Paul brings awareness to the church in Corinth to how there is more to be had in Christ. He brings to attention that they have been receiving milk because they aren't ready for solid food. This points to something that has always been tough for me to come to grips with: God uses processes to accomplish His work just like we see throughout our everyday lives. God uses the natural to accomplish supernatural things.
Paul mentions his role and the role of Apollos in fostering growth in the believers. Paul is quick to mention that God is the one that does the growing in people's lives. We get to partner with God to be a part of the growth of others, but ultimately the full work is done by God. Even though God uses natural processes/us, we cannot look at the progress/growth as a performance review. The growth of a person does not determine the work that we have done like we normally measure ourselves.
With this passage, I am reminded that I don't have to worry about making everything happen on my own. I am a co-laborer with Christ which means I only need to work on the things that I can control and allow myself to serve as a partner to the work that God is doing. One encouragement said at the end of the passage is that we will be rewarded according to our labor. Our labor is not in vain, and it matters. It is not a requirement to get in the Kingdom, but it is something that we get to do.
God, thank you that you want to use me in accomplishing growth in the people around me. I pray that I would be willing to be a part of the processes you have for me and the people around me. Show me your will and what you want for others. Amen.
- Daniel Bailey