Hand in Hand

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor; For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).

Have you ever knelt beside a stream of water to take a drink and use your hands, cupped together, to draw the water to your mouth. Even if you haven't, I'm sure you can picture doing so. One hand does all right, but when the two are brought together the amount of water that is held increases quite a bit more, making it easier to carry the water to your mouth without it all going down the front of your shirt.
I remember a preacher who desired very much to see his church grow, both spiritually and in number. He really cared. Yet, out of his concern he tried to do everything that had to be done. He took it upon himself to lead, plan and approve any and all activities within the church. It was not long before his efforts led to his own fatigue. His concern gave way to the undue pressures he placed upon himself and his work of love soon became nothing more than a task to be accomplished. The church's response was to see him as a dictator, and before long they asked him for his resignation.
A lot of good intentions are at the root of many efforts for doing God's work. Sure, our heart is in it and we want to see God's work done--we want to see lives changed. But to go it alone was never God's intent for any of us. We need the support and prayer of others, no matter how great or how small the work we do. Sometimes we need the help of others--along side of us--working hand in hand. We most definitely need God no matter what we are doing. We simply were not intended to do it on our own.
How many times have you felt that you were alone in your cause, your work, or your beliefs? Did you ever feel stronger because of it? Or did you feel isolated and like you just wanted to withdraw from the world for a while so you could get your strength back? Maybe you felt like your thoughts were yours alone and that no one else understood, and so you would just keep your mouth shut and wait for everything to blow over.
The only thing that comes from such feelings of personal aloneness is that we become even more isolated than before. We want to be effective and fruitful in the work for the Lord, yet we cripple our efforts by standing on our own two feet.
God's plan for us is to have a support group of which He is the coordinator. He (not us), directs the course of His work. He shows us the what, where, who and how of something to be done. Then He provides us with people in our lives that will encourage and pray for us, and sometimes work right along side of us.

First, find out what God is wanting you to do. Secondly, rely on Him to empower you to do it (trust in His abilities--not your own). Third, have at least two or three people who will support you, advise you, pray for you and encourage you. Report to them the progress of the work, and keep them aware of how they can be praying for you. The increase will come and you will know more than ever before that you are not alone.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5).


Day by Day Devotionals: www.daybyday.org