How Much God? How Much Me?

It’s hard to know how to dance with God.  There are days when I think all I need to do is sit back and let God do all the work.  Interfering would just mess up what God wants to do.  And there are other days where I feel like it all depends on me.  Neither is right, I’m sure.   And if all depends on me for anything, we’re all done for.

God invites us to dance in this bizarre divine-human partnership that’s kind of mind-blowing if you think about it.  My job is to figure out how to do that.

I was encouraged to read former staffer Pat Dryburgh’s post yesterday, where he talked about the constant challenge of working in a ministry environment where he was challenged to be his best every day. It was refreshing to read because I was reminded of how what it’s like to be stretched every day to do our best for God.  And it made me think about that grace/work tension all of us feel in this life. 

On the one hand, I know God needs to increase and I need to decrease.  So it’s easy to say “there should be no ‘me’ in it at all.  Well, then explain Paul.  He treated ministry like it was some kind of Olympic pursuit, training like a mad man.  He gave it all up to God, but without his effort, what would have happened? This verse of his scares me and inspires me because he was so serious.

I haven’t figured out this divine/human dance, this “it’s all God but someone he calls us to have a role in it” thing by any stretch of the imagination.  As I gear up for the fall, my prayer is that God’s work would increase magnificently in our midst.  And yet I’m also trying to be the best leader/preacher I can be.  Is that the ticket?  How do you intermingle divine grace and human response?

What’s true in ministry is also true in life.  As you try to navigate marriage, friendships, work and other pursuits, there’s a dance between grace and your response. 

How do you navigate that tension?  I’d love your thoughts.