Cooperating with God

Published 7:51 am Friday, May 24, 2019

Good intentions often become a substitute for actions, but intentions will never take the place of action. Our actions will make plans a reality! We can intend to do better but will never accomplish that goal if we never take the plans and put them into motion. God has perfect plans for each of us, but we must cooperate with Him, and do exactly what he asks. You can find numerous examples in the Word of God where God wanted and needed the cooperation of men and women to carry out a task. Can you remember a small boy that sacrificed his own lunch of fishes and bread to assist Jesus in feeding a multitude? How about the men who had to roll the stone from the tomb of Lazarus before he was resurrected by Jesus, and once he came out of the tomb, Jesus asked that they would loose Lazarus from his grave clothing and let him go. In all these incidents, Jesus asked someone to do something to assist in the miracle. How about at the wedding in Canaan of Galilee when Jesus asked the men to fill up the vessels to the brim with water before he turned the water into wine. He could have done this miracle totally solo, but instead he chose to use another person or persons to assist. Let’s look at another story from the Word of God that demonstrates this point.

In John 9:1-11, we find a man that was born completely blind. God had designed a perfect plan to demonstrate his power! Many folks wanted to know what this man or his parents had done that sinfully that would cause him to be born blind, but Jesus reassures the crowd that these individuals had not sinned at all, but this man was only born blind so he could manifest or show his power to those around him. We are told that every 20 minutes, a person in this nation loses his or her eyesight, going blind completely. Every year 50,000 Americans go blind. Some 20 million people have lost their sight. For most people the thought of going blind is a terrifying thought. A recent poll had been taken saying that most people would rather lose any other sense or ability physically than to lose their ability to see. This is the only time in the Bible where a man who was born blind receives his sight. Many times, in the gospels we see Jesus healing men who were blind (Mark 7:33; 8:23), but those were people who had sight and lost it, but this man in John 9 never had sight. It was God’s plan from the very beginning to restore sight to this blind man, but the blind man’s cooperation was the key to the miracle!

Jesus spits on the dirt and creates clay and wipes it on this man’s eyes. Jesus them informs the man that in order to receive his sight, he must wash his eyes in the Pool of Siloam.  According to Bible history, the Pool of Siloam, also called the Pool of Shiloah (Isaiah 8:6), has a rich past, which involves an ancient king of Judah, a famous sermon, and one of Christ’s great miracles. The word Siloam means “Sent” (John 9:7). The Pool of Siloam is often referred to as the Messiah’s Pool. It was the only source of fresh water within the walls of ancient Jerusalem.

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The Pool of Siloam was built by King Hezekiah in the 8th century BC (2 Kings 20:20) in order to provide water to Jerusalem, even in the event that the city was besieged. The pool was fed by a tunnel Hezekiah cut through almost 2,000 feet of solid rock from the Gihon Spring, also called the Virgin’s Spring. The spring, which produced a flow of water about twice a day, was located on the east side of Jerusalem, outside of the wall and on a slope leading down to the Kidron Valley. Hezekiah’s Tunnel channeled the water from Gihon to the pool, located in the southeast part of the city in the Tyropoeon Valley. The original Pool of Siloam was about 53 feet long, 18 feet wide, and 19 feet deep and was made of part hewn rock and part masonry. The site of the original Pool of Siloam has been excavated, and there is still a pool there, but it is hardly the splendid place that it once was. Still, we have the biblical record of the Pool of Siloam, a place that was used by kings and priests and by the Messiah Himself. The One sent by God to be our Savior used the Pool of “Sent” to heal a man born blind who was sent to the pool to wash. The man immediately made his way to the pool and washed his eyes and left seeing for the first time! He had cooperated with God, and carried out the Master’s directions; therefore making God’s plan a reality! When we stop procrastinating and get about the Father’s business, we will reap the wonderful consequences of God’s perfect will!

I intended to clean the house! I intended to stop for gas! I intended to pick up the birthday cake! I intended to call and tell you that I was running late! I intended to show up for work today! These are all good intentions, but if a plan is not put in place to carry out these tasks, we are only hurting ourselves. It could be that God is sending you to occupy the ideal job: One that gives you adequate pay and benefits, job satisfaction and time off to serve God and your family.

God may be sending you to a deeper prayer life, to greater effectiveness in sharing your faith, to higher levels of operation in your spiritual gifts. God may be sending you to do a job or several jobs in the church. By the way, every job in the church is vitally important to God. There is no job more important than any other. From taking out the trash to preaching in the pulpit — every job is important to God. A King is coming, so whatever you do, no matter how insignificant you might think the task is, do it as unto the Lord, and He will bless you and us for it. He said blessed is the servant so doing when he returns. God is sending each of us so a miracle can transpire. Are you willing to go make God’s plan a reality? Just thinking about doing so will never work! We must cooperate with God!

(The Solution Column is provided by Pastor Brandon Young of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church, Hampton, and his associate, Hunter Greene.)