A Collaborating God

June 11, 2020

Aubrey Sampson is one of more than 15 Kingdom leaders teaching during Exponential’s Online Community and Conference. Click here to learn more and register!

In Genesis one, God makes this profound theological statement: “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over every living creature that moves on the ground…So in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them….“—(Genesis 1:26, 27, 28, NIV)

Let’s look at four great truths from that passage of scripture:

1. God is Triune. 

At the baptism of Jesus in the book of Mark, we read about the Spirit descending upon Jesus like a dove, while the Father’s voice declares his approval of Jesus. At Jesus’s baptism, just as in Genesis one, all three persons of the Trinity are active and eternal—just as they are today. As the 5th century Athanasian Creed declares, “We worship one God in trinity and the trinity in unity, neither blending their persons, nor dividing their essence…the divinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, their glory equal, their majesty coeternal.”

Though it is a great mystery and paradox of our faith, when we can recognize that God is One, while being in eternal co-relationship within himself, we begin to understand that relational intimacy and collaboration with God are inseparable from what it means to worship him.

God desires a relationship with us. This is mind-blowing! Who are we that God should be mindful of us? And yet he is! Before God wants to do anything through you, he wants relational intimacy with you. He is first and foremost a relational God. 

2. You were created in God’s image and likeness.

In the Ancient Near East, it was believed that images contained the essence of that which they represented. In fact, ancient kings would put images of themselves in places in order to claim their territory, control, and rule in those places. So the fact that you were created in the image of God means that you are meant to bear God’s essence wherever he has placed you. You were designed to represent God, acting on his behalf. You were created to display the character and nature of God to the world who is in desperate need of him.

We typically think of the terms “image” and “likeness” as the same thing. But image typically means essence—God’s character. Likeness means similarity. In other words, somehow, you resemble God! Isn’t that an incredible thought? Before you did anything right or good, before you were even born, God designed you to resemble him. That should give you a sense of great dignity. You are not a mistake. You are not an afterthought. In fact, it’s been said that a great work of art is a masterpiece when the artist puts herself in the art. In the same way, you are a masterpiece of God’s own making.

3. You were created with purpose.

Ever notice that everything God made was for a purpose? The sun, moon, and stars were created to light the skies and govern the days and nights. The land was created to produce vegetation, and those plants were created to bear fruit. Even water was created with purpose—to keep us alive, and to teem with living creatures.

Similarly, you were created with a specific purpose in mind. God desires to collaborate with you as a co-laborer for the gospel! But God wants your ministry to be an overflow of your intimacy with him. In other words, your doing should flow form your being with God.

4. You were created with goodness and blessing.

When God created man and women, he spoke a blessing of goodness over them. Don’t ever believe the lie that God is withholding goodness from you, or that you have to pry blessing from his hands. He pronounces blessing and favor freely and abundantly over all who call upon the name of Jesus.

In order to experience The Great Collaboration with God, spend time with him daily, enjoy him, worship him, and live on mission for him. You will find that goodness and blessing are yours in Christ. 


A mentor-friend of mine says, “Burnout doesn’t happen when you’re doing too much. Burnout happens when you stop doing the things that matter.”

In other words, when we stop communing with the Triune God, we begin to lose our way. But thanks be to God! We are invited again and again to experience intimacy and collaboration with him.

Aubrey Sampson is one of more than 15 Kingdom leaders teaching during Exponential’s Online Community and Conference. Click here to learn more and register!

Aubrey Sampson

Aubrey Sampson

Aubrey Sampson (M.A. Evangelism and Leadership) co-planted and serves on the preaching and leadership teams at Renewal Church, a multiethnic congregation in West Chicago. She is the author of several books, including Known: How Believing Who God Says You Are Changes Everything and The Louder Song: Listening for Hope in the Midst of Lament. Aubrey cohosts The Common Good teach and talk radio show in Chicago and the Nothing Is Wasted podcast. She also contributes regularly to Propel Women and Christianity Today’s The Better Samaritan. Aubrey and her husband and three sons live and minister in the Chicagoland area.
View Author

Related Articles