If you have journeyed with God for very long I am sure you will understand the difference between working for God and working with God. One requires a relationship and one doesn’t. In a normal workplace environment in this world you can work for someone and never be in the same room, never speak on the phone and never even know them personally. You may be their best worker, but you are only working for them. To work with them you would need to know them; be with them on a day to day basis so you can ensure their desires are met in your work priorities. You would then experience things together every day and you would know when you are on the same wavelength or not.
One of the greatest dangers in Christian ministry is that we end up serving God from a distance. We may be working really hard for God and the mission of Christ but our personal relationship with God may be drying up in the midst of our hard work and, sadly, because of our hard work. That’s right, our work for God can at times be the greatest obstacle to our relationship with God.
As always, Jesus is our greatest role-model here. When He ministered among us all those years ago Jesus made it very clear that He only did what He saw the Father doing (John 5:19) and always relied on what He heard from the Father (John 5:30) before He spoke. Jesus was working intimately with the Father, through the ministry of the Spirit. He was never acting outside the confines of that relationship. God the Father, Son and Spirit were working with, in and through each other.
At a time when I was working really hard for God in front line ministry, God stopped me in my tracks early one morning and challenged my entire approach to ministry. It was a tough day at the office, I can assure you, but one I will never forget. That encounter with God resulted in me writing a song which encapsulated what I believe God was saying to me at that time. His Spirit has led me back to these words and that memory many times over the years.
Let me share those words with you in the hope that God might use them to shine a light on your day-to-day relationship with God. This song is written as a plea from God to His struggling son or daughter. Perhaps this will be His plea to you today.
From the Father’s Heart
Why do you struggle and strive to achieve
you need to slow down for a while and believe
the power of heaven is yours for free
when you’re that busy, you never receive.
Perhaps we could stroll in the garden again
I’ll share your joys, your sorrow and pain
I just want to be a Father to you
your love’s more important than the work you do
My precious child, I love you, come walk in the garden with Me
I long to be part of your journey, to open your eyes and see
the depth of My grace and mercy, the riches of heaven above
come and taste My living water and bask in My glory and love
There is so much that you’ll never know
unless I have time to help you grow
draw aside, I’ll meet you there
as the secrets of My heart I share
I gave My Son to bring you back home
it hurts Me to see you still struggle alone
nothing is good if it keeps you away
turn to Me now and hear Me say:
© 1996 Robert Griffith