So then neither is he who plants anything nor he who waters, but God who causes the growth. –1 Corinthians 3: 7
a student who came to our friday night home meeting this past year graduated in december. before he moved back home he gave us a potted polka dot plant as a thank you gift. he apologized that he couldn’t find a bigger plant to give us. so jokingly we said that the plant could be a reflection of his spiritual growth as he begins his training at a bible school in so.cal (in a week!). but the more i thought about it the more i realized that this little plant does fit the picture of our spiritual growth.
the tiny plant came in a tiny pot, so i re-potted it in a bigger pot and placed it by a sunny window. i’m only watering it twice a week. i don’t pay much attention to it when i water it, but when i compared the first re-potted picture with the one month photo you can see that the plant has grown nearly 2 inches! along the same lines, we may feel that we’re not growing in our spiritual life. we read our Bibles, we have morning revivals, we attend fellowship groups and prayer meetings but it just doesn’t look like we’re progressing much on a day-to-day basis. fortunately, 1 Corinthians 3:7 tells us it is God who causes the growth, and not our feelings or constant fretting.
God promised us in Ephesians 4:13a that we would “all arrive at the oneness of the faith of the full knowledge of the Son of God, at a full grown man.” becoming full grown isn’t reserved for just a few super believers, the verse said all. God fully expects that His divine life in all of us to grow to full maturity, because He has no reservation of the quality and capability of His divine life in us. His life is the life that had conquered death, so it certainly has the power to bring us to full maturity.
when i re-potted the polka dot plant, i was fully expecting it to stay alive and grow, and that’s why i had miss e paint a stick to use as a marker so we can track its growth (each section is an inch). i wasn’t sure how much it was going to grow in the course of a month, and i know even less how much it will grown in the next two years–God is the One who causes the growth. of course it doesn’t mean we just kick back and let God “cause the growth.” we still need to cooperate in situations that brings the growth. the plant cooperates through the leaves doing its chlorophyll thingy and the roots absorbing water and nutrients. we also need to cooperate through our eating the Word and spending time with the Lord. but no matter how i feel on a day-to-day basis, i can trust that He is faithful to cause us to mature in life.