The Bible clearly says that God works through His people, but how? How exactly does He do that? Do I just “Let go, and let God”? Or do I sweat it out hoping the Lord is somehow going to bless my efforts?
I had a catamaran for a few years during college. I worked hard on that boat, painting it, varnishing the wooden mast, getting it ready to sail. Here is something that all sailors know. They know that they don’t make the sailboat move through the water. Unless the wind blows, they are not going anywhere. They clearly understand that all they do is harness the wind.
But they also know that the harder the wind blows, the harder they work, trimming the sails, holding firm the rudder. Get this: it is not their energy that moves the sailboat, nevertheless their labor is required.
To be honest, something in me wishes being used by God was meant to be easy. There’s a part of me that hopes having God work through me would be effortless. Then I remember what Paul said:
To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. -- Col 1.29
Notice how Paul understood the blend between his labor and God’s. Paul said, “I labor” but it is with “God’s energy.” He also added, “I struggle” but it is “God who powerfully works.” And the terms Paul chooses to describe his own efforts referred to the kind of work that left a person weary, beat, and even to the point of exhaustion.
In other words, Paul did not teach a “light-switch” theology that believes we just flip some switch and let God shine through us. Paul didn’t teach we should be passive and let God takes over. No, he poured all his energy into the lives of others, knowing that through his endeavors God was at work.
When the wind of the Spirit blows in your life, get on board and give it all you’ve got. God will work through you.