In Mark 4, Jesus tells the story of the growth of a grain plant, a parable of the kingdom. The grain grew day or night, whether the farmer was awake or sleeping. The farmer did not know how the grain grew and he had very little to do with its growth; it was a result of the soil in which it was planted and the sun that shone down upon it.
In the same way, the fruit that we bear for the glory of the Father is not a result of our noble efforts; it is mysteriously a result of Christ’s work in our heart, the soil that he prepared beforehand for the nurturing of the seed of his implanted Spirit.
Our part in the whole enterprise may simply be to yield our hearts to Christ as he weeds, fertilizes, and prunes us so that we can bear more fruit for him. We, like the farmer, know very little about the growth of the kingdom in our hearts. We simply thank and praise God for his gracious work in and through us. To be certain, we are works of his grace—part science, part art, and all wonder and mystery.
You can’t intellectualize or emotionalize the Spirit’s work.
God is indeed like us with thoughts and emotions, but he is separate from us, utterly holy, powerful, and pure. He is beyond scrutiny or interrogation. He is the Great I Am.
To deepen the mystery, scripture seems to say that everything that he does has been planned before time began. He is Spirit and Eternal; he is not bound by time, space, or matter. “He upholds everything by his powerful word.” The beauty of it all is that his word comes to life in us; we bear fruit simply because he has declared it so.
Sometimes, it seems that we can hinder the Spirit’s work in our lives, but, ultimately, his will prevails, and his word is fulfilled in us. Let us be willing participants in all that he wants to do in and through us, and we will be fully assured of an eternity of blissful memories and wonderful rewards that resulted simply by our allowing Christ to have full reign in our hearts!
~ Brad Heilhecker