Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly - mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, ‘I follow Paul,’ and another, ‘I follow Apollos,’ are you not mere human beings?

What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe - as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

- 1 Corinthians 3:1-9

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