I am awake before dawn this morning… My partner is missing. What is a partner meant to be and do? To be a partner, should I be joining my husband at 5 in the morning to go detecting or kayaking or reading? Should Steve be joining me on a run or going grocery shopping with me to be my partner? Partnership is about agreement and playing a part. Paul makes an interesting point about suffering. I do not have to go through what he is going through to be a partner. I do have to play my part though and if I do I get to partake of the favour of God. If it is about making the message of the gospel as clear as possible what is my role in partnership… If Steve has ventured out of bed to do something he loves at some random beach before he heads into what looks like a very busy day. Steve loves his alone time on days like this, a day full of appointments and people. It helps bring some sanity to his life so … I am up before dawn and that is my role in partnership.The dog needs to pee and I let him out… and I need coffee. As I wait for the milk to warm and the dog to scratch on the door to let me know he wants to come back in, I see my journal on the bench and begin to write. I am up to 245 and The list is getting longer. My journal of 1000 things….you know the dare I am taking…I have already listened to Paul this morning and caught in the phrase..
For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it. (Philippians 1:29, 30 NLT)
I don’t have to remain at the kitchen bench this morning…funny how the partnership requires me to be a little less selfish and a little more considerate…. That is what partnership is ..considering the other and how my decisions impact on them. A partnership doesn’t work if one partner is ignorant or self indulgent. Our marriage partnership works best when both partners are both laying their part.
A couple of year ago I remember God taking me to some painful places in my childhood that not even Steve knew about. This was the favour of God…it certainly didn’t feel like favour but the attention of the Gardner who wanted me to flourish and required him to show some attention as he removed some destructive weeds that had entangled themselves around the roots of my heart. It took great care and the wisdom and attentive care of my Gardner father to work his way into my heart and remove those weedy roots. The process was not fun and I did my best to avoid the pain until the pain of ‘avoiding the pain’ was more severe than ‘the removing of the weeds pain ‘ would be. my husband partnered with me in my suffering, as did godly and wise friends. partnership did not mean that Steve had to go through my trauma or even go through the process of healing but his emotional, spiritual and physical support made the hard easier. He was a partner in the suffering and shared in the favour of God and in the joy that came from that experience.
My role as nurturer is that of partner..providing support, and prayer and encouragement. ..I do not have to live in someone else’s pain to be a partner. If the nurturer does not play their part in partnership it is not a partnership….
I keep this in mind in our Hills partnership with the A21 campaign. To be a partner does not mean I have to live in Greece or Bangkok or Ukraine. I don’t have to be be in the middle of the turmoil in Kiev to be a partner in prayer. I don’t have to be Christine Caine, I don’t have to be a lawyer or an intern. I can be a partner by praying strategically, joining awareness campaigns, supporting them financially, staying informed and doing what I can to help nurture partnership in my hills church women. Partnership is intentional. Like in a marriage as soon as one partner does not play their part or is ignorant of their role, the partnership weakens. My partnership plays a vital role in supporting those on the front line and the ones literally setting captives free. The joy of our sacrifice is seen in the tangible evidence of freedom. If I am not playing my part…I am not a partner. there is not partnership.
strong>Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. (Philippians 1:28 NLT)
When Paul talks about being undaunted and fearless in our stand against the opposition of the enemy..I realise I have a long way to go in truly knowing what it is to suffer FOR Christ and see it as a privilege.
The most profound book I have read on this subject is Christine Caine’s book ‘UNDAUNTED’ . It has made me evaluate how easy it make excuses for not getting involved and playing our part.
Hills church are partners with A21 and if you are a part of Hills church you play a partnership role and the favour that comes in partnership, the joy of playing our part in someone’s life being set free. What part will I play that is selfless, informed and sacrificial. we can not do everything but we can do something …our part…part-nership.
Check out the A21 Campaign here: http://www.thea21campaign.org/
Start with the book UNDAUNTED… http://www.christinecaine.com/content/undaunted/
Christine Caine is no superhero. She’s just like you. And she is changing the world. Using her own dramatic life story, Christine shows how God rescued her from a life in which she was unnamed, unwanted, and unqualified. She overcame abuse, abandonment, fears, and other challenges to go on a mission of adventure, fueled by faith and filled with love and courage. Christine offers life-transforming insights about not only how to overcome the trials, wrong turns, and often painful circumstances we all experience, but also how to grow from those experiences and be equipped and empowered to help others. Her personal stories will inspire you to hear your own name called—just as Christine heard hers—to go into a dark and troubled world. Each of us possesses all it takes to bring hope, create change, and live completely for Christ.
GOD HAS GIVEN OUR GENERATION A PAUL, MARY AND ESTHER. AND HER NAME IS CHRISTINE CAINE – MAX LUCADO
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING…
Undaunted is filled with compelling stories and life-changing revelation. It will challenge you to let the light and hope of Christ shine through you into the dark places of this world.
Bible teacher and bestselling author
Christine’s devotion and loyalty are immeasurable. Her own story of redemption frames the core of her belief system and fuels her endless passion. We are confident that Undaunted will unlock freedom not only in the reader but also in the individual worlds we influence, resulting in multitudes being blessed.
–BRIAN AND BOBBIE HOUSTON
senior pastors, Hillsong Church
If anyone can motivate your to chase after God’s calling in your life, it’s Christine Caine. Undaunted will stir you, challenge you, and dare you to take a giant leap into the adventure of a sold-out life for Christ.
senior pastor of LifeChurch.tv;
author of Soul Detox: Clean Living in a Contaminated World
Christine does an amazing job of using stories from her own life to help teach you that you are called and able to experience a life of boldness, courage, and purpose. I am thankful for Christine’s example and leadership to encourage us all to be Undaunted. This book is long overdue form one of the world’s greatest voices in the body of Christ.
senior pastor, Free Chapel;
author of New York Times bestseller Fasting