God will only help us grow what He wants us to grow. Don’t be mistaken, we can grow other things (with the help of other masters like… Satan), but they won’t be accepted by God. The past few weeks we’ve been discussing growing potatoes. We talked about personal responsibility, helping grow potatoes, and helping potatoes grow. But something of NECESSITY that we must understand, is that no matter how hard we help grow potatoes and help potatoes grow, the potatoes and the field of potatoes are God’s. That was the point of 1 Corinthians chapter 3 and 4. The church is “the field”, “the building”, “the temple of God” (ch.3 vs. 9 and 17 respectively).
So why might our church not grow? For the same reason there were problems in Corinth; they thought it was THEIR church. The church is not ours, and when we have the attitude that it belongs to us, then we aren’t out trying to grow the Lord’s church, we are trying to grow OUR church. God’s not going to help us do that. If, however, we understand the law of God’s help, then we will understand that if we want His church to grow, then we must work to grow HIS church and not our own. What does all that mean? It means we don’t take it personal if the soil doesn’t accept the seed because it’s not OUR potatoes, they are God’s potatoes. It’s not OUR field of potatoes, it’s God’s field of potatoes. If you plant God’s seed, He will help the potatoes.
Another problem is that sometimes we simply aren’t working for God, we are working for ourselves. Sure potatoes are nice, but we also like to grow corn, and beans, and lettuce, tomatoes, cabbage, wheat, and other things like fruits or livestock. We get so carried away trying to grow, nurture, and care for those things (OUR things) that we forget all about the potatoes God wants us to be working on. You see, we may be able to grow all of those other things, but that doesn’t mean they will be acceptable to God. God doesn’t want them, HE wants potatoes. Ironically, in light of my potato illustration, think of Cain and Abel. Cain offered vegetables to God, but they weren’t acceptable because God didn’t want them. When we stand before God in judgment, if we spent our life’s time growing our finances and future, then where will we get the potatoes to present as the offering He desires? You may be able to grow those other things, but that doesn’t make them acceptable before God. Our priority is suppose to be God’s house, not our own.
That is something the Israelites never understood did they? They spent their time building their own homes instead of the temple of the Lord. They spent time building fences around their own houses instead of building the walls around the city of God. (Haggai 1&2) They spent their time filling their own treasuries instead of filling the house of the Lord. The end didn’t work out to well for them did it? And so it will be for the local church, whose members decide to work for their own homes and vineyards rather than the Lord’s. It will fizzle out and die.
We have to look at reality. This is God’s church. We have to help grow it, and help it grow the way He has instructed us too. We have to spend more time in His field and less in our own. We have to not let our fear of seed not growing keep us paralyzed from doing our personal responsibility of sowing. We have to realize that we are only “fellow workers” with God if we are actually working and working with Him. When we do that, then we are working together, and when we are working together, there is no limit to the abundance of the harvest. God WILL help us grow what He wants us to grow, and that is to grow more potatoes. Why isn’t the church growing more; maybe it’s a lack of dedicated personally responsible active fellow workers? Maybe it’s me.