In my previous post—“The Purpose of Women”—we looked at God’s intentions in making women. We observed His design for all women, and His specific purposes for individual women. One aspect we considered was the Blessed Alliance—God’s Kingdom plans for his sons and daughters to work together. Today we will look at that in slightly more depth.
Parents love when their children get along. I hardly know any who don’t prefer peace and cooperation over conflict and domination.
God also loves when His children get along. He is even more pleased when we work together to accomplish His purposes on earth. (Psalm 133:1)
And that was the assignment for the man and the woman in the beginning: God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis 1: 28)
God used men, women, and men and women together to accomplish His purposes.
I am astounded that God entrusted the care of the earth and the work of Kingdom building to us, mere sinful, flawed humans. But He did—and He’s a great delegator:
In the Old Testament He used men, such as Noah, David, Elijah and many others.
He used women, such as Hulda, Jael, Rahab and many others.
And He used men and women together, such as Aaron and Miriam, Deborah and Barak, Ruth and Boaz and others.
In the New Testament the Father’s pattern was affirmed and expanded, as explained by Peter and Paul:
In the last days, God says, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy (tell the story), your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy (speak for God).” (Acts 2: 17, 18, quoting from Joel 2:28,29, which was being fulfilled at Pentecost.)
You are all sons [heirs] of God through faith in Jesus Christ . . . There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ. (Galatians 3: 26, 28)
New Testament Blessed Alliances included Priscilla and Aquila, and Paul, who worked with a variety of women, such as Lydia, Phoebe and Junia.
Living and Working in Blessed Alliances
I could list many more through the history of the church, but let me instead share three of my Blessed Alliance opportunities:
Bob Cording: When I arrived, fresh out of journalism school, to begin working on the Collegiate Challenge Magazine, my only partner was Bob. He was a gifted, highly creative artist and designer. I was responsible for the content, but Bob knew how to produce a magazine.
For three years we worked together, uniting our very divergent strengths to make a beautiful publication for reaching college students. We were so different, but so complementary. We were definitely better together.
Bill Bright: What an incredible privilege I had to work closely with Dr. Bright for 14 years. He was filled with vision, ideas, flowery words. I was the journalist—every word must count—helping him to tighten and condense and still convey his passionate meaning.
I was blessed to help him write many articles, the first edition of Come Help Change the World, and the original Transferable Concepts. I think we made a great team.
Steve Douglass: For married people, their marriage relationship is the primary blessed alliance. I could say a great deal about how Steve and I are better together in our marriage, and I have here and here and here. But we have also been great partners in our ministry.
As Steve gained greater responsibilities in our ministry, I always looked for how my strengths could enhance his work. My writing and editing skills have frequently been helpful to him. His amazing thinking and analyzing abilities are so helpful to me in my writing and speaking. My passion for the care and development of our staff has complemented his commitment to the great task God called us to.
We often brainstorm together as we prepare to write or speak, and we are confident that we get a much better outcome. We also are the first and best encouragers for the other, and we have learned to critique and suggest in positive ways.
We almost always demonstrate love and respect toward each other. I know he believes I can do almost anything—certainly more than I think I can do. I affirm his strengths and gifts with joy. We are assuredly better together!
The Enemy’s Intrusion
The evil one loves to sow discord and division in the Body—and to convince us that men and women are antagonists, not allies. He makes every effort to instill conflict, competition, even domination among the sons and daughters of God.
But Jesus prayed that the Father would make us one, as Jesus and the Father are one, and thus prove to the world that Jesus had come. He restored the original plan men and women living and working together in blessed alliance.
He desires for His daughters and His sons to join hands in building His Kingdom. He intended for us to be better together.
What about you? What blessed alliance are you in? Are you better together?
C2014 Judy Douglass
Related post: The Purpose of Women