"But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. 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."
When first reading this passage I saw two very different images. The first of a baby needing to be swaddled and fed and taken care of. It is not yet ready for big people food, it still has a lot to learn. The second of a field with workers in it. They are all working for the harvest. Each has an appointed task but the credit for the harvest goes to God. Two very different pictures. But I think there is a link between them. And I believe it is something we need to grasp in order to mature in the Lord.
Neither babies or sprouts stay small for long. They grow and change and develop. They become something that in the end bears only a slight resemblance to the first stages of their life. None of us would argue that the sprout grows itself. It does not plant itself. It does not water itself. It can not produce its own sunlight and it has very little say in the speed it grows or what it grows up to be. We know that God makes plants grow by His grace. In the image of the field we identify more with Paul and Apollos (the workers) than we do with the plants but the reality we (as the Chruch) are the field here. And we are the baby too. And just like the sprout the baby does not grow itself. And that is where the link fits. "God gave the growth". How often are we ok with the idea that is God that brings us to salvation, but after that, after we are born again we are on our own? It's just not true. We strive so hard to stretch ourselves straining for that inch of growth. But when I look back at my own life, the times I grew the most where when I was resting. When i was simply basking in the light of my God. My God who give growth. He is the one that matures us. It is His goodness that molds us and makes us into spiritual people.
I'm amazed that again my reading has brought me back to the idea that God does these amazing things for me. Salvation. Redemption. Sanctification. Glorification. And it has NOTHING to do with me. Maybe the Lord is trying to drive something home (you think?). I'm excited to keep reading see how He continues to remind me of His unique goodness. I pray that He will use this study to bring growth in my life for my good and His glory.