The Lady at Shunem 1
10 How grateful I am and how I praise the Lord that you are helping me again. I know you have always been anxious to send what you could, but for a while you didn't have the chance.
11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little.
12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want;
13 for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.
14 But even so, you have done right in helping me in my present difficulty.
15 As you well know, when I first brought the Gospel to you and then went on my way, leaving Macedonia, only you Philippians became my partners in giving and receiving. No other church did this.
16 Even when I was over in Thessalonica you sent help twice.
17 But though I appreciate your gifts, what makes me happiest is the well-earned reward you will have because of your kindness.
18 At the moment I have all I need-more than I need! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me when Epaphroditus came. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that pleases God well.
19 And it is he who will supply all your needs from his riches in glory because of what Christ Jesus has done for us. (Living Bible)
Here is another story of partnering:
2 Kings 4:
8 One day Elisha went to Shunem. A prominent woman of the city invited him in to eat, and afterwards, whenever he passed that way, he stopped for dinner.
9 She said to her husband, "I'm sure this man who stops in from time to time is a holy prophet.
10 Let's make a little room for him on the roof; we can put in a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, and he will have a place to stay whenever he comes by." (Living Bible)
This rich and influential woman followed the principle in Philippians chapter 4. She looked outside herself and her own circumstances, and God opened her eyes to the prospect of partnering with His Servant.
She didn't have a need that the Prophet could help her with. She just invited a servant of God to have a meal with her and her husband whenever he passed by their home.
2 Kings 4:
11 Once when he was resting in the room he said to his servant Gehazi, "Tell the woman I want to speak to her." When she came,
13 he said to Gehazi, "Tell her that we appreciate her kindness to us. Now ask her what we can do for her. Does she want me to put in a good word for her to the king or to the general of the army?"
"No," she replied, "I am perfectly content."
14 "What can we do for her?" he asked Gehazi afterwards. He suggested, "She doesn't have a son, and her husband is an old man."
15 "Call her back again," Elisha told him. When she returned, he talked to her as she stood in the doorway.
16 "Next year at about this time you shall have a son!"
"O man of God," she exclaimed, "don't lie to me like that!"
17 But it was true; the woman soon conceived and had a baby boy the following year, just as Elisha had predicted. (Living Bible)
This rich lady had an idea to make the servant of God more comfortable. When she discussed this with her husband, they worked on the project.
Notice how wisely she handled the matter. Her respect for God, and for her husband, and for the man of God, meant that she did not leave any room for any questions to be asked as to her relationship with the man of God.
Also notice how the Servant of God handled the situation. When he decided he needed to speak to her, he had his servant witness all his conversations with this lady.
It is not enough to partner with a servant of God, but in the dealings between the servant of God and the partner, there must be no question of wrong morals.
In this both Elisha and the Rich Lady from Shunem set a wonderful example for us to follow.
God began blessing her partnership with His servant.
The servant of the Prophet saw an unspoken need in the rich lady’s life, and God gave her the son she had always wanted.
When we decide to partner with a servant of God, we open the door for God to cause unexpected blessings to flow into our life - blessings that we never dreamed of.
Father in heaven, teach me how to be wise in my dealings with all the people in my life.
I want to reverence You, and I want to honour thouse you have pur in authority in my life.
I want to partner with Your servants to bring Your will to pass in the earth,
I Jesus' mighty name, Amen.