“…They rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.”
Paul was a very active worker, and yet Acts 14 speaks of all that God was doing.
The entire world is the stage, yet God is the main actor in missions; we merely fill bit parts (and we usually stutter our lines). God is the bringer of results. God plants the Church.
William Carey and co-workers recognized this truth in their Serampore Covenant:
“We are firmly persuaded that Paul might plant and Apollos water, in vain, in any part of the world, did not God give the increase. We are sure that only those ordained to eternal life will believe, and that God alone can add to the church such as shall be saved.
Nevertheless we cannot but observe with admiration that Paul, the great champion for the glorious doctrine of free and sovereign grace, was the most conspicuous for his personal zeal in the word of persuading men to be reconciled to God. In this respect he is a noble example for our imitation.
Our Lord intimated to those of His apostles who were fishermen, that he would make them fishers of men, intimating that in all weathers, and amidst every disappointment they were to aim at drawing men to the shores of eternal life.
Solomon says: “He that winneth souls is wise,” implying, no doubt, that the work of gaining over men to the side of God, was to be done by winning methods, and that it required the greatest wisdom to do it with success.”