In one of the devotions I read this past week the focus verse was 1 Corinthians 3:6, “Paul wrote, “I planted, Appolos watered, but God gave the growth.”
When we hear this, do we think about the different roles in the body of Christ and that sometimes we only walk with people for a season? Or do we see it as a cop out to sometimes not give it our all, because it’s really up to God? Do we lift up verses like these when things are going really successfully with our ministries or the things we’re involved with? Or do we see it as being random that sometimes things grow and sometimes they don’t?
So is the emphasis on the growth or on the fact that it’s not all about us?
Probably a little of both.
God can bring growth sometimes even in spite of us. The Spirit can move in mighty ways and can multiply things ten fold. The Spirit can also move in mighty ways in the smallest of the smallest of small groups, class meetings, or covenant groups. To me, this growth isn’t just talking about numbers, but fruit. And fruitfulness isn’t just determined in the nuts and bolts of the bottom liine, but also in the tangible ways we’re in mission in communities, we show love to the least of these, we practice radical hospitality.
I also appreciate that it’s not all on us. That makes me feel better in the transition seasons or the times when we’re running a little on empty. Then again, I don’t want my trust and faith in God and God’s power to make me complacent or for me to think well, God’s going to do great things here, I just sit back with my arms behind my head and lounge. That’s the thing. It’s not all random. There are times of planting and watering. We may not always see the planting and watering and we may not always feel like we’re doing all that much planting and watering, but God is bringing the growth. And sometimes this growth isn’t in the people around us that we’re serving, but often and hopefully that growth is also in us.
May we trust and know that God is working in us and through us and around us. May we continue to press forward and keep moving in the passion and ministry that God has given us. May we know that we’re not in this alone but there are people surrounding us and working alongside us. And may we know that God’s got this – not that we’re going to be a bunch of slackers or that we’re going to think that we’re God’s gift to the world – but it all flows back to the Source – God.