Brief Notes

God Gives
the Growth
(1)

26 February 2024

Even as we seek the Lord,
we must realize that
true spiritual growth does
not come from our seeking,
but from God Himself

Recently I have been quite convicted by the apostle’s word to the saints in Corinth:

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.
— 1 Corinthians 3:6

In particular, the last clause of this sentence has impressed me so much, that it is God who “gives the growth.” This is true in caring for other saints or for the churches, as Paul was here, and in regard to our own spiritual life. If we desire to see the Lord working in any of these areas, we must have a deep realization, only God can give the growth.

Of course, we do need to labor, so that the Lord can have a way to give the growth. This was Paul’s experience; he did indeed labor to plant the seed of the gospel in Corinth so a church could be raised up there, but he did not trust in his gospel preaching; rather, he was very clear that if God did not give the growth, eventually, nothing would happen, regardless of how much he labored.

And in our time, if we desire to see the gospel preached in a prevailing way, churches raised up, and the saints going on with the Lord, we need to have a profound realization of this as well. Yes, we must do our part, but ultimately, God Himself, not our labor, is the only source of genuine spiritual growth.

The same principle applies to our personal spiritual seeking. To grow, on the one hand, we surely need to spend time with the Lord in prayer, feed upon His word day by day, and take up our cross and follow Him (John 17:16-17; Matt. 16:24; John 12:24-26), for if we do not do these things, the Lord simply will not have the ground to operate in us as He needs to. But, on the other hand, we must be clear, these spiritual exercises do not actually cause us to grow. That only happens when God Himself comes in to give us the growth.

It is only when we are clear about this basic principle that we can have the real growth in Christ, whether in our own spiritual life or in the church, for then we will depend, not on our own seeking, but on God Himself, to give the growth.

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— 28 February 2024 —