Thursday, October 24, 2013

Not Static. Not Stagnant. Next Steps

Not Static. Not Stagnant. Next Steps.

Today's blog post takes its leap from my last post - Blog Post 100: Not Static. Not Stagnant

I noted in the previous post that at one time or the other, we are visited with seasons of darkness and vicissitudes, which forms dark bands across the landscape of our lives . Seasons of pains, hurts, disappointments, rejection and grief. Seasons when the fulfilment of our dreams and desires look bleak. Seasons when we appear to be rooted to the same spot or going around the same mountain for so long and our breakthrough seems not forthcoming.

I concluded that at such times, like David did in 1Sam 30, we need to seek God's face and take God-oriented actions.

In today's post, I will share with you some of these God-oriented actions we may take to move forward and away from the spot where we have been sitting on the track.

A Call for Consultation, Collaboration and Partnership:

Right from the beginning, God demonstrated to us the importance of consultation, collaboration and partnerships. After creating all living and moving creatures and calling into existence the firmaments, when it came to the creation of man, there was a difference in God's approach. He did not say, "Let there be man" nor did He say, "Let me create man" but God said, "Let us create man in our image…"  A consultation was held in the formation of man. "Let us" was spoken by God to the Son and the Holy Spirit. The three persons of the Trinity, God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Ghost consulted and concurred in the creation of man. There was a partnership and inclusiveness of these Three in the creation of man.

Man was created different from all the other creatures and living beings. He is the fusion of the flesh, soul and spirit.

Too many times, we try to go it on own and do things by ourselves—solve the problem in our own way and isolate ourselves from others in our dark seasons and how we deal with the issues of moving forward. This isolation almost always lead to a fall.

But what we need to do is to first consult with God and with the Holy Spirit for leading and direction. And there are times we need to consult with godly, matured, tried and tested Christians, God brings into our lives. It is amazing how God can connect us with such people if we listen to His voice and follow His leading.

The Bible says that there is a great gain in the multitude of counsel. Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but there is safety in an abundance of counsellors (Prov. 11:14). The way of a fool is right in his own sight but a wise man listens to counsel (Prov. 12:15). Without counsel, plans fail but with many advisers they succeed (Prov. 15:22). There many more of such verses in the Bible, urging and encouraging us to seek wise counsel as we seek to move away from status quo and move forward in fulfilling God's plans for our lives.

I learnt a lot from Bidemi Mark-Mordi's book - Sistapower, about the power of collaboration and the importance of partnerships. From the Bible, we learn that "a three-fold cord cannot be easily broken." My Sista said in her book that "what this means is that every venture takes more than one person's input and once we have enough people making their input, the impact will be a lot more effective."

We will need to form God-directed partnerships in order fulfil our assignment, our calling and our dreams. The Bible is replete with many examples of people who consulted with each other, formed partnerships and alliances, and collaborated to achieve a common goal and purpose. Some were for good and some were for evil.

The Shunamite woman of 2Kings 4 consulted with her husband and proposed to him that they extend hospitality to the man of God, Elisha. It was not a small task that she proposed but they agreed to build an extension to their home to provide accommodation for Elisha and also to furnish the "apartment." This proposal is obviously a product of careful deliberation in addition to the display of kindness, thoughtfulness and appreciation of the man of God. But the final decision was in agreement. Read the rest of the story and see how this decision eventually affected their lives for good.

Marriage is an important relationship where husbands and wives must consult together and work in partnership, agreement and unity of purpose in every decision making and in fulfilling their God-given purpose.  Consultation and agreement are critical for a thriving relationship and beyond that, "There is usually a ripple effect when a man is connected with a woman that compliments him, (and it affects) all other relationships the man may be involved in, especially at work and in business" (Sistapower, p.29).

Collaboration and partnerships in other spheres of our lives also have rippling effects. "Let us" as the starting point of consultation and partnership provides us with the opportunity to advise, exhort, stir up and encourage one another to the work proposed. It gives us the chance to tap into the skills and resources that God has invested in others, which they bring to the relationship, and which God is poised to use to enhance our skills and resources.

When you are one in agreement and one in spirit and purpose with your partner, collaborator and assigned helper, there is no limit to what you can accomplish together especially when it is God-directed and pursued to fulfil God's purpose for your lives. In Genesis 11:1-9, the people were united and in agreement, and they were going to do the never-done and never-seen-before but unfortunately, their goal was in conflict with God's purpose.

The effect of partnering with the right person is like throwing a stone into calm waters and watching it ripple all the way to the shore. The impart is felt far beyond the original starting point. When we trust God to form the right partnerships, it catapults us beyond the spot where we have been rooted and in the process it touches many more lives that we could ever have imagined.

In taking the next steps forward and away for the status quo you have been at, I encourage you to wait in the presence of God and seek His instructions as to where to seek counsel and with whom you should collaborate or seek partnership. I pray that your ears will be sensitive to His voice as He leads you in the way to go.

Have you been a recipient of wise counsel or perhaps you have entered into partnerships which have taken you far beyond your wildest imagination, share your story and encourage someone today.

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