The Power and Principle of Partnership
Sunday, March 1, 2020
Pastor Troy Brewer, OpenDoor Church, Burleson, TX
We are going to learn how to position ourselves in His presence and how to position ourselves from His presence.
Psalms 139:5 – You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me
LEAD FOLLOW OR GET OUT OF THE WAY 1
The High Priority & Principle of Partnership
Pray. “The spirit of wisdom and revelation” Ephesians 1:17
“Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.” Matthew 13:52
Genesis chapters 1 and 2 – The History of Creation
Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning (Time) God created the heavens (Space) and the earth (Matter)
31,102 verses in the Bible
EVERYTHING IN THE REALM OF CREATION FALLS INTO THE MODEL OF TIME, SPACE AND MATTER. Time, space and matter are in continuum meaning you can’t separate them. If you get rid of one, you have to get rid of the other two. If you introduce one, you have to introduce the other two.
“Time is God’s way of keeping everything from happening at Once.”
Space is God’s way of keeping everything from being in the same place.
Matter is God’s way of keeping everything from being the same thing.
Why? Because He wants a process. He wants things to be worked out. He wants things to be developed. Why? Because He wants relationship.
EVERYTHING IN THE KINGDOM IS DESIGNED TO BE RELATIONAL BECAUSE THE CREATOR DESIRES RELATIONSHIP.
Genesis 1:2 – The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
THIS IS HUGE AND A MAJOR FUNDAMENTAL PREMISE OF UNDERSTANDING THE PRIORITY AND PRINCIPLE OF PARTNERSHIP.
When God created the world, all the worlds,
*As of 13 February 2020, there are 4,126 confirmed exoplanets, the majority of which were discovered by the Kepler space telescope.
Everything in time, space and matter – He created it in a state that was a long way from being finished. It was not fully developed or filled in with the stuff that would demonstrate how awesome He was and what He had for us.
* It was without form and void.
* Darkness was on the face of the deep. (The vast majority of what God was going to do was hidden and would not be unveiled for a long time after multiple stages of revelation, manifestation and continued creation and development.
* The Spirit of the Lord hovered above the waters.
God’s presence was over this unfinished creation, but He was not fully engaged in it. He had started something and the Word hovering here is brooding like when a mama hen broods over her unhatched eggs.
“It was Good”
14 times in Genesis 1-3
778 times throughout Scripture
It was not perfect. It was good.
Romans 12:2 – And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
As we come to back to the story of creation, we find a remarkable truth: God not only created humankind to be his creatures, but also to be his partners in the creative process of causing the world to flourish or to go to the next level. In Genesis chapter one, we find a summary of the six days of creation. In chapter two, we find a little more detail about day six. After describing the creation of the man and the garden (vv. 7-14), verse 15 says,
Genesis 2:15 – Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden (walled or guarded place) of Eden to tend and keep it.
“Cultivate and protect it as a steward.”
Definition of cultivate
1: to prepare or prepare and use for the raising of crops
2: to foster the growth of something (cultivate vegetables,
3: to improve by labor, care, or study; to fully develop by management
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to cultivate, manage, possess and improve it, and to fully develop it.
The idea is that, in relationship with God, Adam would fully develop into the man God had created Him to be. He would improve in His wisdom, favor and stature.
( Luke 2:52 )
He would develop in His abilities, gifts and skill sets. He would bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit (John 15:8).
God created the universe where we do not have dominion to be self sustaining.
God created the “garden” or “the Promised Land” He trusted you with to require you to cultivate and keep it.
He created humans to “work” the garden and to “take care” of the garden with the idea of making it flourish.
Verse 5 sheds an interesting light on this:
Genesis 2:5 – …before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; 6 but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.
7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being (living soul).
You’ve got wet places and dry places.
Adam was formed out of the self-sustaining wet places where the mist of God watered the ground. He was formed out of the dry places that needed somebody to cultivate. God places His Spirit and His life in that man so he would be more like Him rather than the place where he stood. And God began to introduce Adam to the world, Himself to Adam and it was good!
Adam grew in relationship with God and it was good. He took on the responsibility of cultivating and protecting things things within the Garden.
God brought him the things he wanted.
Genesis 2:19-20 – Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field.
He had no idea he needed, wanted and desired and would be fulfilled with a woman until God brought her to him.
“PARTNERSHIP” – Fellowship in fulfillment of accomplishing vision
To answer this need, the following verses talk about the creation of Adam, the garden, and the reason for the creation of Adam, being “to work and take care of it (the garden).” Remember after God created male and female in His image, Genesis 1:28 says, “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.’”
I wonder if, while God had finished all the work He was going to do, all the work He wanted done was not yet finished. Creation was “good” (actually “very good” – Gen 1:31) but not yet complete. I wonder if perhaps what God is saying to Adam is, “Here is what I’ve made (the garden) and it’s very good. Now you go and make the rest of the world look like this.”
Then, of course, we have the creation of Eve to join Adam. Join him to do what? Join him to “be fruitful, increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it, work the garden and take care of the garden.” To partner with God by taking what God had created in the garden and making the rest of the world look like that. Cause it to flourish and to be beautiful, providing for the needs of every human who would subsequently be born into it.
Now, we know sin enters in Genesis 3 and makes God’s charge a lot more difficult than it was originally intended to be, but does it do away with God’s initial design and charge to humankind? I don’t think so. I think the same charge is given to each of us today, to partner with God to cause our “garden” to be fruitful and multiply, to work it and take care of it and cause it to flourish so the needs of humanity are met.
Is that why Paul, speaking to “workers” in Colossians 3:23-24, says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
I can’t tell you the number of times over 25 years of serving on a church staff, people have said to me something like, “I wish I was in the Lord’s work.” I finally started responding by saying, “Why aren’t you?”
According to Col. 3:23-24 you actually are “in the Lord’s work” if you are a follower of Christ. He is your boss no matter your job. Granted, there are some ways of making money in this world that could never be seen as glorifying to God and should be avoided by Christians. But if you are a follower of Jesus, there is no sacred-secular divide. The job you do that produces flourishing for your family and other people, as a result of the great economic network we are all part of, is to be done for the glory of God according to 1 Cor. 10:31.