Yesterday’s message was entitled, Lift Him Up, taken from John 12:23-32.After listening to the recording of the message several times, I noticed a valuable faith lesson and a much needed correction for many of us (in the details).
For those of you who weren’t with us, I gave an example from my peanut planting days back in Georgia as a boy. I detailed the planting process to illustrate what was meant in Romans 6:6 by “planted together with Him.” There is a lot of preparation in order to get ready to plant: harrowing, breaking land, and spraying for weed control. As I shared in my example, up until this point, you could still change your mind and back out of growing crop that year, but once you open the peanut seed bag and put the seed in the dirt, YOU ARE COMMITTED!
Often, I wrestle with whether or not I should give the details because sometimes they really help, and other times, they take away. This time there was a much needed faith lesson buried in the details. I shared that even though you may put the seed in what seems like dry dirt, or when the moisture level is down an inch or two during the daytime, an amazing thing happens over night. The moisture level rises during the night when the heat of the sun goes away, and when the moisture hits the seed, the seed begins to rot. As it rots, or dies, it springs forth a shot, or new life. While listening to the details, I was reminded that in the Parable of the Sower, Jesus said that the sower “SHOULD SLEEP.”
And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come. Mark 4:26-29
Notice the pattern:
Rise night and day;
The seed should spring forth and grow (even though he doesn’t know how it all works. he simply SLEEPS and knows its WORKING!);
Why? For the EARTH (ground) brings forth fruit of herself (one man put it this way: you can place a wooden fence post in the dirt and dig it up a year later, and it will have started to rot. why? because the earth is works to bring forth whatever you put in it! If your heart is the ground in this parable, then you BETTER TAKE HEED what you put in it!);
First the BLADE, then the EAR, then the FULL (mature) corn in the ear. Don’t be discouraged when you see a blade. Be patient; it’s a process. That’s just a sign the harvest is on the way!); and
When the fruit is ready, he IMMEDIATELY puts in the sickle because the HARVEST IS COME!
Pay close attention; here is where I believe that we have been missing it. Sleep or REST is required in your faith walk in order for the seed to spring forth. Hebrews tells us, “We which have believed do enter into REST” (Heb. 4:3). If you have been stuck on the fact that the earth looks dry and the fact that you don’t understand how God could come through this time, then you are NOT SLEEPING! Go to SLEEP in Jesus Name, and let God go to work while you sleep. After you have done your part, planting and watering, you SHOULD SLEEP and leave the results up to God, for after all, it really doesn’t matter whether you understand seed-ology or not.
The beauty of seed time and harvest is that you can reap a harvest and understand nothing about what goes on while you are sleeping. The most important thing that goes on while you sleep is that you and I stop trying to figure it out and just simply let God do His thing. As the old song says, “If you’re gonna pray, don’t worry.” Likewise, “If you’re gonna worry, don’t pray.” Jesus demonstrated further in Mark 4 how to release your faith by declaring, “Let us pass over unto the other side” (4:35). Then he demonstrated rest when he climbed in the back of the boat where he was “asleep on a pillow” (4:38). That’s what I call doing your part and leaving the results up to God!