I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. (I Corinthians 3:6-9)
Many times in our Christian walk, we may feel we have no part in what God is accomplishing in the world. We feel we are inadequate to have a role in growing Disciples as God has commanded us to do. Often we feel this way because we take things personally and are afraid of rejection or failure.
Each of us are to sow seeds. We are to do this by verbal presentation of the Gospel as well as living it out. We do not do this, as we should because as mentioned earlier we are afraid of rejection or isolation from others. Nevertheless, we cannot take it personal. This is the Lord’s work not our own. When they reject the Gospel or shun us, it is not personal but instead, against God.
We are also to water the seed, planted by others. Many times this comes in the form of lifestyle evangelism. Someone plants a seed and then the unbeliever watches to see if Christians handle things differently. They want to see practical ways in which Jesus makes a difference. They want to see how Jesus affects our decision-making and how we handle situations differently than they would.
If we are going to do lifestyle evangelism, we have to remember people are watching us all the time, not just when we want them to. It is easy to do lifestyle evangelism when things are going well, but how about when things are not going well. This is when they really watch! They want to know if our Jesus makes a difference when difficult times come not just when we experience the good times. Therefore, if we are going to water, we have to drip Jesus all the time not just when times are good.
God gifts each of us differently. Some have the gift of evangelism while some have the gift of watering. We are ALL TOLD TO DO BOTH, but we are usually gifted more at one than the other. Just remember as Paul said, do not take it personally, God is the one who provides the growth. We do our parts, but God changes the hearts of man.
Think about planting a garden or flowers. You plant the seed, you water where you planted but you are not making the crop or the flower grow because God controls the process. God’s law of nature is what produces a crop and then we are a part of the harvest. Without God’s part, we could plant and water but would see no crop.
This is important because it keeps us from being discouraged when we do not see people accepting Him as Savior. It also should keep us from being prideful when we see God move. It is God working in them not man. We will receive our rewards as Paul points out, but it will be from God not from man.
Keep planting and keep watering and watch God change hearts!