The Hand of Man and the Hand of God 1 Cor.15 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
We have a unique relationship with the Lord when it comes to doing his will in our lives. On the one had God has to do something in our lives. But on the other hand, we must labor. Fulfilling God’s will in our lives takes the hand of man and the hand of God.
In 1 Cor 15:10, we see that Paul labored more abundantly than the other apostles. But it was the grace of God which was with him that allowed him to labor to that degree. In Paul’s ministry, you can see the hand of man and the hand of God in accomplishing his will. In 1 Tim 1:12 God enabled Paul and put him in the ministry. That was God’s hand. But Paul was faithful. That was Paul’s hand. Notice how the hand of man and the hand of God cooperate:
In the ministry – Paul’s ministry was his but it was given to him by the Lord. In Acts 20:34 Paul’s own hands ministered to his necessities. Yet in 2 Cor 11:9 the Lord also provided. Today we have men who won’t lift a finger to minister in an area until the Lord gives them all of the support they need to start. What’s wrong with a man working a job when he’s starting a church? He doesn’t need to be fully supported to plant a church.
On the plough – Paul put his hand to the plough as a disciple should [Lk 9:62]. And he didn’t look back when it got tough. He followed Jesus [the hand of God] but he was the one laboring in the harvest [the hand of man].
In the yoke – Matt 11:28-29 – Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you.” It’s the Lords yoke but you and I must wear it. A yoke is not an ornament like a necklace. It’s a tool for work. Paul was yoked up with the Lord. He didn’t have his own agenda. He was ready to go to Asia but was forbidden by the Lord. In the Lord’s yoke he ended up in Philippi after receiving the Macedonian call. When Paul did have his own agenda to go to the Jews he had gone against God’s will but he wasn’t outside of God’s hand. God corrected his mistake [Acts 9:15, 23:11].
On the course – 2 Tim 4:7 – Paul said, “I have finished my course.” It was Paul’s course but it was a course that the Lord laid out for him Acts 20:24, 9:15-16. Paul didn’t stop until he had finished his course. Likewise, the Lord has a plan for our lives. That’s God’s hand. And yet, we are the ones who must run our race [1 Cor 9:24-26] and finish our course. That’s our hand.
Conclusion: as you consider what it is the Lord would have you to do, remember that he expects you to minister, put your hand to the plough, take his yoke upon you and finish your course. Don’t wait around here for the Lord to do it all for you.