In our zeal to serve the Lord, it’s easy to think that it’s our responsibility to produce results. This causes us to place too much faith in our ability and too little faith in God’s.
Paul observed this same tendency in the Corinthian church. Certain believers extolled the seed-planting ministry of Paul, while others favored the seed-watering ministry of Apollos. In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul reminded them that it is God who brings the seed to fruition (vv.4-7). Yet Paul acknowledged that their faithful efforts were part of God’s plan, “and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor” (v.8).
Imagine a farmer sitting on his front porch. You ask him what he’s doing. He answers, “Farming.” You ask him what he’s growing. He replies, “Wheat.” “But your fields look unplowed and unplanted,” you say. “That’s right,” he answers, “I’m farming by faith. Believing God for a harvest.” “But shouldn’t you be doing something?” you protest. He replies, “I am. I’m praying and believing!”
This story reminds us that God won’t do our work for us, and 1 Corinthians teaches us that the results are not up to us. The best way to serve is to faithfully plant and water the seed, then trust God for the results.
God does not expect us
To make the seed bear fruit;
Jesus said to plant it,
And pray that it will root. —Pendergraft
We can plant the seed, but only God can give the harvest.