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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Together

"So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith" (Acts 6:7).

Let's get something straight right from the beginning. I am a guy. I am stubborn. I know nothing about cars. The first two statements can sometimes serve as false confidence that tries to fool me and others that perhaps I do know something about cars. To ask for help would be to admit that I don't. It might be a stain on the masculinity that shouts in my ears that "all guys know about cars!"

During my quest for ultimate manhood in learning how to do "something" in regards to the automotive universe, I decided to humble myself...at least once. I asked someone to show me how to change the oil in my wife's minivan. This mechanic friend of mine complied and came over one Saturday afternoon and proceeded to show me what to do, how to do it, and gave me some tips to help me along the way. No problem. A few months and several miles later, it was time to do it again. This time I was to do it by myself; the test of my manly skills of auto mechanics. Problem. After I got under the van, I tried to loosen oil plug to no avail. I tried everything I could. Nothing. I went on YouTube and watched videos, but just could not figure out what I was doing wrong. Finally, I humbled myself to the hard-fought against revelation that I could not do all things. I am good at some things, but not at others. Where I lack the skills necessary to complete a task, God has equipped others. I called my friend. He came over, and once again, we changed the oil...together. The lesson was more profound for me than just merely about mechanics of a car, but the mechanics of partnerships. We are more effective when we compliment others and are complimented by the strengths of others. Together. It's powerful.

Acts 6 is the result of the early church leaders coming to a similar conclusion. They couldn't do everything. They were never meant to do everything. If there effectiveness was ever going to grow beyond the limits of them as a small group, they had to learn the power of "together-partnership." The only way for them to truly excel at what they were good at, was to delegate and equip others to do what they could not. It took humility and security to ask the help of others. It took a belief in the common goal. It was the idea that by themselves they would only achieve so much, but together they would multiply in exponential ways that would surpass random explanation. Partnering together kept them gifted, grounded, and God-honoring. Together they created an atmosphere that was conducive for rapid, yet effective and substantive growth.

You can't do everything. Be free from that pressure, because you were never created for such an impossible task. By trying to take on such a burdensome responsibility, you become ineffective, not trusting God, and disobedient Christ's call for us to live as ONE. Don't rob other of the opportunity to partner with you, to be blessed by them being able to bless you with how God has gifted and equipped them. In what ways have you given into prideful stubbornness, not asking for or allowing help from someone else? What effectiveness in your life has been forfeited by your refusal to partnering together? God did not call you to be isolated, self-dependent, or a "one-person show." He called you to be ONE with others, partnering together, complimenting the strengths of those who are pursuing the same goal of bringing glory and honor to the name of Jesus. We do this when we purpose to do it together. 

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