What does it mean to partner with God?
It means working together with God.
Kind of like business partners, God works with his people. Partnering with God means doing his will, furthering his glory, and seeking his kingdom and his righteousness, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13). God gives us power in his Spirit to do his will. In 1 Corinthians 3:7 and 2 Corinthians 6:1, Paul says that believers work together with God. How amazing! I am so struck by the goodness of God, that he would work through his chosen people to glorify him!
It means intimacy with God.
To put it bluntly, marital intimacy can’t light a candle to the intimacy God wants with us! This blows my mind. In Job 29:4, Job says that his relationship with God was “intimate friendship.” Paul considered all his worldly gains a loss compared to the worth of knowing his own Savior Jesus (Philippians 3:8). This is so much more than knowing about God: it is spending time with him and truly knowing him. Learning more about him. Talking to him. Think of someone you know who you think truly walks with God… don’t you want that? God does — with you! “Teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you,” pleads Moses in Exodus 33:13. This is a partnership way beyond business.
It means dancing with God.
As a dancer, I must admit that when I first heard the phrase “partnering with God,” I thought of this kind of partnering. Dancing together. This kind of partnership is a lovely thing. We, Christ’s bride, are guided and supported by him as we work in his power to do his will — and this makes something supernaturally beautiful that the world can’t help but stare at. This is a unique blend of working together with God and intimacy with God. It requires trust, flexibility, and grace, on both ends… lucky for us, God is infinitely trustworthy, flexible, and gracious — and he will give us of himself when we ask!
This isn’t optional.
But it’s what we should desire anyway.
God wants us to be with him, to work with him. This is what we were created for. “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God,” says Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:31. But doing all for the glory of God isn’t just a command. It is the flaming center of life. The gospel is the proclamation of God’s amazing glory and love. And what comes naturally out of the gospel?
“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” (Matthew 6:33)
“Let the high praises of God be in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands… this is honor for all godly people.” (Psalm 149:6, 9)
In other words… partner with God. This is real joy.