We Are One… One Who Plants, One Who Waters
I have been slowly working through 1 Corinthians. It’s funny, when I mention what I am studying the most common response is, “Oh! The love book!” As I write those words I smile knowing there is so much more to 1 Corinthians than what is contained in chapter 13. So much that really needs to absorbed and not overlooked. Things like platforms.
I am burdened frequently by the platforms I see built in the American church. The problem with the platform is that we usually place someone upon it. Sometimes we place ourselves there.
I get it! I have been guilty I’m sure. The holy high you experience when you tangibly feel the Holy Spirit moving in your life. Sometimes seeing God moving through us can be a danger to us if we don’t maintain right perspective.
Sometimes seeing God moving through us can be a danger to us if we don’t maintain right perspective.
We forget that some do plant and some do water, one not more important than the other. No, it says we are one (ch 3 vs 8). I see where we are missing that. We miss that neither is capable of making anything grow.
We are becoming platform-builders – the gifted teacher, the charismatic leader, the popular author, the one who seems to have it all together, the one with all the right answers, the most notable face, the most memorable name. Slowly, the platform gets erected.
Let’s Learn From Paul
Paul is so relatable and such a great teacher. His impact could easily place him on a platform somewhere but Paul knew his place. He knew there was room for only One. The only One.
“I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” I feel like if I could have had a conversation with Paul as he penned those words he would have said something like this.
I know my place. I know from where my gifts and talents come. I know that nothing I say is important except where I can tell you about my Savior, about Jesus, about what He has done. Anything mighty and powerful that has been uttered by these lips comes from the Spirit. Don’t for one minute put your faith in me or any other man. But God! God is the ONLY One!
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” I think we would all agree that Paul’s life made a huge Kingdom impact, but Paul is not boasting about Paul. He shares credit for the work. He acknowledges his co-laborer in Christ. Paul knows that we, who are in the flesh, we are working at this thing together – arm-in-arm.
Billy Graham and Mother Teresa stand out to me as individuals who have profoundly made a Kingdom impact with their lives. Yet, you will never read or hear about either one of them speaking of their marvelous works and deeds. They worked to make Him famous. As a matter-of-fact, Mother Teresa did not care for the media because she never wanted it to be about her. She knew it was only about Him. She understood the struggle we have with the flesh-monster.
We are one.
We are gifted so uniquely fully complimenting one another. We can’t do this without one another. We can’t.
Paul and Apollos served in two distinct ways using different gifts given to them by the Father. Together they made an impact in the Kingdom. Frankly, Kingdom work is hard heart-work. Why would you want to do all by yourself?
You know who I think gets this concept beautifully? Children. I see it frequently in the classroom. One little boy struggled with learning and focusing. When he accomplished his task, the room roared with cheers. He may not be strong in academics but he is strong with compassion and gives love away freely. The academic child needs the compassionate one. They both make an impact. What a beautiful pair working in tandem.
Let Him place either the potting soil or the watering can in your hand and do the work HE has set before you… together WITH others. Equally important. Making HIM famous alone!
So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you— whether Paul or Apollos or Peter, or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God. 1 Corinthians 3:21-23 (NLT)