“What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.
“According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it.”
“This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.” 1 Corinthians 3:5-10; 4:1-2
“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members,and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” Romans 12:3-8
In an age of independence, where in many countries we are told to make a name for ourselves, and find ourselves, the Lord’s economy has a different message. We are all fellow workers of God’s: He determines projects and assignments, and is the superintendent of every lasting work.
It is freeing and satisfying to know He appoints both work and workers. He instills gifts, He assigns our places to coordinate with needs and His design. We do not forge ahead alone, in a vacuum, or without purpose, but are very much a part of the divine architecture in His kingdom. This should excite holy compulsion to do and be our best in performing our part. (Acts 17:26; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11,18,25)
We also have the benefit and joy of working alongside others. We can learn from them, we can help them. Some are easier to labor alongside than others, but all are fellow workmen through whom the Lord builds His kingdom. We can encourage and relish every contribution, and be refined by admonition and wise examples. God builds us even as we build for Him. (Ephesians 2:21-22; 1 Peter 2:5)
How heartily and thoroughly am I accomplishing what God’s gifted me to do? Is my zeal directed each day to personal ambition and endeavors, or for God’s kingdom and honor?
How intentionally am I supporting others in their work? Do my example and words build up and encourage, or stir up and criticize? (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
Father, help me exercise my talents alongside fellow workers to fulfill Your assignments and honor Your name.