Plant & Water
I invite you to read the parable of the growing seed in Mark 4:26-29. To sum it up, Jesus tells of a man who scatters seed on the ground and then basically lets nature take its course. As the man who sowed the seed goes about his business day after day, he finds the sprouts come, then the stalk, then leaves, then head of grain, etc. Jesus emphasizes how all this happens without the man’s help. It seems like the man is shocked at how all this happens without much of his intervention. Verse 28 says, “All by itself the soil produces.”
Okay. Stay with me because this is powerful! This parable ends with a harvest. Ultimately we have to remain faithful and manage our responsibilities well as farmers. Our responsibility is to plant and water seeds of faith and the gospel in our marriages, children, relationships and businesses.
Wherever God has planted you, you are called to plant. But the outcome is always in God’s hands.
In this parable, the crop grew without the farmers intervention (all he did was plant the seeds faithfully) which teaches me that God can do anything even when we are unaware of what He is doing. In God’s timing, the Word brings forth its fruit and then God is glorified.
So what does that have to do with us? Everything. Too often we are attached to the outcome and care more about it than obedience itself. May our gaze change today. When Jesus is our gaze, we’ll seek Him first, find contentment in Him and stay in step with the Spirit. When the outcome is our gaze, we open the door for striving, control, obsession, discontentment and overwhelm.
Let’s strive less, surrender more, and be faithful.
God can do more in your waiting than you can do in your doing. All we can do is be faithful in sowing the seeds and pray for a harvest but the outcome is up to God. The more we know Him, believe Him and trust Him, the more we will haste to obey and choose His way. Whether that be your businesses, desire for a family, discipling others or caring for our bodies, let’s focus on obedience over the outcome.
Remember, genuine love for Christ should always manifest itself in obedience. We don’t obey out of obligation and with dread. We obey out of love and with delight. I often say to my toddler “obey all the way, right away, and with a happy heart” (taken from a Christ centered parenting book).
This same phrase applies to me (and us).
Obey all the way—partial obedience is still disobedience.
Right away—delayed obedience is still disobedience.
With a happy heart—because of my love for God, my obedience is joyful.
I’d also like to add a quick caution to obedience in general. Obedience sounds good until it’s motives are not. If our obedience is motivated by what God can do for us rather than by our love for Him, we’ve missed it. It’s not just that we obey, but why we obey (because we love God) and how we obey (by faith-Romans 1:5) that matters.
Lifting you up today, friend! Is there an area in your life you have been more focused on the growth than your responsibility to plant and water with God's grace and power?