Some Assembly Required

Some Assembly RequiredThrough the years I would venture we have all purchased various items bearing the notice, ’Some Assembly Required’. Whoa! Some Assembly Required?? Let’s take another look. This cake hasn’t been baked yet. What we have here is a box complete with all necessary parts, an instruction book, perhaps a couple of special tools, and the belief that we have the intelligence to put it all together. That task is ours. Obviously, if we follow through on this purchase, we’re signing on to a partnership rather than obtaining a finished product all gift-wrapped and ready to go. It’s going to require some effort on our part; it will be a joint effort between us and the originator if we are going to obtain that desired product.
As you can see in this little illustration, we have come face to face with an if/then equation—if we do our part, then the other part will take place. If we are willing to expend the required effort, then we will achieve the desired effect. Otherwise, no deal! This project isn’t going to complete itself.
It should also be noted here that this if/then scenario didn’t originate with our favorite toys and gadgets stores. It’s been around since the beginning of time. We find hundreds of such equations in the Bible. Throughout the Scriptures we find if/then instances of God providing His people with marvelous gifts and deeds, but not without effort on our part. In Genesis 2:15 we find that God gave Adam the keys to His perfect garden, not merely to eat of the fruit freely, but also to dress it and to keep it. In Judges 6:14f God promised Gideon that his tiny army would gain victory over the mighty Midianites, but not without effort on their part. In Joshua 6:2f, we read where God promised Joshua that He would give the city of Jericho to His people, but not before they marched around the city seven times. In 2 Kings 5:6f God promised Elisha that he would partner with Him in cleansing a man named Naaman from his leprocy, but not before Naaman washed himself seven times in the river Jordan.
Surely we should all be aware of the fact that God certainly didn’t need their help in performing those miracles. He could have just as easily performed each one with no more that a spoken word. But He didn’t. Why? Could it be that we were not created to be ‘puppets on a string’? Could it be that He gave us intelligence and ambition in order to partner with Him in His work here on earth? Could it be that He then presents us with His special projects, along with a book of instructions and the necessary spiritual gifts (tools) in order to complete the work?
Wow! Joint effort with Almighty God! Our ultimate partnership! And now, He actually trusts us, you and me, to partner with Him in the evangelism of the lost world (as spoken of in Matthew 28:19-20)! He obviously needs no help from us in bringing them into His salvation. But He gave us the awesome privilege of being part and parcel of His ‘Evangelism Team’! What a privilege is ours! He knew we would receive no greater thrill than leading some poor lost soul to Christ and then discipling him in the Christian life. Could this be a major facet of the ‘abundant life’ spoken of in John 10:10?

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