That’s the phrase that kept popping into my mind as I sat down to write this post.
Normally I have a title after I’ve begun working on a post, but this time, I knew that’s what the title needs to be.
The other night before heading for bed I saw my friend James had posted a Facebook status that was rather poignant, encouraging and profound.
“Many opportunities are lost by those waiting for the goose that lays the golden egg, failing to realize the demand for normal geese eggs.”
I really liked it because it’s basically a summary quote, without being too spiritual, of what I’ve been saying as of late on my blog about disciple-making being a slow-burn revival. In fact, I have no idea if he meant this post humorously or not.
Take a slow cooker.
Not many people I know personally have them in Peru, so when I’ve tried using this example people look at me like a cow looking at oncoming high beams. The point of a slow cooker is you put food in them that you’re planning on serving, and leave the cooker on overnight, or prepare the contents in the morning before work and let it sit all day and then it’s ready to eat many hours later. Slow cookers are not ideal for some things, but perfect for other things.
That being said, so many of us are praying for some last days revival or some third great awakening or Jesus revolution or whatever you want to call it, failing to realize there’s nothing wrong with the slow cooker approach. We want a big bang or an explosion, rather than a gradual build up.
The Imperishable Kingdom
That same morning I was reading Matthew 13, one of the most powerful chapters in all of the New Testament. I’ve spent many an hour meditating on this passage, so much so that it gets difficult to just read the text since the margins of my Bibles have lots of notes.
One thing I noticed again today as I was reading is that in the majority of the parables Jesus used here there’s a common thread of something small growing to be something extremely large. Or something seemingly small and valueless being discovered to be extremely valuable. One extreme to the other.
Case in point: the Kingdom of God itself started small. Christ entered the world in seed form, through a woman and grew inside her woman until the time was right for birth. Then as a little baby, He grew and became a man and died on the cross, began His Kingdom and sits at the Father’s right hand. But this Kingdom of His has not been fully realized or manifested. It’s growing, and with the help of Christ’s gifts to the church (Eph 4:11) will by that time mature into fullness. Without shamelessly promoting my book, let me tell you you can get The Imperishable Seed of Christ free on NoiseTrade.com where we go over 50 pages worth into this idea that we don’t have time and space to cover today.
If we read the parables Matthew used in the thirteenth chapter of his Gospel, His kingdom in one sense came, was initially unnoticeable and grows until it’s not only noticeable but taking over and permeates everything.
First the parable of sower, sowing seed into the ground. Each one contained everything necessary for Kingdom and spiritual growth, but three of the four types of soil were not good and the seed didn’t grow. Meanwhile, the fourth one did and produced some reproduced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.
Then in the parable of the tares among the wheat (Mt 13:24-30), the farmer sows the good wheat, but an enemy comes afterward and sows the bad and both grow together until the harvest, and then at that time are separated and the wicked thrown into the fire (someone please explain to me how a rapture works itself out in this particular parable?). In the parable of the mustard seed, which I’ve spent considerable time talking about elsewhere (in another book), the starts off as the smallest of seeds, but then grows and becomes larger than the other garden plants, and becomes a tree that the birds of the air can rest on (31-32). Followed by this is the parable of the leaven, which again is a small ingredient but its impact is felt throughout the whole lump (v. 33).
Jesus then spends the next section explaining in more detail the parable of the wheat and tares before sharing a few more nuggets about the Kingdom, which include it being like a hidden treasure (unseen) that a man for joy sells all he owns so he can go purchase the field worth more than what he gave put to obtain it (44); a costly pearl which again someone sacrificially sells all he can to obtain it (v. 45) and then we finish with the parable of the dragnet in which an unidentified individual casts his net into the sea, draws up every kind of fish, and then like in the parable of the wheat and tares, throws away the bad and keeps the good (v.47-50). Verse 49 indicates that at the end of the age will be like the things he touches on in this parable.
Reaping What We Sow (Whether Good Or Bad)
I feel as write this that it would encourage some of us if the bad fish were dealt with much faster. We wish God would deal with some of our enemies sooner. That the tares could be plucked out right now, instead of later at the end time harvest. However, it’s for our benefit that it happens this way because the parable indicates that if the tares were uprooted prematurely, they’d also negatively impact the good.
Likewise, some of the tares in our lives are removed yet because of the damage doing so would cause. God has given us strength within to abide in him despite what the enemy may throw our way.
Others reading this need encouragement to despite not the day of small beginnings. Things may look small and like they won’t amount to anything, but keep doing what God has called you do. You’re on the right trajectory and in due time, it will be more obvious than it may seem now. The harvest will vindicate what kind of seed you’ve been sowing.
I remember once when my mom took me as a child to deposit money I had earned into a mutual fund. The man who explained to me how mutual funds worked also explained that the longer I left the money in my account, the more interest would accumulate, and the more money I’d have when I retire. There’s something to this principle in the spiritual realm as well. It may take longer to see the results of sowing little by little in prayer and in evangelism, but the harvest in due time is magnificent.
Even if it starts with the smallest of seeds, the Kingdom of God is above all.
Blessings and fire on your head.