Posts Tagged 1 Corinthians 15: 57

Partnership Power

1 Corinthians 15: 57

Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Today’s verse concludes our series on the armor of God and the necessarily attendant victory in Christ. This verse speaks so loudly and is at the very crux of standing in victory when it feels like all of hell is against you. This, of course, was written by the same person who taught us about the armor, the Apostle Paul. I bring this to your attention because I want it fit in an overall paradigm for you.

All that we do, must be done in and with the Lord Jesus. There is a balance that is a bit difficult to grasp about our role and his. Our Father designed a partnership model. You see it displayed in this verse. God gives us the victory. That’s what it says, right? There is more though. He gives us our victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Our victory comes in this partnership. There are many Biblical examples of this model but my favorite is still Moses, God and the Red Sea.

You know the story; the children of Israel were in a difficult position. They had left Egypt in route to the Promised Land. However, the Egyptians pursued them and the Israelites were backed up against the Red Sea, seemingly with nowhere to go other than into the grasp of the Egyptians. In Exodus 14, verse 15 the Lord, said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward.” Can you imagine your reply to God? I can imagine mine. It would probably sound something like, “I am crying out to you because the Egyptians are almost upon us and they will certainly slaughter us when they catch us. You’ve got to do something God! How shall I tell the people to go forward. There is a sea before us. Do you suppose we can walk on water. Father, if you don’t do something and do it now, we are all going to die. Is that what you want? Is this why you told me to lead them out of captivity.” Fortunately for the entire nation of Israel, Moses was in a better place to listen to the leading of the Lord. In verse 16 we find God’s instructions to Moses, “And as for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land.”

As you know, Israel did go through on dry land. Therefore, you know that Moses did as he was instructed. He exercised faith and trust and the result is as it must always be when we follow God in faith and trust. The question I often pose to people is, “So, who parted the sea?” What is your answer? Was it Moses or God? Maybe you chose, “All of the above.” If so, I think you are right and the miracle would not have occurred without the cooperation of God and man.

You, like the Israelites, may be in a position of difficulty. Perhaps you have cried out to God. Have you listened for his response? He may be saying to you as He did Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me?” God has already given us the victory, especially in this post-resurrection age in which we live. Jesus has already won every battle we will ever face but we must do our part. What do you suppose would have happened if Moses had said to Himself, “Oh, God is on the throne. What will be, will be,” or, “God is our deliverer. We will sit here and watch our deliverance” but never raised his staff? What would have happened if Moses did not do his part?

I tell you, “Look around.” You see Christians who are overcoming challenges and enjoying the favor of God. I suspect, though, you see many Christians who are being overrun by the enemy. This is often the case and it grieves my heart to no end. These beloved saints are no less loved by God. They have, perhaps, chosen to believe some lies the devil has proliferated throughout our societies. Others may have never heard the truth. Our job is to stand firm and then help someone else to win their battles. That is why is it important for you to realize we have a real enemy out there but learn how every victory is yours in Christ Jesus. Jesus is not the one wielding the sword. He has given the sword to you. Please let that revelation sink in. I wish we could sit in a rocker on our porch and have success laid at our feet, but that is not how this works. He gave us armor and a sword for a reason. Further, he knew we would need these items. Jesus told us we would have trouble in this world (John 16: 33) but in the same breath he said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

It all comes together right there. Sure there is trouble, be not unaware. However, in Christ is the victory so be at peace in your heart. Do not succumb to despair but neither surrender to apathy. There is something for you to do. God has given the victory into our hands but like Moses, we must lift our hand. I don’t think this need be frightening. The prospect of parting the Red Sea may be overwhelming but at the end of the day, all Moses really did was to lift his staff. You can do that too. Just seek God and follow his advice. You will have to lift your hand, yes, but I can promise that He will do the heavy lifting.