• Sunday, July 21, 2024
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Understanding partnership with God and with other people

Two categories of human partners and how to manage them

One of the most important truths about life is that nobody succeeds alone. At every juncture in your journey, you will interface with other people and get their input or support to move further.

Even more importantly, you cannot do it without God. Whether you believe in Him or not, you cannot accomplish anything if God does not give you life. Suppose God does not keep you alive, who will?

What is a partnership? By definition and function, a partnership is a type of relationship where two or more entities agree to work together to advance a mutual interest. Partnerships are ideally mutually beneficial. All parties or partners are supposed to gain what they lack.

If I am in partnership with you, what I bring should be an addition to you and what you bring should be an addition to me. I supply what you lack and you supply what I lack. That way the equation is balanced and we achieve a lot more than we would have achieved individually. One shall chase 1000 and two 10,000. That is the power of partnerships.

As great, powerful and sovereign as God is, this definition still applies to our partnership with Him. We still supply what God needs, which is men who are willing and obedient to His will. What we bring to the table is ourselves with hearts yearning to do God’s good pleasure. God brings every other thing.

When we compare in terms of volume what we bring versus what God brings, ours seems grossly insignificant. However, it is still important because God is always looking for men.

In Ezekiel Chapter 22 verse 30, God seems to be complaining rather bitterly to His prophet, Ezekiel, about how He looked for man to partner with and found none. “I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none,” the verse reads.

Across all generations, those who are willing and ready to partner with God are usually a lot fewer than you can imagine. They are rare gems. That is why when God finds one that is sold out to Him, ready to bear any level of pain and shame for the advancement of God’s kingdom, God does not joke with such.

Let’s look at partnership with God as it relates to partnership with other people. One scripture that depicts this is Luke Chapter 5, verses 1 to 7.

“And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, and saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now, when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.

“And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless, at thy word, I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships so that they began to sink.”

Here we see Peter partnering with God and partnering with fellow fishermen. The first thing to note is that Jesus made a demand that was not convenient for Peter. It was not the right time. Peter had just spent the night toiling. He was tired, sleep-deprived, frustrated and unhappy because all his efforts overnight amounted to nothing. A man in such distress is not the type of man you would expect to respond positively to the Lord’s request, but Peter did.

This shows that partnering with God is a journey of sacrifices. You must look beyond yourself, and how you feel and obey God even when it is not convenient.

Peter complied gave Jesus his ship and moved it a little into the lake. This meant he had to stay on the ship to steady it until Jesus was done with His sermon, and they were usually long. That was quite sacrificial.

However, on the flip side, God rewards every sacrifice His partners make. He rewards every sacrificial labour in due time.

Jesus demonstrated this. When He was done teaching the people, He told Peter to move the ship deep into the late and try again to catch fish. Haunted by his recent experience Peter found it difficult to obey that instruction. However, he eventually obeyed and let down his net and then harvest of fishes was overwhelming. He tried to drag the net by himself until it became obvious that he needed human partners to help out.

The truth is that partnership with God will always produce a harvest so great that you will need partnership with other people to manage it to ensure that nothing goes to waste. Had Peter not called his partners to help, more than half of the fishes enclosed in the net would have been lost and wasted.

A selfish cannot be God’s partner because if you try to keep the harvest of your partnership with God all to yourself, much of it will be wasted. It is like thousands of corn get spoilt on the maize plant because the owner of a hundred hectares of maize farm insisted on harvesting the corn all by himself, just because he doesn’t want to share any part of it.

It’s instructive that that scripture says that Peter’s partners brought another ship, which means increased capacity, and at the end of the day, the harvest of fish from one instruction from God filled two ships, to the extent that both began to sink.

In the next article, we will go deeper into the partnership between people, relative to God’s work. It is essentially about each partner supplying what the other needs and vice versa. We will examine different types of partners and how to relate with them. Stay blessed.

 

Reverend Ukporhe is the Senior Pastor at Remnant Christian Network, Lagos. Raised in Sokoto, northern Nigeria, he was trained in peculiar firebrand evangelism and was ordained as a pastor in 2001. He has experienced countless and diverse workings of the faithfulness of God over two decades and has developed a passion to see God’s will for Nigeria become a reality. He can be reached on +2348060255604.