Praying through our Partnership via 2 Timothy 2:1-2
(2 Timothy 2:1-2)
God doesn’t need us to complete Christian Mission but He has chosen to invite us into His work. God could have downloaded all the necessary information needed to live the Christian life upon our profession of faith but He invites us into a process that is amazingly relational. Why? God chooses to live and work within the context of a team...or a partnership, which is built on personal relationships!!!
These past two weeks, we have spent our Sunday Teachings in 2 Timothy 2. Here, Paul is reminding Timothy to endure no matter how much suffering comes into the Christian life. Paul is suffering injustice in prison and about to die. Timothy is suffering from a fragile personality that tends to fear people and he is about to lose his spiritual father, Paul. In his last words to his “son in the faith”, The Apostle encourages Timothy to endure and live on Mission. But how??? This week, we will use our prayer primer to pray through Christian Mission. Let’s use the two main points from these past two weeks to focus our prayer:
Why do some Christians quit and others endure when life is hard? Answer: Because some Christians ask God for help and rely on the help He provides...and others don’t (1 Timothy 2:1).
Every Christian suffers. Each day we face the decision to “bear our [unique] cross” for Jesus. Your suffering may be physical, emotional, relational, financial, etc. What suffering has God allowed or the enemy inflicted? Have you considered asking God, not just for the removal of the pain, but a supernatural ability to bear up under the pain so that you may continue to make disciples? Have you offered your suffering to Jesus and allowed Him to give you the help you need and crave?
Every local church suffers with its unique set of hurdles to overcome, we are no different. Most of the time these hurdles are so “normal” or familiar that we don’t see them as impediments to our mission. Would you ask God to reveal and overcome our blind spots, biases, ignorances, besetting sins, and corporate personality deficiencies that create barriers to discipleship? This would be a prayer that sounds much like David’s personal prayer in Psalm 139, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life (vss. 23-24, NLT).”
Why do some Christians who ask for help get His help and other Christians do not receive His help? Answer: Because some Christians want God’s help to make disciples...and other Christians want God’s help pursuing their own pleasures and pursuits.
Would you ask God to help you identify and understand your personal, Ruling Desire? Each Christian has, at least, one main ruling desire that tends to motivate every thought, action, and word...that is, when we are not being ruled/ filled by the Holy Spirit. All Ruling Desires tend to fall into one of six categories:
① Perfection: The desire to control others and/or your surroundings.
② Praise: The desire to receive recognition, respect or acceptance from others.
③ Peace: The desire to experience conflict-free living or convenience.
④ Preservation: The desire to please people due to fear of what they can do to you.
⑤ Pleasure: The desire to achieve prosperity, seek comfort or amass possessions.
⑥ Privilege: The desire to claim entitlement, priority, or position.
With God’s help in illuminating us to our heart’s fleshly, natural bent, we can combat our self-worship, create a game plan for staying under the filling of the Spirit, and quickly confess when we fall. Why? Because when we ask God to resource our pursuit of self-worship, we know it is not His will to “fund” or “strengthen” a rival mission. In addition, when we are on Mission to serve self, then we give up, at least for the moment, on Christian Mission.
If you have abandoned partnering with God to make disciples of others, then spend a moment repenting and recommitting yourself to living in partnership with God on His Mission.
Ask God for help in finding someone to pour your life into.
Ask God for help in finding someone to disciple. Also, ask God for help in finding someone who will help you grow in your own discipleship.