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Reader’s Question: Law of Partnership

Just as the law of gravity orders our physical world, spiritual laws govern the spiritual realm. The law of partnership is one of those laws. In my Real Talk interview with Pastor Lily Olgiati I explained that in this law of partnership, God is a gentleman. Meaning that He waits for our engagement with Him, never intruding on space we have not offered. In contrast, the devil is terrifyingly intrusive, taking ground that was never intentionally offered.  Any experience with addiction, anger, or fear quickly verifies this. We may open the door to a temporary experience and find we have fallen down a slippery slope of painful behaviors. 

Throughout the Old Testament, we read statements like this: “If you would only obey Me, then…” (see Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 4,5,6, 1 Samuel 7) Is God on a big power trip about obedience? No, rather I believe He created this law of partnership, that He LONGS to bless us, pour good into our lives, IF we will only PARTNER with Him. God cannot force blessing upon us but eagerly waits for us to open the door to Him.  Similarly, if we partner with the enemy, we have empowered him (the devil and demonic spirits) whose goal is to steal, kill, and destroy. (Jn. 10:10) We see in scripture that when God’s people pray, fast, dedicate themselves, and obey, then peace follows. God delivers them from oppression of every kind and pours out blessing and rest. And when God’s people wander from Him and follow (partner with) other gods, the door to oppression, sickness, and lack opens.

How can we identify partnerships in our life? Think about the last experience you had that felt off, uncomfortable, or confusing. As you reflect, ask yourself- was I holding hands with fear? Anger? Rebellion? Or in this situation was I truly participating with faith, patience, obedience? We can partner (participate, hold hands) with the enemy in many subtle ways. Let’s take fear for example: maybe we come from a family who worries a lot. In every situation we have been trained to look at what could possibly go wrong and how we could be in danger. Even though we are Christ-followers, fears tumble out of us, keeping us awake at night as we fret over the health of our children, our finances, careers, politics, and so on. We partner with fear by obsessively controlling our relationships, health, and environment, constantly scrolling, posting and speaking our fear multiple times a day.

I was at a women’s group once where I heard a woman say to four different people that she had gotten a mammogram that day because her mother had breast cancer as did her grandmother also. All day and throughout her life she rehearsed this fear and spoke it to anyone who would listen: my grandmother and mother had cancer and I fear that I will as well. What would partnering with faith look like in this situation rather than holding hands with fear and foreboding? She could acknowledge her fear to God and hand it to Him to carry. She could then speak life over herself saying something like I am a blood-bought daughter of Christ the King! He says I am beloved and blessed. I am so sorry for my grandmother and mother’s experience but that is not my inheritance! I believe that God’s goodness will follow me all the days of my life because His plans for me are not for calamity but for good. (See Jeremiah 29:11) Throughout her life she then partners with God’s design for health in her eating, drinking, relaxing, and speaking. 

Have we opened doors to the enemy by partnering with rebellion rather than obedience? (I share my story of this in my Real Talk interview with Pastor Lily- watch it here: https://youtu.be/KZhNtOhpEwA ) Have we spoken fear over our life and now feel almost bullied by dread and foreboding? Have we held hands with a political spirit so much that we have alienated friends and family? 

When we discover how we’ve partnered with the enemy, we need simply to break that alliance. I’ve woken up some days in a pissy mood and then declared out loud I will not partner with this spirit! This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it! And the power and love in God’s Name comes to me. Whatever your situation, say to the Lord I am holding hands with You today. I will not hold hands or partner with_____. I renounce it and break all ties with it. I command that spirit to leave in Jesus’ Name. I ask You Jesus to fill in all that space with Your peace and love. Amen

A friend asked how I developed this understanding of partnerships and laughing, I said, “I’m not that smart- I’m just a good reader!” My professor from Fuller Seminary, Dr. Charles H. Kraft brought this law to light. I highly recommend his books, I Give You Authority and Deep Wounds, Deep Healing.

An easy way to partner with God is to daily open the door to spirit-filled information and dialogue. You can get fresh input into your spiritual life by checking out my book, Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion. You can find it on my website (along with this blog) www.MargaretAllen.org or anywhere books are sold. Next week we will explore powerful ways to partner with God to open doors of His blessing and protection.

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Spiritual Life Prep

Today I will be twelve miles into the Emigrant Wilderness in California. A group of us will hike into the wilderness to set up camp at Woods lake.  We will be the only group around, as this 112,000 acre wilderness keeps us all socially distanced. Our flyrods are ready, axes sharpened, and all camping gadgets are packed. Hammock? Check. First aid kit? Check. Solar shower? Hell yes. Tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, sleeping meds, and sleeping buddies. Yessiree Bob. Every possible scenario of wilderness survival has been considered. Ah, the camping life!

Somewhere in the packing for this trip I felt God nudging me, what if you approached your spiritual life this way? I paused to hear what He was saying. I felt a loving curiosity, what if you applied that same interest, passion, and detail to some of Our life together? Ahh fair question.

What if I applied diligence and excellence to my walk with God? Not a performance thing but a heart thing.  Paul exhorted Timothy, his spiritual son in the faith, “Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all.” (1 Timothy 4:15) I’ve read scripture every day for years but is my progress evident to all?  Am I just kind of wandering through my spiritual life or does God hold my full attention?

Listen, if the prep and excitement around a weekend getaway can put our spiritual life prep and excitement to shame, let’s consider making a few adjustments:

  1. God is speaking every day. We must position our heart to be quiet enough and focused enough to hear Him. What is he saying to you this morning?  
  2. Spiritual questions? Research your questions as diligently as assessing an Airbnb for a weekend away! List questions, consider all the options, talk to experts, get clarity. God is not a God of confusion, nor will He cave under your scrutiny. 
  3. Read a first century biography about Jesus.  Study what He said and did as recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. His life story is deeply compelling.
  4. Be absorbed in knowing and loving Jesus Christ, the King.

My friend, what a beautiful adventure we have walking with God! I know of no other relationship or destination that satisfies my heart so completely. “In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” (Psalm 16:11)

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Hey I am loving this Gracious Living journey we are on together! Thank you for following my blog. Get the book Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion at MargaretAllen.org. The kindle version is available on Amazon.