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Practicing Partnership

By Jody Armstrong

I’ve been considering the Activ8Her 2023 theme Kingdom Identity and wonder to myself, “What will I discover through this journey as I approach with an expectant heart to better understand how the Lord sees me and the blessings that are available to me, as his daughter?”

I am someone who welcomes and invites the Lord to lead as my Senior Partner. He is free to make adjustments to all of my thoughts and attitudes. Why? Because I have experienced the benefits when I do! His adjustments have radically changed not only my life, but they have impacted others I know to see themselves through the lens of Kingdom Identity, too. This is why I refuse to quit asking Him to lead the way.

Yet, despite the fact that my heart yearns to join the Lord in partnership, this week I recognized a missed opportunity. It is my hope and constant confession that I would live my life as Paul instructed when he wrote, “Let the Holy Spirit guide your lives” (Galatians 5:16a, NLT) And yet, I found myself admitting there is still work to do after pulling into the parking area at work and choosing where I’d park that day: in the front or the back.

I generally park in the front, but because of the cold weather I had recently moved to the back so I can pre-start my car. This day, as I was making my way to the parking space, I heard a still small voice say, “Park in the front, it’s a warmer day, you won’t need to pre-start your car.”

What do I do? I shrug it off.

I was so deep in my own thoughts, that I didn't realize I was shrugging off the Lord. No, I’ve been parking in the back, I’ll just stick to that. What happened between my desire to follow the Lord in partnership and allowing myself to be distracted?

Prayer happened.

I had been praying on the way to work and felt the Lord had given me a word to share with someone who needed to hear the encouragement. I was so excited to share the message, I needed to park the car quickly so I could send the text. Then I began to make my way into work.

Imagine my surprise as I walk to the building and suddenly find myself taken down by a patch of black ice. Boom!! In a split second, I’m on the ground. Thankfully, I wasn’t hurt, just bumped up a bit – and certainly startled.

That’s when I realized I’d missed my own word from the Lord! Because I was so focused on my agenda, I never considered listening. This was a good reminder to me that I still have room to grow in this area.

The lesson was not lost on me that the consequence of not following his voice was small this time, but that may not always be the case. This is a sobering thought. I want to pay attention to what the Lord is showing me and incorporate the lessons learned into my daily life. I can do this through a partnership where He leads and I follow. As I remain in his presence, I can prevent the slips and falls that I can’t see.

“Lord, help me to always recognize and respond to your still small voice. Teach me how to live in your continual presence. Expose the lies that I am believing that rob me of my Kingdom Identity. Reveal to me where my thoughts and attitudes are not in full alignment with yours.”

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