Recently, I began reading the gospels again with a different perspective than I usually do. As I listened, one morning, to the local Christian radio station I began to realize a few things that I had not realized before. Prayerfully, I tried to discern my thoughts and make sure that they were God speaking to me and not my own thoughts. What I took away from that trip to work was that I have begun reading myself too much into the scriptures. It has been made clear to me that when I read the scriptures, instead of asking what God is teaching me, it seems like I have asked what He is teaching about me. I understand that the scriptures have much to say about humanity, but I am speaking more about how I have slowly become the main character in the Bible. Every time I read, it is all about me and not so much about Jesus. I wonder, if this has happened to me, has it happened to others?
God has allowed me to renew my perspective and enjoy getting to know Jesus better through my reading of the gospels. It is amazing to watch Him heal the sick, and to sit at His feet as He teaches us His truth. This morning I found myself in Matthew 13, and though this has been a familiar passage, it has spoken deeply to me with this new perspective.
In Matthew 13, Jesus is teaching His disciples what His parables mean. In doing so He is continuing to use parables to describe in different ways of the Kingdom of Heaven. Verse 33 says, “33 Jesus also used this illustration: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.”
How incredible is this? Just a little bit of yeast works its way throughout the whole dough. I know this is basic knowledge to those who bake, but to me this is incredible truth that shows me why my strategy for reaching the lost has shown little fruit. It seems that in all of my self-centered reading of scripture I have missed the strategy that God has put into place. I have not been working within the constructs of the Kingdom of God. He has put into place a system, or better yet, a natural law that if we will work within, He will build His Kingdom.
The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast, just a little bit of exposure to a small portion of the flour will spread throughout the whole batch. How? Only God knows, however, we see its result as the bread rises. Has this not been the case throughout human history? Not long after Jesus taught this, a few people received the Holy Spirit (yeast if you will) and all of human history was altered. God implanted Himself in the world and now His truth is spreading throughout the entire world.
Well, I guess this is where application comes in. How do we apply this truth?
First, we must take into consideration what the goal is for our outreach, and what “kingdom” we are trying to build. After all, we do not have the power to build any kingdom, only allow Him to build His through us. If we do in fact build a kingdom on our own accord, it is not His, but ours. Is our prayer “on earth as it is in Heaven”? If not, we must ask the Lord to give us His heart.
Second is summed up into one word, incarnational. The yeast does no good sitting next to the flour. The yeast must be placed into the flour in order to spread throughout the whole batch of dough. “The Word became flesh…”, Jesus has sent us out into the world. We cannot just speak of yeast, we must be yeast. We have to go to the places where yeast is needed. As we find those people, most likely those few people, God will work through them and in them to grow His Kingdom.
Finally, watch God work. Look at history, God’s Kingdom has been spreading and will continue to do so. You have not been the main factor in this for the past 2000 years, so you will not be the main factor now. No need to try so hard, just be faithful. Keep going back. Jesus will grow His Church and there is nothing that will stop Him from doing it. Not even you! By the time people know anything is happening, the Church will be there. In the book “Back to Jerusalem” the underground Church in China describes this strategy like termites. By the time you know there is a problem, it is too late.
I do not have a “Dr.” in front of my name. Nor have I done anything significant in my life. Only recently has God been able to show me through His scriptures that He is the main Character and that I am but a small part of His story. I do not believe that I have it all figured out, but I do believe that this is the way things were meant to be. Keep the gatherings, keep the buildings for all that I care, but go and attack the enemy’s strongholds, go be yeast.