Devotions

Making Space for God to Work

August 25, 2021
“Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted.” John 6:11 (NLT)
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Collaboration is my favorite kind of work. I call it “Together Work.” Collaboration, partnering with someone who can bring their specific skills and gifts to the table, always makes me far more effective — in my writing, thinking, creating, parenting.

Together Work always makes me better.

The Holy Spirit offers the most powerful kind of Together Work. We can do most things ourselves, but partnering with the effectiveness of the Holy Spirit multiplies everything. God can take our small offering and do something we could never imagine.

The reason we know the truth of Together Work, the reason we know it’s possible and can be part of the fulness of our lives, is because of the Bible. I have fallen in love with the stories and examples of Together Work in the Bible. They start with small promptings, seemingly meaningless whispers, small nudges that might even be hard to pin down. But when people respond to God’s prompting, He draws them into His larger story.

Friend, God’s Word is so applicable to us today, and we can come to love it in our actual lives. The Bible has life-changing things to say about who you are, where you are and the God who’s in the midst of it all. It shows us practically what Together Work with God looks like. One example is the well-known account of Jesus feeding 5,000 people on a hillside, told in all four Gospels.

People from many towns ran ahead along the shore where He was traveling, always trying to anticipate His next move and be the first ones there. The writers tell us the disciples came to Jesus and suggested He may want to send the people away to nearby farms and villages to get something to eat, and Jesus responded in the classic fashion that makes me love Him so much. He said, “You feed them” (Mark 6:37a, NLT).

With what?” they protested, pointing out that catering for this many would require months of wages (Mark 6:37b, NLT).

Jesus asked them, “How much bread do you have?” (Mark 6:38a, NLT). They came back and reported, “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?” (John 6:9, NLT).

The text states that there were 5,000 men present, and that doesn’t count the women and children. So the total number of hungry people may have actually been 10,000 to 15,000. Five loaves and two fish? Hardly enough.

John tells us, “Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted” (John 6:11).

Jesus multiplied five loaves and two fish to feed more than 5,000 people. What they originally gave Him seemed insufficient, which is basically how I feel every time I give something to God. I’m always like, “Well, I don’t know what this is yet or how You can possibly do something with my feeble attempts here, but You can have them.”

The crazy thing? In His hands, what we give Him is always enough. We feel that our contribution is inadequately meager, but He can use it. In ways we cannot imagine, He multiplies exponentially.

Seeking to fall in love with the Bible in our actual lives is our part of the Together Work we do with God. We do our part of Together Work when we show up to read the Bible, to meditate on what we’re learning, to memorize words and sew them into our memory.

God’s part in Together Work is in the hidden work that we cannot see. It’s invisible, silent and subtle — yet He gives us the strength, wisdom, rest and renewal that only He can provide.

When we show up to do our work, we make space for God to do His. When we make ourselves available, He makes Himself accessible. Together Work.

Dear Jesus, thank You for the gift of Together Work. Help me to know that nothing is too small to place in Your hands and that whatever I offer You will multiply in ways I could never imagine. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Want to learn to love the Bible? Pick up a copy of This Book Is for You: Loving God’s Word in Your Actual Life by Tricia Lott Williford.

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FOR DEEPER STUDY

Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (ESV)

What’s something that you’re reluctant to place in God’s hands because it feels like too little to offer Him? After reading today’s devotion, how are you encouraged to do Together Work with God and His Holy Spirit? Let us know in the comments!

© 2021 by Tricia Lott Williford. All rights reserved.

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