Prepositional Pause

February 3, 2023 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Cindy Martin –

As a high school Bible teacher at one of the Christian schools in our city, I was asked to prepare a lesson on “Participatory Redemption” for the “Bible 20” students headed to Guatemala over spring break. The more I researched the topic the more apparent it became that understanding this concept would not only be very useful for these students, it would be equally (if not more) relevant to our everyday lives here in North America. The notion that we as Christians, get to participate in God’s redemptive plan here on earth is not breaking news. However, that our goal should not be to work for God but rather work with God in accomplishing that plan is surprisingly uncommon. Unfortunately the prevailing church mindset is one of perpetual performance despite the fact that their statement of faith may fully endorse salvation by grace alone.

Let’s look for a moment at the difference between working for God and working with God. When we work for God, we play the starring role in a results-focused environment designed to demonstrate to ourselves and others how committed we are to God. When we work with God we take time to discern where He is already working, surrender our role and agenda to Him, and then obey His leadings and promptings, leaving the results in His hands. It becomes God’s honor that is at stake, not ours.

In the former we initiate, motivate and sometimes even manipulate. In the latter we reflect, connect and respect. Working for God makes us responsible not only for the outcome but also for the sustaining energy and perspective along the way. So, if we need to be in control of everything then all we can ever have is what we can manufacture, and that leaves no room for what God can do. Working with God frees us to respond to the people and circumstances He’s already prepared.

The more I reflect on these truths, the more I’m asking myself the same questions I’m asking the students – how does this change my interactions at home? at school? at the mall? How might this shift in my thinking affect my demeanor, my responses and my priorities? Hmm, all this by simply replacing one preposition with another? A seemingly subtle difference for sure, but scripture promises, and history affirms, that such an exchange will have lingering and profound effects.

Scripture: “Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives” (Galatians 5:25 NLT).

Prayer: “Lord Jesus, grant us grace and strength to not stressfully strive ahead of You or disobediently lag behind You. In Your mercy, show us how to match our strides with Yours.”

About Cindy Martin

Cindy and her husband of 23 years live with their two special needs children near Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She is passionate about people experiencing the difference Jesus desires to make in their everyday lives. This passion finds expression in her speaking, writing and teaching. Visit for more information.
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