Jesus didn't call us to be alone in our work for Him. He wants to give us ministry companions who offer affirmation, encouragement and correction.
Companions play an awesome role in the life of every servant. This is clearly the intent of both Jesus and the Father. Therefore it is crucial that we recognize whom God is sending to us, and why.
Jesus knew whom God had granted to Him and why. He said to His Father, "'I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your Word. Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me'" (John 17:6-8, NKJV).
The principle of companionship in the kingdom of God remains the same to this day. It is important to be able to recognize when God is sending you a companion or providing you with a dear friend, colleague, or co-worker to help you along the way.
God expects His people to work with one another in unity and harmony and will give them one heart and one mind to serve Him together. He never intended for them to compete with one another in His kingdom but to complement one another in their work.
You are naturally incomplete as a part of the body of Christ and need those whom God sends to add what is lacking and ensure your obedience. God places at your side those who will affirm His call on your life and the assignment He has given you. The skills, abilities and insights of companions will be invaluable to you as you work together toward the completion of God's assignments.
Confirmation of the Spirit
Prayer needs to play a significant role in recognizing the companions God sends: "While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, 'Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them'" (Acts 13:2, NIV). God's Spirit will confirm a person's companionship to you and your companionship to him. Both must sense the Spirit's leading, or it is not of God.
During the years, several people have told me that God has called them to come and work with me in ministry. But God's Spirit has either warned me not to pursue them or has revealed to me that their character, motives or life situations were such that they would do far more harm to me in ministry than good. It is crucial that you have God's clear guidance and divine wisdom before allowing people to join you in ministry.
There may be times when you come to the realization that your companions no longer have your best interests in mind. Sometimes it may become clear that their hearts have shifted to other things, away from the common vision and ministry you once shared.
Of course, there are also times when you release companions because the Spirit has other plans for them. At these times I have rejoiced with my companions as they followed God to their next assignment and given them my blessing and encouragement. But any time a companion is released from working with you, regardless of the circumstances, his departure needs to be bathed in prayer.
It is imperative for companions to have one heart, mind and soul as they work together. A companion is one who understands your ministry call and affirms it to you. Such a person does not have his or her own agenda to fulfill through you, but rather a heart to see you succeed in all God has set before you to do.
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