June 18, 2011

You Can't Do It

You can plant a church, but you can't make it grow. Neither can your husband.

And that's a good thing because it takes the pressure off.

Because if you believe that you can make it happen or that you are responsible for the spiritual and physical growth of a body of believers, you are like a farmer who thinks they can make an oak tree grow from a single seed. You will only grow frustrated, discouraged, and hopeless as you stare at the soil, waiting for your thoughts, desires, and hopes to spring from the ground.

My brother-in-law's family farms in south Texas. Through the years, I've heard about the good crops and the bad crops and the good crops that are lost to freak weather. I talked to his mom once about what it's like being a farmer's wife and she said it's a life of pure faith. They work hard and trust God to provide.

We are very much like a farmer's wife. Our farmer husbands work hard plowing the ground, planting the seeds, and maintaining the equipment. We help with the planting, but mostly we stand beside him, praying for rain and sun in all the right amounts. We work hard and we trust God to grow something from meager efforts.

We can't make it happen. God calls us to farm our city, to be the hands and feet that plant seeds of the gospel so that He can produce fruit.

We are a sower.
He is a grower.
We can trust Him.

Paul said it best: "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." (1 Corinthians 3:6-7)

[Hold fast to Jesus], "from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God." (Colossians 2:19)