Categories
Spiritual growth

Five lessons from the parable of the growing seed

“And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

Mark 4:26-29.

God’s Word has the power to transform. When we are transformed, we embrace the image of God in us. We become better able to see ourselves in His perspective, not in our limited and narrow lens. 

From the above scriptures, we can learn the following lessons.

  • Have a prepared heart

You must prepare your heart before you sow the word because a stony heart will not retain the seed. You must get rid of the nature of sin and satan, which is death, and take on the nature of God which is life, through salvation by believing in Jesus Christ. It is hard for a dead heart to receive the word of life because the dead things inside will choke the word.

  • Sow the seed

Put God’s word in your heart. Meditate the word; make it more real in your life. We need to get to the place where God’s Word is real and He’s greater than any situation we’re going through.

  • Have faith that the seed will germinate

On many occasions, we put the seed of the word in our hearts for a while but if it doesn’t germinate almost immediately, we dig it up through our negative words and actions.  Then we wonder why it didn’t work. 

It isn’t our duty to know how the seed is germinating; God knows how. The seed must remain in the ground over time to germinate. In the same way, God’s Word has to abide in us. The word must be mixed with faith for it to work. Faith involves positive confessions and actions in line with God’s Word. (John 15:7-8).

  • Be patient

There are different stages of growth. Many people are impatient, wanting to bypass some stages and get the full-grain right now. God will not give the full-grain if you haven’t seen the blade first. Beware of satan’s quick fixes—glitters masquerading as gold. The faster they appear, the sooner they disappear.

In a world where early achievers are so opulently awarded, it’s hard to maintain confidence if your process is slower and more intentional—especially when others have hope in you. However, never let your confidence be replaced by self-doubt. Endure the process until the fruit ripens.

  • Harvest when the grain ripens

Don’t take the task of harvesting as difficult. Harvest without compromising, because this is the season you longed for. Enjoy God’s blessings to the fullest. Be a blessing to others also.

“So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”

Acts 20:32.

God’s Word is powerful in our lives. It has everything in it we will ever need. God has provided everything through Jesus. All we have to do is by faith, to take the seeds of the word and sow them in our hearts through reading it, meditating on it, and letting it take root in our spirits.

Then, we must appreciate and be patient with each phase of growth, knowing that each phase is significant since it leads to the next. As we do that, we’ll be fruitful in our ministries, businesses, studies, relationships—all dimensions of life. We’ll also be strong enough to withstand the storms in our lives. Amen.

Stay blessed! 

Categories
Spiritual growth

Building your confidence in God

Where is your confidence?

Are you caught up in life’s pressures and trying to take action out but to no avail? Maybe your education, position, relationships or skills you’re relying on have proved futile. How do you feel concerning your struggles? Do you feel like you’re losing confidence in your own efforts? If so, you’re not alone; actually, you’re not misplaced.

Many people are experiencing similar situations, enduring in faith and getting a tremendous triumph. The Bible also gives an account of several heroes of faith who faced dire ordeals, endured by faith to emerge out victoriously. I hope we learn from some. I hope like them we surrender our efforts to God as we wait upon His supernatural intervention.

One of them is Job. He was a very wealthy man who feared God. If his confidence emanated from his affluence, influence, social status, power, might and children, he would have relinquished his confidence when they were taken from him. His confidence remained even rock-solid without them since it was founded on faith but not on temporal things. 

Job’s conviction was beyond his earthly possessions that were obliterated. His supreme intention was to see the Lord.

“For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!”

Job 19:25-27.

Paul and Silas, when they were put behind the bars, they chose to offer grand praises to God. Instead of gloom, they chose glee. Instead of depression, they chose serenity. In that dungeon of darkness, they saw by faith, the light of God. And God in His power sent an Angel to their dramatic rescue.

“But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.”

Acts 16:25-36.

May I remind you of the words of J.K Rowlings, who said this:

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

David’s confidence to face boisterous Goliath wasn’t based on military mastery and experience, nor did he need sophisticated weaponry. He only needed God in the vanguard, plus a stone in a sling to smash a robust giant to death. 

So they witnessed Goliath’s torso dancing on the earth minus the head. David’s confidence was born of his faith in his God, whom he acknowledged before the whole assemblage.

“Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.”

I Samuel 17:45-46.

The companions of Daniel chose to confidently plunge into the furnace of death rather than to stoop in the worship of an idol. They did this in the name of their God. 

And God was in the furnace with them, who miraculously saved them without a slight laceration. In fact, it is those who participated in throwing them in who we’re charred by the same fire to death. 

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”‘

Daniel 3:16-18.

There are times we’re going to encounter dark predicaments though we trust in the Lord. The road ahead is going to be bumpy. The enemy will try to shake our faith to drive us off course. Goliath is going to block our pathway. We are going to find ourselves in fiery furnaces of life.

In such occasions, are we going to allow the situation to force us to seek an easy way out? Are we by our own efforts going to seek quick fixes? Are we going to seek short cuts that are short of God’s glory? Or are we going to recoil to a defeated surrender?

“Who among you fears the Lord?
Who obeys the voice of His Servant?
Who walks in darkness
And has no light?
Let him trust in the name of the Lord
And rely upon his God.
Look, all you who kindle a fire,
Who encircle yourselves with sparks:
Walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled—
This you shall have from My hand:
You shall lie down in torment.”

Isaiah 50:10-11.

Nay, God forbid! We aren’t going to kindle our own fire based on our limited efforts while circumventing God’s ability. Ours won’t provide enough light to illuminate our way out. Fire kindled in this manner is merely sparks in God’s eyes. We’ll be astounded how soon It goes off and we get into more trouble and sorrow.

Instead, we can determine to proceed with the bumpy ride up the rugged mountain, as we confidently rest in the power of the Lord to shine His full light upon our pathway. Himself is light!

Beloved, it is not enough to draw our confidence from our own wisdom, power or strength. Like these heroes of faith and many others in the Bible, we can purpose to stay focused on the Lord in the face of trouble. 

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”

Khalil Gibran.

In closing, our efforts may generate positive results but when our actions silence God’s presence; when we disobey God’s will, the results won’t stay for long. However, when in unwavering confidence we surrender our efforts to God and patiently wait for Him, He is going to show up with a supernatural, lasting remedy.

God loves you!

Kingdom Titbits,

By Joseph.