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 labored as well but he labored with Jesus and soon realized he was in partnership with God. If you think about it, so are you. I want you to think about what it means to co-labor with Christ. 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 quickly burn out. The Holy Spirit works alongside us so we can accomplish His mission and it’s His power and 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 God. That’s good advice for anyone.
*Co-laboring means that we are part of a team. God gives us people in partnership to work with and accomplish our goals. It means that we stay humble, recognizing gifts in others, shining the light on them and away from us. It means we get along with others, forgiving quickly, and covering 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 those who are vastly different from us. It’s a God-test. Let’s try to pass that test, otherwise, He’ll make us re-take it until we get it right.
*We 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 up 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 stirs up emotion in you? What makes you cry or dream? What part of ministry 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.
As Peter co-labored with Christ he realized it required authentic faith that was tried and tested. That kind of faith will lead you in your sphere of influence and 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.