love Jesus, we will rush to obey Him. He is not a taskmaster but a loving Father who invites us into collaboration with Him for our benefit and His ultimate glory. To truly collaborate there needs to be active beyond the intent to act. What do you sense God asking you to do at this hour? How and when will you do it?
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The Bible states that obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Sam 15:22) but let me assure you that oftentimes obedience requires the sacrifice of what we want and expect! If we are to truly collaborate with God, we must be prepared to sacrifice our thoughts and ideas, plans, and expectations to accept His. And let me remind you that His ways will never come up short in comparison to ours for He tells us that His thoughts and ways are far beyond ours (Is. 55:8-9). What are you holding on to that Father God is trying to nudge you away from? How can you begin to trade your ways for His? His ways will yield a result beyond your desires.
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This may seem like a strange asset to collaboration but let me remind you that there existed one Judas Iscariot on Jesus’ team. On the surface, he appeared humble, obedient, and sacrificial enough to abandon his way of life and follow Jesus as a disciple. However, the end game showed that his motives were never pure – he betrayed Jesus! As a result, when the real glory and work of the Lord began after His resurrection, Judas was not among those who collaborated with the Lord to take His message of salvation to the nations. Don’t be fooled, God is not mocked! He knows the inner workings of our hearts and minds and will not entrust us with the deeper thoughts of His heart if He knows that we have selfish motives. Forfeit the benefits of impure motive drove actions and your sacrifice will be noted by God who will, in turn, help you to overcome your weakness in that area. The deeper reward of having pure motives is deeper intimacy, fellowship, and collaboration with Father God.
As you ponder the above ways of collaborating with Father God, invite Him to show you how to use these and/or other means of collaborating with Him. He does not use a one-size-fits-all approach with His children but rather nudges and guides us in individual ways because we are each unique. As you collaborate with Him in this season, He will show forth His Glory for this new era through you!