For we are laborers together with God. 1 Corinthians 3:9.
A vital connection with the Chief Shepherd will make the under-shepherd a living representative of Christ, a light indeed to the world. An understanding of all points of our faith is essential, but it is of still greater importance that the minister be sanctified through the truth he presents.
The worker who knows the meaning of union with Christ, has a constantly increasing desire and capacity to grasp the meaning of service for God. His knowledge enlarges; for to grow in grace means to have an increased ability to understand the Scriptures. Such a one is indeed a laborer together with God. He realizes that he is but an instrument, and that he must be passive in the Master’s hands. Trials come to him; for unless thus tested, he would never know his lack of wisdom and experience. But if he seeks the Lord with humility and trust, every trial will work for his good. He may sometimes seem to fail, but his apparent failure may be God’s way of bringing him true advancement, and may mean a better knowledge of himself and a firmer trust in Heaven. He may still make mistakes, but he learns not to repeat these mistakes. He becomes stronger to resist evil, and others reap benefit from his example.
Those who have the deepest experience in the things of God are the farthest removed from pride and self-exaltation. Because they have an exalted conception of the glory of God, they feel that the lowest place in His service is too honorable for them.
When Moses came down from the mount after 40 days spent in communion with God, he did not know that his face shone with a brightness that was terrifying to those who beheld.
Paul had a very humble opinion of his advancement in the Christian life. He speaks of himself as the chief of sinners. And again he says, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect” (Philippians 3:12). Yet Paul had been highly honored by the Lord.
Our Saviour declared John the Baptist to be the greatest of prophets; yet when asked if he were the Christ, John declared himself unworthy even to unloose his Master’s sandals. When His disciples came with the complaint that all men were turning to the new teacher, John reminded them that he was but the forerunner of the Coming One.
Workers with this spirit are needed today…. Our Lord calls for laborers, who feeling their own need of the atoning blood of Christ, enter upon their work … with full assurance of faith, realizing that they will always need the help of Christ in order to know how to deal with minds.