Mk 4 26
26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; 27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. 28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. 29 But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.
God, the author of life gives instructions to make life work. Visitors to church are keen to learn how life works; they are not there to merely indulge in some religious sermon! To people who are burdened and heavy laden, Jesus told them how they could be free from it! He addressed various needs of people and told them how they could have joy and peace. At church too, we all want to know how to live life at its best. And we will have no idea how it works without the bible! God is the authority in these matters because He’s the author of life. Bible preaching is all about how life works. We may preach under different heads but it is all about life.
God’s laws of increase is one such topic. Increase is built into everything. The tree that God made had the seed within it for increase. If you want more trees, God is not going to drop another tree or forest from heaven. He wants you to sow the seeds to have more trees! He has already built increase into everything, even humans. That is why he said He said to man: Gen 1:28
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
He did not say, I have made you one, remain as one! He wanted them to increase: not only in number: increase in every way, spread everywhere extend your territories: make the whole earth like this Eden; let your influence extend to the whole earth; let your dominion extend to the whole earth. Exercise your authority and control over the whole earth and you be the Lord and master over everything. That is why they were there!
Being made for increase, if man were stopped from increasing in dominion and influence, it goes against his nature. He begins to act against it: he cannot be pushed down; he would come up. He cannot be dominated: he will dominate! God has made man like that; he would go to other planets in his search for conquest: he wants to investigate other planets and set up habitats there! At great costs man wants to extend dominion in all the earth and the universe.
Though that is man’s nature, somehow when we were at church, we were told that man is just a worm and dust! Nothing but a bug! This thought goes against God’s purpose. Instead of building people, people are knocked down. Talking about this increase is important since God wants us to become greater.
God does things systematically, according to laid down norms and laws. The laws of gravity and other physical laws and spiritual laws have been laid down by God and we have seen some of them. Of them we have been seeing the law of diligence obedience and increase.
See Diligence, Obedience and afith together. These three things are best seen together. If dealt differently, we may miss certain things! Diligence says we have to cultivate ourselves and pay attention to the things of God so we can increase.
A man who is diligent will stand before kings; he will become great! In any field, ministry or career or business, being diligent ensures he would come up! A congregation of ten would become 100! Day by day, a diligent preacher would increase. Business and personal life is like that too. However diligence alone is not enough.
There must be Obedience also. Some people may be diligent but not obedient. They may apply themselves to the task and going at it with velocity and momentum but do not care about eh will of God; what God wants. Do God want me to do; it is all about their strength, their power and their intellect and they push ahead with it. It may lead to a type of success sometimes but will not lead to what the bible calls good success! The bible makes the distinction between success and good success! Joshua was told by God: Josh 1: 8
8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Good success. I want to have good success. God success is not obtained by mere diligence, it is obtained by diligence and obedience to God, doing what God tells me to do. It is not just doing my own thing: while doing our own thing, we may run out of gas; find ourselves depleted and unable to go forward. Bt when we do it in God’ will, we will find a replenishing that comes from God.
We Have Orders. Obedience is so important; Man must submit to God. Man may be over all creation; but there is a God above man! Man should never forget that despite his dominion over everything, there is God above him. We cannot proceed to do everything according to our whims and fancies. We have a boss; receive his orders and do what He says: that leads to good success.
Faith. The third element is faith. This is also important because anything that has to do with God has to be through faith. The just shall live by faith! Faith is a very important element and we have to bring it in. This third element of faith is lost to many. They may diligent and obedient but not of faith. They may be thinking unbelief, talking unbelief and doing things in an unbelieving manner.
Suppose there were two gardeners; with gardens next to each other; one had a watering bucket with a spout and the other had a motorised hose. If you would evaluate whose garden would look better after a year of tending to it, more often than not, it would be the garden whose gardener had only a watering bucket with a spout. Why?
The one with a motorised hose had power at his disposal, but grew lackadaisical imagining he could do it whenever he wanted; the other knew he had to be diligent at watering the plants and had to spend long hours at it and so had to tend the garden every day, often beginning at the crack of dawn.
So is it with people in the world: they do not have God or his power to use; they only have bucket with holes, and they work hard at it, with their limited options, they have only their muscle, but they slave day in and day out 12 to 15 hours and win at life with all they have merely diligence. They do a lot better than Christians at times.
We have the Holy Spirit, a lot of power, but do not use it! Imagine what an obedient Christian should have if he would just couple diligence to his faith! Diligence is so essential!
The parable that Jesus said about a son who told his father he’d go but did not and his brother who refused o go at first but later went. That is what makes the difference!
The third element of faith, since everything works by faith! The whole Christian walk, everything works by faith.
HOW DOES EVERYTHING WORK?
1. The farmer sows the seed
The kingdom of God revolves around faith: as seen in the passage:
26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
The one who casts the seed is the man; he does not sit idle saying “I believe, I believe, I believe, I believe!” No he does something; he casts seed into the ground!
He has to till the ground, plough it up, break the clogs, level it into beds… a whole lot of work for which results are not seen for a long time! Some crops need waiting for many months. However the farmer is so convinced that his endeavour would work that he is ready to sweat at it in expectation of a harvest! Even borrow form a bank to buy seed and sow it working dawn to dusk! He believes that if only he would sow he would reap. The man has to sow!
Jesus, Paul and others used natural examples to demonstrate the supernatural. God is the same in the natural and spiritual! The natural world came from the spiritual and operates on the same principles! You cannot see the spiritual; but you can see the natural and understand the spiritual.
How does faith work; how to get victory and success and come up in life? How to get out of debt; how to establish a happy family? How are spiritual truths understood? They are understood through understanding the natural. The kingdom of God works this way; I cannot see God nor His kingdom; but I cannot understand how it works if I just understand how the farmer works his way to prosperity!
The man who casts seed must have faith in the seed that goes into the ground. He must cast it and wait with expectation.
Not Instantaneous. Many find it hard to wait, but the bible talks of our forefathers who by faith and patience inherited the promises. Many have faith but no patience: instant sambar, instant gulab jamun! They want Instant prosperity and instant success! In a flash of lightning!
Some are in such dire need of miracles; and God indulges knowing that they would cop it if they did not receive a miracle just then. However, is it God’s will that you should live based on miracles every day? A Christian has to move from miracle to blessing!
From Miracles to Blessing. In the wilderness the people of Israel had to have a miracle everyday to survive: everyday miracle bread- manna fell from the sky! Alas, it stopped the day they arrived in the Promised Land! They needed it in the wilderness; now they had to work it through sowing and reaping!
Do you want chicken? Hatch some eggs; do you want fruit? Plant your yard! Become prosperous through that! God wants to help us and does miracles to help us over in a bind! But God cannot be fooled all the time: “Lord I need a miracle today”
God seems to be saying: “You are in the kingdom of God, learn how it works here: you work and I will command a blessing on it!”
Are you sowing something? Are you doing something related to the increase you want? Beginnings are always small. Many years ago, I would spend time in the word of God; preparing material to preach, primarily to myself. I would preach it from the corner of the terrace of the hostel building, to an audience of myself! I did it to build myself; I was sowing to my heart! No one was there to hear me but I needed to understand better. Years later God gave me a wife and family and I started to preach to them; God is opening more doors for the preaching, but the bottom line is increase always happens little by little and keeps growing! When a man sows he is sowing for his future! Doomsayers, soothsayers and naysayers may not agree!
2. God Gives the Increase
After the ravage of the flood, to a Noah who rose from the devastation, God said: Gen 8:22
22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
Noah was perplexed looking at eh void earth: what can grow out of this wasteland? After raining for forty days and night, and many more days for the waters to subside. No chance for the earth to live again!
But was there earth outside Noah’s porthole? As long as earth remains…
The formula of sowing and reaping will work as long as the earth is there! Noah and his kin started over; so can you! Sowing and reaping will work even if your life has been ravaged and nothing remains! The law established by God never fails. When everything fails, God’s laws work! The bible is full of God’s spiritual laws. You may have failed a hundred times; even a thousand more times, but God’s law cannot fail! God is God; His laws will work forever: for anyone anyone small or great: if you will put God’s laws to work, you will succeed! Many believe the doom-sayers and nay-sayers but are reluctant to believe God’s law!
Put God’s Law to Work. Contrary to a thousand people’s opinion, if we will put God’s laws to work, they will work! Faith is a law: Romans calls it a law of faith! –you can believe God and succeed. You can take the word of God and stand on it and believe and succeed! Because God never fails his word!
How does the law of faith work? The law says you sow! You do not need to know how increase is going to come! Just believe that you can sow (the bible says so-) this is something God will not do for you! No matter how spiritual you are, God will not sow for you! I must sow! I must sow for my future, for my success, for my increase, for what I want to be tomorrow: I must sow today.
I must take the seed and cast it into the ground! I must do something that becomes the seed for my future. I must start it! God is waiting! Why is HE waiting? For as soon as you will cast your seed into the ground, the second thing is done by God! (Only He can do this)- God gives the increase!
1 Co 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
God has made the earth in such a way that it can take in the seed and make something out of it! The earth is ready to produce since it ahs the nature, ability to produce as given by God! The earth now waits for me to sow: “You sow then I will grow” If you do not start this thing nothing will begin! The earth, full of growth potential waits… Not only is the earth ready to receive the seed, God also sends the sun and the rain on the earth! We cannot turn the lights on in the universe: God does it every day:
Mt 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
He is a good God; His grace is free on the good, bad and ugly: Some things are only for the redeemed; but some other things are for everybody! Without the sun there is no chance of growth!
The earth looks to the heaven for rain! The earth has been made with the ability to grow the seed; He causes the sun to shine and the rain to fall (both being essential for growth) these things no man can do! You and I can only sow: it is God who causes the increase!
There is something I must do! Many hopelessly wring their hands saying; God must do something! God made the earth, sun, rain and waits…you sow and I will do it! However people wait for God to move: Lord, you move Lord! First us; second God! We sow by faith; we wait by faith. Faith is willing to wait: full of expectation! Faith is patient since it knows God will do whatever he said! Because the seed does not sprout the day after you sowed, you do not dig up the earth to locate the seed to investigate the matter! You know that it will grow! You just have to wait for a period and it will produce!
3. Increase is Progressive
28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
When the increase comes as caused by God, it comes stage by stage. First the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. It is progressive; that is how faith works. Good life does not come overnight: first the blade, then the ear then the full corn in the ear!
As you sow, and sow for a happy harmonious, full and successful life, you will first see the blade, the the ear and then the full corn in the ear! One wife said: I am going to wait for 2 days; if it does not work out, I’m gone!
You will never get anything in life like that! To change a husband it takes a lot of time! You will have to wait for the blade, then the ear and the full corn in the ear! It takes months for change to come!
Even in ministry, many want change to arrive in 3 months! In the ministry, you go on a one way ticket: I’m going to live or die here! I am going to sow and see increase!
Life is like that; you will have to understand how it works and stick with it! Little by little it gets better and better! But it will surely come: you will surely make it! If anyone understands these spiritual principles using natural principles will see increase: many however want it now. They want it yesterday.
Gal 6: 7,8
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
What are you doing for success? Are you sowing? Then wait; do not get weary and tired! (No one to hear; equipment no good) it seems like it is not working!
It is working… beneath the surface! But when we think it is not working, it has been working under the earth! God has been working! We even want to run away to a better place! Try hard at preaching… keep on preaching. If you are doing well, keep on doing well!
In due season…
You will reap a harvest in due season! At an appointed time! The flesh always says that the due season is today! “I want it and I want it now” – that is flesh made person! They do not understand due season! If you believe God, there is a due season: if you sow there is a due season! If you are spiritual, there is a due season! Due season is the time it takes for you to believe and produce the thing!
You can have a house or car but you cannot rob it! The flesh wants it that way! If you start doing something about it today, you will soon have it! There is nothing you cannot have in this world; when?
The process is true: sowing and reaping. You sow, God brings the increase: the blade then the ear and full corn in the ear! You do not want to get things because somebody else has it! If so you are inviting trouble! Get it God’s way, so when you get it you will say God gave you the increase: you do not have to be ashamed of it!
In due season; a coconut tree takes 4 years! Be ready for 4 years! Some take only 3 months; when faith is at work then God gives you a blessing. Decide you are going to push, scrounge and pull for increase: I want God to give it! A God given increase; I am willing to sow and God will give it… in stages and in due season! I do not want to be fleshly: God I know you will give me an increase; every seed will come up, I confess, believe and look forward to it:
29 But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.
You have to Reap! Who does the sowing? You. Who does the increase? God. Who does the reaping- You! The farmer, who sowed, has to bring the harvest in! Many believe in spiritual things the harvest will harvest itself and land on your shelf and announce its arrival; Here I am!
Just like the natural so the spiritual! In life you sow and you reap! You have to go and cut it and bring it into the barn and gather!
How to bring it in? Let us see that next week! Why some people do not reap though they have sown? Why do some reap little? How can you pick and gather everything?