He [God] is a shield to all those who take refuge in him” (Ps 18:30) This verse is a clear statement of God’s desired way with us: partnership.
You, Lord, prepare all and then wait for us to respond. In this process, you alert us, call us to cooperation, show us multiple times what your will is, and then you wait.
When we obey and join you in what you are doing, you act again, taking us a step further. As the verse above proclaims, when we take refuge in you, you shield us. It is not automatic, you require cooperation and wait for our response. This principle is all through Scripture.
You provided salvation; we must believe:
“…to all who received him [Jesus], to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12
You give the Holy Spirit; we must surrender and ask to be filled:
“be filled with the Spirit.” Ephesians 5:18
You call us to stay in fellowship with you; we must decide to do so:
““I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
You give direction in your Word; we must read and obey it:
“…the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:25
You give input on what to embrace or avoid; we must pay attention and follow your lead.
“The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes….By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:9b,11
You provided spiritual armor for us; we must put it on and use it:
“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:11
You call us to trust you and glorify you in the midst of difficulty; we must obey:
“He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.” Psalm 50:23
You show us needs around us; we must pray about them and give help.
“…always keep on praying for all the saints.” Eph 6:18b
“Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” James 2:15,16
Your Spirit gives conviction of sin; we must listen and repent,
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
As we join you in your call to obedience in partnership, we grow, you are glorified, the gospel goes out, good is done, creation moves forward to its redemption and history towards its conclusion.
Praise you that you choose to share with us a partial understanding of your great plan, so that we can join you in seeing the world reached, believers matured and you glorified. Show me where I am not joining you so I can repent and obey today.