Letting Go To Let It Grow
I’m continuously growing in my understanding of God’s unbelievable wisdom and purposes. This week I dove into a short parable that is in a passage of Mark that is just rich with Heavenly wisdom. I have struggled with feeling that I need to build for God and that I was not really ever getting to that place where it was really making headway, well this parable (Mark 4:26-29) helped me realize that I’m not supposed to be building much at all.
“This is what the Kingdom of God is like.” (v.26a)
Jesus is about to reveal what the Kingdom of God looks like, the culture, and how it operates. I know that if I listen and look to see I will find what it looks like when Heaven invades Earth.
“A man scatters seed on the ground. (v.26b)
Prior to this passage in versus 3 through 20, Jesus shares the parable of the sower. The farmer who throws out seed and some of it is snatched up by the birds, others fall into rocky places where it shoots up but does not live long and is scorched by the sun, and yet other seed falls in the thorns where it is choked out, but there is some seed that falls onto good soil where it grows and produces a crop, some multiplying thirty, sixty or hundreds more.
Jesus then goes on to explain that the seed is the Word. He then compares each scenario of the farmers seed to when we spread the Word of God. When the birds snatch it up its like when Satan comes and takes away the word sown in them. Others receive the joy of the word but have to depth so they fall away quickly. Others hear the word but are consumed by the worries, concerns, wealth and desires of the world and it chokes out the word like thrones. But others receive the word and it produces a crop that yields great reward.
All that preface to say, that when Jesus says, “a man scatters seed on the ground” he is talking about the spreading His word. One thing to note is that He does not specify when or where to scatter seed, but rather says a man scatters seed. Based on the previous parables I believe that spreading seed is to be a constant action. I, as a man, am to be spreading the word of the Lord continuously.
“Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.” (v.27)
What does the man do to get the seed to grow? Water it? No. Fertilize it’s soil? No. Weed it’s garden? No. The man does nothing, why? Because the only thing that determines if that seed grows is Holy Spirit. I realize can not manipulate the growth of spiritual seeds nor can I build something He’s building. I can not water, fertilize or weed out the junk out of the fields of life to bring people to God or His purposes to fruition. All I can do is toss out seeds, speak out His Word.
This takes faith to believe that God is faithful to do the work when I have absolutely no part. I grew up thinking that I needed to help water the seeds of truth in people’s lives, that I needed to help ministry grow but the reality is Jesus is saying here, “you can’t”. That seed grows and no one gets to dictate how, let alone understand how.
“All by itself the soil produces grain – the first stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.” (v.28)
God is excellent at creating things – clearly. He is also excellent at growing people and bringing them into true life. Holy Spirit does the work of fertilizing the soil, growing the stalk, the head and the fruit of people’s lives. Holy Spirit might use people, and most likely their words, to help growth but at the end of the day only Holy Spirit can write things on the heart and therefore He is the only one who can take credit for growth.
“As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” (v. 29)
A humbling statement, Jesus basically states that there is no work that the man does when he scatters the seed to make the plants grow but yet the man gets to taste its fruit. Why in the world would the man deserve to enjoy the end product when he didn’t do anything to help it get there? That’s the point, it’s not about us doing anything other than putting our faith in a God who is gracious enough to take care of every need.
The work that I do should be scattering seed and not worry about how those seeds will grow or how I will be taken care of because the Lord is in charge of that, I will just get to taste it’s yield. So spread the Word of the Lord and do not worry, live in peace, enjoy the journey and let God provide for you what He will, but we know that from the passage just before this one in Mark 4:24-25 that, “Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” There is this simple saying – let go and let God – well that simple statement is filled with abundance of wisdom.