I have a friend who got into the domain name business a few years back. He and another guy were “fighting” it out to see who was going to win the domain name arena of the dot-com game. After a full week of neither one even sleeping they got on the phone and began to hash out the partnership. My friend was the extrovert. Everyone loved him. He was good with people. The other guy, apparently, was not as much that way. When the new business venture was established my friend became the front man. He got an office and staff. There was a third person who came into the process to work the deals with him. The other guy lives in another state and works behind the scenes. He is the silent partner.
I believe that many of us want God to be the silent partner. He can give advice. He can dole out the money. He can encourage. As my wife puts it, “We want God to be the tour guide and not the bus driver.” He can provide the bus, the upkeep, and fuel, but we want to drive! We want God to be our silent partner. When it comes to the financial support and the bills roll in, we give Him a call. When we need office furniture we give Him a call. When we are discussing new clients that provide a good revenue but questionable business practices the partner needs to stay silent. In other words, we want to live our lives however we choose. We do not want to hear scripture. We do not want to feel the Spirit. We just want to be left alone. Sadly, I feel we too often are.
Until something bad happens.
Samson was a Nazarite from birth. This is different from being Nazarene, which is a religious denomination. A Nazarite was dedicated to God and was restricted from drinking wine, touching the dead, and cutting their hair. Can you imagine the hair product this would take today? I am sure that Samson knew his power was given by God. After lying to Delilah 3 times, Samson finally gives in to her.
18 When Delilah realized that he had told her the whole truth, she sent this message to the Philistine leaders: “Come one more time, for he has told me the whole truth.” The Philistine leaders came to her and brought the money with them. 19 Then she let him fall asleep on her lap and called a man to shave off the seven braids on his head. In this way, she made him helpless, and his strength left him.20 Then she cried, “Samson, the Philistines are here!” When he awoke from his sleep, he said, “I will escape as I did before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him.
The last statement is bone-chilling. God had left Him. It was not only his strength, but also God’s presence. God was a not-so-silent partner. God was not going to allow Samson to simply disrespect Himself and the vow. There was going to be discipline. Samson awakes and is completely unable to fight. He is taken prisoner. God shows His mercy, though, and allows Samson one more act.
How long have we assumed God to be the silent partner? We expect Him to provide everything but demand nothing. Give us faith. Give us forgiveness. Give us love, joy, peace but not patience. Give us kindness and goodness but let’s forget faithfulness. Maybe give up some gentleness but who really wants self-control? We want God to remain silent when our behaviors are incongruent with scripture. The problem is that God is not so silent. Before you make a decision, act out, or speak without consideration, consult God. Here are a few reminders:
- He has the right to lead and make demands.
- He is not a partner. He funded your entire life through Jesus.
- We fail without Him.
Sell your shares and give over completely to the reality of God’s ownership and leadership.