As we look at John 4:38, we find a crucial teaching to remain humble in our disciple making efforts, whether that’s evangelizing the lost or helping fellow believers become more Christlike. In the lives of those we know, others have probably gone before us in planting seeds, perhaps with a word of encouragement from God’s word or by giving them a Bible or by directing them to an online resource or a helpful book. The point is, as Paul portrays in 1 Cor. 3, we enter into others’ labors more often than not, so we can’t take credit for anything, but simply rejoice with all the others who were links on the same chain that God used to bring eternal life to a soul.
On the other side of that coin, the same principle applies if you find yourself on the other end of things, namely sowing seeds of the word that do not bear fruit at the time, but do later through other servants. Is there any discouragement in that? Well, there shouldn’t be. Isn’t our greatest desire the spiritual good of those around us? If that is the case, then why do we care what role God has for us in the process?
In the end, it is clearly true that what predominately takes place is that one sows and another reaps and God determines who does what for his glory.