This past month I took some time off from work and fixed things around the house. I wasn’t inspired to write anything and didn’t take the time to put my thoughts into words, although God was speaking to me. God often stirs things inside of me and the picture isn’t quite clear at the moment. I have been pondering what it means to “co-labor with Christ.”
I have heard the term co-labor many times and read about it in books. I was confronted on my belief while on Twitter. Some background may be helpful: I started a Twitter account a couple months ago when I felt I was supposed to invest in it. I friended a bunch of people, over 700, and had over 400 follow me. Interestingly enough that doesn’t mean they see, read, or interact with my posts.
As I was reading posts one day I read a tweet that stated something like, “If Jesus is your co-pilot, get out of the pilot seat and let him fly the plane.” I try to stay away from logical fallacies such as the straw man argument. I also try to stay away from arguing with people who use the straw man argument to make their point. It is common to see people trying hard to come up with clever sayings so that others will retweet them, which are sometimes not biblical, but sound clever. I tried to stay away from this one but I couldn’t. A lot of questions came up in my mind. Is Jesus my co-pilot? Is there anything wrong with that? Is the term co-labor with Christ biblical? I set off on a journey to discover what I believed.
A book I had been reading had an entire chapter on co-laboring with Christ. I went and looked through the chapter and unfortunately didn’t find a clear scripture saying co-labor or anything similar. I then went on a Google search, as one does. I found a verse about Christians co-laboring with each other as well as one about co-laboring with God:
As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. – 2 Corinthians 6:1
Other translations have the word “co-workers” to mean “partners” or “working together with Him.” I read the verses around it to make sure it was in context and I believe it is.
My next step was to look at other scriptures and see whether it lined up with scripture. There are many verses that talk about Christ being in me such as:
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. – Galatians 2:20
And here are some verses where Jesus talks about the role of the Holy Spirit:
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. – John 14:26
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. – John 16:13
So part of the role of the Holy Spirit is to be our helper, teacher, and guide.
I was also reminded of the story of the talents, which is money. The story is about the Kingdom of Heaven. The master gives three slaves different amounts of money and then leaves. Two of the three slaves double what they had been given. The other slave hides it so he doesn’t lose it. Upon returning the master rewards those who increased what they had and punished the one who did nothing with what he was given. At the end of the story it says:
For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. – Matthew 25:29
I thought about these scriptures, as well as considering whether there are any that may have a contradictory message. My conclusion is that we are to co-labor with God. I believe this could look different depending where we are at in life and our relationship with Him. In one sense God is our co-pilot: helping lead us and guide us to where we should go in life. He does that from within, Christ in me. That is not to take away from the fact that He is sovereign and the One we worship.
After reading the tweet, the song “Jesus, Take the Wheel” got stuck in my head. While there may be times in life where we may need Jesus to take the wheel or be the pilot, it should not be the constant state of my life. God has given me “talents” and is expecting me to increase what He has given me. I have to take responsibility. While I have the ability to follow where He is leading, I believe He often leads through desires He has placed in my heart.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. – Ezekiel 36:26-27
I encourage you to use what God has given you and to increase it. This may look like pursing something that has been on your heart for some time. You may be waiting for Jesus to take the wheel and He may be waiting for you to take it. There is a purpose for your life and waiting for it to show up generally doesn’t work. Take a step of faith towards where you think God could be leading and let Him redirect you if you are heading the wrong direction. Co-labor with Him!
Thanks for taking the time to read my post and be blessed!