What do you think of when I say the word ‘labor’? Yeah, me too: work. You get up in the morning and go to work. You labor, come home, and repeat the process the next day. Peter, as he co-labored with Jesus, began to realize that he was in partnership with God. I want you to think about what it means to co-labor with Christ and others. Here are my thoughts:
• He shares things with us. Since we are in partnership with Him, He gives us direction, guidance, power, and authority. Without these gifts we are only spinning our wheels and we burn out quickly. The Holy Spirit works alongside us so we can accomplish His mission. It’s His power and His authority that gets the job done. If we don’t realize that early on we get discouraged and frustrated in our family, job, or ministry. Leadership means that we acknowledge God in all we do and therefore depend on Him. Burnout isn’t possible because we’re not depending on ourselves but on Him. That’s good advice for anyone.
• It means that we are part of a team. God gives us people in our lives to work alongside to accomplish our goals. It means that we stay humble and recognize the gifts in others, shining the light on them and away from us. It means that we get along with others, just like Kindergarten. We forgive quickly and cover one another’s sin as much as possible. God gives us challenging people in our lives on purpose. It’s no accident that we are working alongside people who are vastly different from us. It’s a God-test. Let’s try to pass otherwise He’ll make us re-take the test until we get it right.
• Share our vision with others. Whether it’s our hopes and dreams about our kids, our occupation, or our church, we need to communicate the vision that God has planted in our hearts. “Vision is a picture of the future that produces passion,” writes Bill Hybels. I see it as inspiring people, bringing unity, stirring divine energy, releasing creativity, and giving new perspective. Don’t be afraid of sharing your God-given vision, it can influence people as the Holy Spirit influences you.
• You don’t have a vision? What is it in life that you can’t stand? What makes you cry or dream? What gives you energy? Your answers can define your vision. You may not understand it now or see it in your future but God does. He’ll lead you through circumstances and divine appointments as you press into Him and follow His lead.
• Co-laboring in leadership, as we learn from Peter, requires authentic faith that has been tried and tested, leading you and your sphere of influence in your vision. Don’t give up, give in to the Lord and allow Him to guide you in your passion. His call is on ‘hold’ until you respond.
The complete chapter is found at www.thecourseoflife.com under Resources.