God Loves to Delegate – Introduction

God Loves to Delegate – Introduction

God Loves to Delegate: Introduction.

“God could, if He chose, repair our bodies miraculously without food, or give us food without the aid of framers, bakers and butchers; or knowledge without the aid of learned teachers; or convert the heathen without missionaries. Instead, God allows soils and weather and animals and the muscles, minds and will of humanity to cooperate in the exercise of His will. For He seems to do nothing of Himself which He can possibly delegate to His creatures. He commands us to do slowly and blunderingly what he could do perfectly and in the twinkling of an eye. He allows us to neglect what He would have us do, He allows us to fail. Enabling finite free wills to co-exist with Omnipotence seems to involve at every moment almost a sort of divine abdication.”  (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity).

I believe in an almighty God who shares His power. I believe in a Ruler of the universe who happily delegates authority. I believe in an omnipotent Lord who is perfectly willing to share the workload. I believe in a God who delights in welcoming His followers to participate in His miracles. The all-powerful God of the Bible has never wanted to hoard power, He has never developed an insatiable thirst for keeping all the authority to Himself. God started delegating in the very beginning, during the creation story:

In Genesis 1:26-28, Creator God assigned to humanity the stewardship of His precious creation. He delegated to mankind the vital responsibility of caring for nature, to make it flourish, to exercise authority over His magnificent handiwork. We were given the task of remaining the caretakers of His property, to rule over the earth with wisdom and righteousness. God gave to mankind the assignment of preserving the world for God’s delight.  The extended family of Adam and Eve are the earthly representatives of the Maker of heaven and earth. God wants us to have a direct hand in renewing His world.

In Genesis 2:19-20, Creator God gave Adam, and thus to all of us, the authority to name all His newly created animals. “And whatever Adam called a living creature, that was its name.” One would think that the privilege of naming a creature was due the owner, the creator, the possessor of that creature. God instead wanted the naming process to be a shared responsibility, God wanted mankind to share in the ownership of His world. Mankind has been giving names to nature ever since, to the stars, the animal kingdom, the world of flowers and plants and vegetation. In fact, we even have the privilege of naming fellow human beings after God has done all the hard work of creating and sustaining us in the mother’s womb.

In Numbers 11:25, after Jethro’s inspired suggestion that Moses appoint 70 leaders to share the burden of leadership in the wilderness, Yahweh completely supported this idea, and told Moses that He will take the Holy Spirit that is on Moses and distribute this Spirit to these 70 men. And as soon as the Holy Spirit rested on these appointed men, they began to speak the words of the Lord. Jethro’s advice to Moses was confirmed by God because delegation has been God’s leadership style since Day One. God shares responsibility, so does Moses, and so does every wise and productive leader who has ever led.

In Psalm 139, David highlights the fact that Creator God even deigns to share the responsibility of populating the earth, of making babies. God had the power and ability to just continue creating mankind out of the dust of the earth without any human help in the process. But in keeping with His embrace of human participation in practically everything, God created the baby-making system with mankind enjoying, and I mean enjoying, the major part to get things started in the womb. In God’s wisdom, mankind was given the ability to share in human reproduction and the filling of the earth. Humanity and God, partners in the business of making children. “For you formed my inward parts, you wove me together in my mother’s womb. My bones were not hidden from you when I was made in secret…” (read verses 13-16).

The Almighty sharing power… the Sovereign Ruler distributing authority… the unthinkably strong and independent Lord sharing the workload. What does this tell us about the character of our God? The humility of God is astounding, and His wisdom is matchless. Only God could understand how important it is to strengthen and empower the powerless likes us mere mortals. God knows that  delegating to us gives us a vote of His confidence in our capabilities; it enables us to develop our giftedness and grow in our abilities; it gives us a stake in His work in the world; it enables us to participate with Him in His miraculous care of His world; it reveals to us that He trusts us to do His assignments; it provides a tangible way for us to experience the satisfaction of accomplishing great things for Him and others; it provides joyful and challenging things to do that is meaningful; it allows us to have part ownership in His plans and actions. God’s plan of delegating authority and sharing His power is the best possible plan for us to mature in the power and authority of Christ.

Like Father, like Son, since Jesus was a perfect delegator Himself. We observe all through the gospels that Jesus excelled in delegation, and He was happy to enjoy the same leadership style as the Father. For all the reasons listed above, Jesus loved to ask his followers to participate in His work and ministry. He enabled His disciples to share responsibilities and take some ownership of God’s mission to extend His Kingdom. If He wasn’t sending them out to heal, preach and cast out demons, He was asking the friends of Lazarus to roll way the stone of his grave. If He wasn’t telling Peter to go fishing for the Temple tax with his fishing pole, He was asking those nearby the risen Lazarus to unbind his grave clothes. Sometimes Jesus would assign the disciples the task of finding some lunch in a nearby village, while another time it appears He wanted his disciples to do the work of multiplying the fish and bread out in the middle of nowhere. Jesus asked the servants at the Cana wedding to fill up all those water jars, while another time He politely asked a couple of disciples to “go fetch” the donkey for His triumphant ride into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. He seemed to especially enjoy giving orders to His fishermen friends, directing them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat or go out deeper into the water. Jesus loved to share the workload with His followers, for their betterment, for the sense of partnership, and for whatever needed to be done.

The Holy Trinity loves to share power, to delegate authority, to distribute responsibilities. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is a divine, power-sharing community of profound wisdom, humility and grace. Our God is an awesome God.