I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. [1 Corinthians 3:6-8]
Most of us focus on how much reward we will receive based upon our own labors. It’s the way of the world, and it’s tough avoiding such thinking. Likewise, we learn to expect a certain level of compensation based upon our “sweat equity.”
Such thinking can trap us into believing that the Kingdom of God follows a reward system “on earth as it is in heaven.” Note that this statement in Matthew 6 is related to our Father’s realm. This is rooted in a prayer, a request, for God’s will, not my will, to be done in my life.
The very purpose for this prayer is to learn God’s thoughts and ways. We need to recognize that our way of thinking and behaving need heavenly input. Isaiah 55 echoes this:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways My ways.”
It is a declaration of Adonai.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than earth,
so are My ways higher than your ways,
and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Before we start calculating an equation concerning our own worth, best we sit for a moment.
The Lord is educating us about His ways. Our value comes as a result of recognizing what He has done for us – not what we are doing for Him or even for each other.
Our labors need to grow out of a desire to honor the One who brings the increase. My heart, not my mind, must discern that the Spirit with which I toil far eclipses my perspiration.
The Firstfruits of our faith come from God, not from my own efforts. No matter how hard I work, I can’t make things grow. Bringing seed to fruitfulness requires both the life-giving earth and the living water. The yield of God’s harvest is His business. I’m simply a hired hand.
Focus on the Giver and His Gift. Rest in the wisdom that we only see in part. Be glad that He has done good things. Bring His thoughts and ways to mind, because Yahweh’s increase is eternal.