Partnering With What God is Doing
"We don't build a structure and ask God to fill it, but we see what God is doing and build a structure around that." – Paul Manwaring
I love this quote. It guided so much of our priorities and decision-making when I worked with Paul (2008 to 2016) in Global Legacy, an organization birthed out of Bethel Church in Redding, CA. It is not only a powerful truth for organizations, but also for individuals.
Embracing this belief will cause us to:
- Become more spiritually aware
- Resist simply duplicating the past
- Overcome religious traditions and dead works
Jesus modeled this for us. "Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does" (John 5:19).
There are many biblical examples of people building a structure around what God was doing. Here are three:
- David defeating Goliath – He built victory around utilizing his sling instead of Saul's armor, which was first given to him (I Samuel 17).
- The feeding of the 5,000 – Provision was released when the disciples built around serving the small amount of fish and bread as Jesus asked them to (Matthew 14).
- Paul healing a man in Acts 14 – While Paul was preaching, he saw that a certain man had faith to be healed. He spontaneously built his ministry in that part of his message around something he saw God doing in an individual.
As I write this blog, I am sensing the Lord causing you to look up and see what He is doing right now in your life. There is something to build around now. "Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!" (John 4:35).
We can apply this truth with:
- Ourselves – Instead of constantly focusing on changing our negative behaviors, it is wiser to find what God is blessing in our lives and build around that. And instead of bemoaning closed doors we are experiencing, let's look up and see where we have favor. As we focus on these things (no matter how small), we will position our lives and assignments around what He is doing.
- Our family and closest relationships – What relationship is God highlighting to you to primarily invest in? What activities with family and friends creates the greatest result? What prayers and declarations have the most power to impact your relationships?
- Our ministries and organizations – Who is God blessing right now in our ministry? How can we build around what is happening in them? What unusual coincidences am I seeing that is indicating a direction for us as an organization?
"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God," (Matthew 4:4). The quality of our life is linked to our hearing the "proceeding" word from God. What is He saying now? As we hear and "see" this, we will enter into the fullness of His grace to build structures and habits to increase this in exponential ways.
For more on this subject, click the button below to hear this podcast episode:
ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND
Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.