Year of Calling: Co-Laborer

 

Week 18 Word: Co-Laborer

 
Week 18 Text: 1 Corinthians 3:9

 
Written by: Chrystan Ferrell

 
“For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.” (1 Corinthians
3:9 NLT)

 

 
The other day I was talking to Whitney about some things God was doing in my heart, and I
confided in her something I was wrestling with. I said of myself and other believers; “I can’t help
but think we are doing it all wrong here. We are putting the wrong emphasis on the wrong
things. We are missing the mark.” If we are God’s workers, if we are God’s field, if we are God’s
building and co-laboring with Him, how should that be changing us?

 
Almost two years ago my family took in a troubled teen, as if we were going to be his hero. We
gave him everything his thirteen-year-old boy heart could desire. We provided and strived and
poured out…and it was never enough. Due to the many years of neglect and abuse and wrong
teaching, this boy was far gone. After only a few months, this child (who knew no better) was
removed from our home and checked into a state facility due to reasons beyond our control. I
felt extreme grief; the weight on my heart was so heavy. Why had God put us through this heartwrenching
work if we would never get to see it through to the end?

 
Friends, we are God’s workers. We are working alongside Him, us with Him and Him with us.
Just as a foreman will most often work alongside the builders in the formation of a structure, so
does our Heavenly Father work with us and in us. As we work through this life, He is also
working out this life for us. So why? Why does God work alongside us in this? What could the
Creator of the world possibly gain from putting up with our grumbling and complaining in this
process of co-laboring? We can’t figure this out without reading more of 1 Corinthians, chapter
three.

 
Verse eight says; “The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same
purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.” But what is God’s reward? It’s us!
It’s you! It’s me! It’s that foster child. We are His reward. We, the rescued people, are His
reward. He gets us in the end. Through all this work, all the refinement, all this pain, He gets us
back. And that is worth it to Him!

 
Just as the foreman gets to see the structure finished and marvel at its beauty, so does God get
to see the fruits of His labor with us, and that is glorious to Him. Though we don’t always get to
see the profits from our work with the Lord, we will reap the benefits on the other side, in
Heaven.

 
Allow the Lord to work alongside you, and you with Him. He is worth every tear, every bead of
sweat, all the panic of the unknown. Let’s not settle for missing the mark. Let’s get serious about
rolling up our sleeves and getting our hands dirty with our Creator. I believe the blessing will be
immense! I believe our marriages, families and communities would thrive if we truly believe we
are the workers, we are the field, we are God’s building. Even when we don’t see the full story,
let’s be willing to be brick layers for His glory.

 
Application Questions:
1. God is inviting you to work alongside Him today. What is that thing you can’t shake? How
can you join Him in this work today?
2. Think of a time when God’s plan was revealed well after work had ended. Can you see
how the story is unfolding? Let His word and that memory spur you on to your next project
with Him!

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