Today is Principle 5 - the last from the booklet published by
Ministry in the Marketplace, Inc.
"You can contribute nothing to the work of God"
Again and again in the Scriptures, God reminds His people that His work was finished before the foundation of the world. He created it; He set it in motion; He sustains it. From start to finish it is His work (e.g., Isaiah 46:9-10; Psalm 115:3).
His children can participate in the work of God, but they can contribute nothing. To contribute means to give, furnish, or supply something of worth. Webster defines it as “to give a part to a common fund or store; to lend assistance or aid to a common purpose.” It carries the idea of helping or meeting a need.
To participate, on the other hand, conveys the idea of sharing in something, or as Webster says, “To possess some of the properties, qualities or attributes of something; to take part in something; to have a part or a share in something.” It conveys privilege—the privilege of having a “slice of the action.”
God, in his love and grace, gives His children the privilege of participating with Him in what He is doing. They are deceived, however, if they believe that they can contribute anything to what He is doing!
To illustrate, suppose you had access to an unbelievable real estate investment opportunity and came with the following offer: If I invest $5,000 with you, you will guarantee a return on the investment of $5,000,000 within six months. Not only so, but you are willing to sign a note to the effect that if the profit is not forthcoming, you will return the $5,000. You point out that you do not need my money to go forward with the deal on your own; it is an offer you are making out of the generosity and goodness of your heart.
Six months later I receive from you $5,000,000. I respond by saying, “Aren’t you glad I helped you put the deal together?” If you were incredulous over such a remark, you would be justified. I did not help you. Out of your generosity you allowed me the privilege of participating with you in that which would ultimately benefit me. So it is with God. We do not help Him in the ministry - He helps us by allowing us to minister.
Those who do not understand that they can contribute nothing to the work of God will:
a. Establish goals;
b. Make them of primary importance; and
c. Ultimately compromise the commandments of God in an effort to accomplish them.
The person who believes he can contribute something to the work God is doing, will define their ministry in terms of how they perceive God is leading them. In this view God becomes dependent upon their contribution, anxiously holding His breath while He waits for them to accomplish their task.
Other people then, are perceived as obstacles which may be run over, or are seen as competition to limited resources available to accomplish ‘their mission for God’.
It all begins with the wrong belief that we can contribute to the work of God.