Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
Genesis 9:9 (NLT) “I am making a covenant with you and your descendants”
I know many people form some kind of picture in their mind when they hear the word partnership. I first think of a marriage or a business partnership. There can many reasons why someone would want to enter into partnership with another person. I think the reasons tie into the definition of what a partner is and what a partnership is. A partner is defined as a person who shares or is associated with another in some action or endeavor; sharer; associate. Partners often share in the risks and profits of their association in partnership.
Partnership is a great idea in many ventures. Sometimes partnership is a contractual relationship and sometimes just an association and relationship of spirit for a season such as in being tennis partners. God knows we can be a source of strength to one another when entering into appropriate partnerships and relationships. When Jesus was raising up, training, and empowering his disciples, he sometimes sent them out in pairs. Luke 10:1 “The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them on ahead in pairs to all the towns and villages He planned to visit. “
Partnerships can be as disastrous as they can be helpful if you enter into partnership with the wrong person. That is why God tells us to pick our partnerships or the relationships we associate with carefully. We are meant to be a light to everyone we come in contact with and reflect Jesus to all people. That does not mean we are to “hang out” or become close friends with people that don’t know the Lord. No, to the contrary, we aren’t to form intimate or close relationships with those that don’t believe in Jesus. Yes, we are to love them in Christ! Yes, we are to reach out to them! But the second you become a close friend, you will come to the place time and time again where you will be forced to compromise what your believe to keep peace in that relationship. You won’t pull them up, they will pull you down.
2 Cor. 6:14-16 says, “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can goodness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the Devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
Partnership with God is more than partnership with another human being. Partnership with God is called a Covenant Relationship. God made a covenant with Noah. We read, “Then God told Noah and his sons, “I am making a covenant with you and your descendants…” (Genesis 9:8-9) We actually still see what was a part of that covenant between God and Noah in the earth today – the rainbow! Genesis 9:13-15 says, “I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my permanent promise to you and to all the earth. When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will be seen in the clouds, and I will remember my covenant with you and with everything that lives. Never again will there be a flood that will destroy all life.”
A partnership with God is not like a partnership with a man. God will never break or fail to follow through on His covenant relationship or partnership. Never! He is always true to His Word. That partnership is enacted through Jesus Christ when someone receives Him as Lord and Savior through faith. It is then enabled through sincere heart faith and trust in that relationship and faith and trust in the promises God makes to us.
In this short series, I have been talking about having an entitlement attitude – an attitude that “the world owes me and needs to help my life work.” People with this type of attitude blame the woes of their life on everyone and everything including God but excluding accepting responsibility for their own life choices. They believe they are entitled to have others provide and help them get though life. (See past two articles.)
There is a healthy entitlement that the world knows nothing about. It is the entitlement that comes from a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It is having a healthy, a reverential, and a prayerful faith filled dependence upon the Lord. He has called Himself our Heavenly Father and does want to help us. 2 Cor. 1:20-22 says, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ… Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”
There was once a King named Asa. He loved God and commanded God’s people to follow God’s ways. During His reign there was a time when he was attacked by an army that was almost double the size of His. King Asa knew and understood He was entitled to God’s help and prayed in sincere trust and faith to God. 2 Chron. 14:11 says, “Then Asa cried out to the Lord his God, “O Lord, no one but you can help the powerless against the mighty! Help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in you alone. It is in your name that we have come against this vast horde. O Lord, you are our God; do not let mere men prevail against you!” The next verse gives the result of that prayer – verse 12: “So the Lord defeated the Ethiopians in the presence of Asa and the army of Judah, and the enemy fled.”
Asa’s army didn’t stand around and do nothing. They fought and fought hard. But, this verse tells us “the Lord defeated the Ethiopians in the presence of Asa.” We are entitled to God’s help by His doing. He has given this entitlement. Fear does not move God to do anything. Faith based on God’s promises moves God to do His part in our partnership and covenant relationship. This is a balanced and healthy understanding of entitlement that helps us all live out our lives in the Lord with confidence in Him!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.