My Part, God’s Part
There are many theological dynamics to the concept of “My Part / God’s Part” - after all, if God the Father planned salvation, God the Son accomplished salvation and God the Spirit applied salvation, then my part is simply to receive salvation. Easy enough?
So once I’m saved – by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone – what’s the division of labor between me and God as I step into the good works created beforehand for me to walk in? (see Ephesians 2:8-10.)
I’ve been thinking about this for a very practical reason – trusting God to provide for our family’s financial needs. That’s something pretty much anyone can relate to, especially right now in the world economy. For our family, the nuance is that all of our funding comes from God through His people contributing to our ministry. I have a job, and it doesn’t matter how many hours I work – if people don’t give to the ministry, there’s nothing for me to be paid. So fundraising becomes a spiritual endeavor, much like evangelism: it’s my part to initiate with people and tell them the news (e.g. God loves them, Christ died and rose again to forgive sin, you can be our partner in bringing the Gospel to those who’ve never heard) and it’s God part to move in their hearts and reveal who responds. I have no control over who receives Christ, nor over who chooses to join with us and give back to the Lord through our ministry.
Here’s where I recognized a rebuke from the Holy Spirit – I decided that God wasn’t providing adequately for our needs, and I became frustrated and angry with Him. After all, wasn’t I doing my part? I’d been inviting people to join us as ministry partners. So if I was doing my part, and we still had such a significant need – that meant that God wasn’t doing His part. (My guess is that you can relate to getting frustrated or mad at God for your circumstances.) After all, Moses raised his staff and the sea parted, right? Elijah called down fire from heaven and the offering was burned up. Hey God, in case You hadn’t noticed, I’ve been sitting here and praying and I’d like to see some supernatural action, okay?
The truth is that I wasn’t doing my part. As my heart was convicted, I asked myself: have you truly done everything in your power or ability? Or have you only done what you were willing to do, and then blamed God for not responding? Could He be waiting for you to step out in faith, to go beyond your comfort zone, to truly trust in Him alone for your needs?
So it became much clearer who I should be frustrated and angry with – me. I haven’t been doing my part. Once I’ve done everything within my power, everything humanly possible, I can go back and seek Him out and… give thanks for the ways He has answered and provided.
P.S. Your equation of “My Part, God’s Part” may not be financial, it may be something else. I expect that the principle still holds true in your circumstances.