We contribute nothing to the plan of God. Shocking, huh? I thought so too, when I first heard this statement. Hang in there with me and let me explain. We’re talking about contributing to God’s plan. Of course we contribute to the work of our ministry teams, senior pastors, bosses, family, etc… I’m asking if you really think you contribute to the plan of God.
First, let’s look at the definition for the word Contribute.
Contribute: To give something in order to help achieve or provide something.
Now, let’s look at the definition for the word Participate.
Participate: To take part or share in.
Interesting, huh? Can you see where you really don’t CONTRIBUTE anything to the plan of God? However, he desires us to PARTICIPATE fully. Revelations 13:8 tells us that God established His plan before the foundations of the world. There is nothing to contribute or add to His plan. We instead participate in His plan. When you believe that you contribute to God’s plan, you put yourself in some dangerous situations.
The Dangers of thinking you CONTRIBUTE:
1. We expect others to work for our contribution.
When we think that our actions contribute so much, we expect others to immediately line up with what we are doing. While we each bring our individual gifts to each plan, we need to understand that we are all participating in the same plan. We have to allow others to participate alongside us. Your way is not always the only way, and when we work with others through a perspective of participation in God’s plan we will value everyone’s participation.
2. We have a tendency use and abuse others.
When we think we are contributing to God’s plan, we begin to see others as pawns and tools for us to use for our contribution. When we see every person as participating, we respect the thoughts and actions of others.
3. We think God is waiting on our next move.
This is a dangerous place to be. Many would never verbalize, “I have to hurry because God is waiting on ME to take action.” However, we act as if God is depending on our next move. Here’s some needed truth: God does NOT wait with baited breath for your next contribution. He will move whether you do something or not. Of course, he desires for you to participate and to use wisdom to know His next move and what He wants you to do. But, he doesn’t sit in heaven “hoping” you do what he “needs” you to do. Check out what Mordecai tells Esther in the Bible. Esther is confronted with needing to save Israel. Mordecai gives her some great advice.
Esther 4:14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
I do not want it to come from another place. But I need to realize that it will if I don’t do what God tells me to. Instead of wasting time thinking I contribute something to what God is already doing in the world, I should operate with an intense level of gratitude that the creator of the universe lets me participate fully in His plan for the world.
How does participating differ from contributing? Do you think you’re contributing? Do you think God could carry on perfectly fine without you?
Do you look at others as participating alongside you?