(Photo by Selma Komisky)
Partnership: Can’t We All Get Along?
By Patrick Herman
It’s the old refrain “Can’t we all get along?” The truth is that we don’t all get along. God made people that He knew would come from all walks of life all with varying viewpoints. The Bible says, “He made the tares to grow up amongst the wheat.” (Matthew 13:24) As people, we are made up of the good, the bad, and the ugly. There will always be those that you don’t agree with, don’t relate to, and those that oppose you. But here’s the truth: God calls us to be a holy people. To be in a holy partnership with Him.
Dear reader, I don’t want to guilt you or pressure you. Honestly just this morning I heard yet another preacher on the radio say, “This is God’s command for you” & “God didn’t ask you to ‘XYZ’, He commands you to ‘XYZ’.” I have a hard time thinking of the Holy Spirit barking out orders at us. The opposite must be true, He whispers to us with His still small voice as He instructs us throughout life.
We are promised that the Holy Spirit will never leave us nor forsake us. We belong when we belong to God. I find solitude from the Bible verse from Philippians 1:6 which reminds us that God starts AND finishes everything through us. No order barking, just a compassionate God that allows His work to be done through us (and oftentimes despite us). We know that He begins and finishes the work. God says to GO! and carry out the great commission (Matthew 28:16…Telling others about God) but we are also told… “ lo, I am with you always…even to the ends of the earth.” That’s some serious support from a great God.
Philippians 1:6 isn’t a verse that tells us to do nothing, to sit back and let God do it all, on the contrary in Philippians 1:6 God reminds us that He begins and concludes all that He wills. The verse says: “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
Does He command? Yes, He does! Of course, He does, but He certainly doesn’t bark out orders from on high. God knows that the tares (weeds) are living among the wheat. God also knows that there are many more that oppose Him than embrace Him. Worldwide we are a people in opposition. We all know that division is great in our country today, but division is nothing new. God has a single goal and He mentioned it at the very beginning of his earthly ministry, namely to “Set the captives free.” (Luke 4:18, Isaiah 61:1)
To set the captives free is also the partnership He has for us. Think of it as a fun schoolyard game of “Freeze Tag.” Our job is to run around and “unfreeze” as many friends as possible. Set the captives free. But don’t worry our God is with us always.
Can’t we all get along? No, but something great happens when God partners with us to do His will. He allows us to be a part of His good works. Ephesians 2:10 reminds us of that partnership. It says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
We can’t and won’t all get along but by and through God’s great design we can help set the captives free.
(Patrick Herman is an author, radio announcer for the Pilgrim Radio Network, and blogger. He lives with his wife and kids in Carson City, Nevada)