1 Corinthians 3:5-8. “What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.
What if every sermon a pastor preached brought transformation to lives? What if every business owner saw success in every venture. What if every harvest planted by a farmer never failed but brought in a 100 fold increase? If only we had the “secret sauce” that we could rely on to make all our efforts succeed.
The reality it that the pastor, the business owner and the farmer all suffer from the same malady; you can work hard, do all the right things, but success is always out of our control and is in the hands of God.
Maybe farmers experience this more keenly than others. He may be able to take some credit for the hard work and wise decision making, but he knows that he didn’t do anything to truly make the seed grow. The miracle of a seed’s germination, its amazing growth, its maturation into a plant and miraculous multiplication into an abundant harvest; that was only God’s work. Maybe this is why farmers tend to be less prideful..and then there’s the fact that they have to deal with a great deal of poo in their work as well.
The Apostle Paul used an agriculture metaphor is drive home this point. Growth is not about the farmer, nor the business man, the pastor or what have you; it’s about the God. God brings the increase. We plant, others help us water, but God is the one who produces growth.
In Deuteronomy 8:18 “But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.” The business leader is dependent upon God to produce wealth. The pastor can preach great messages to his people, but God is the one that uses the word to change a heart.
As workers, we will be rewarded one day for our part. But I think our greatest reward will be the joy of seeing how God took the little we contributed compared to the bountiful harvest, business, church family,(fill in the blank) that he produced with it.
I’m glad we don’t have the “Secret Sauce” that brings success. We need to work hard and do our part, but the humbling knowledge that God brings the increase should bring us a measure of peace that puts growth and success into the correct perspective. Whatever you do in this life, be it a pastor, a business owner or a farmer; be faithful, work hard and always acknowledge that growth comes from the Lord.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for the wisdom of your word. I acknowledge that you are the one that sows the seed of your Word as a deposit of truth into my heart. It is your Holy Spirit who causes it to grow. Spirit of God, break-up any hardness in my heart and bring the growth of your character and your goodness into my life for your glory – Amen.