“And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” Mark 4:26-29
If you could have anything, what would you want? A new car? A better job? Better looks?
To be honest, we’ve all got a list of things that we’d love to have. And most of these things probably won’t matter in the long run? You doubt that? Go to the nearest cemetery, and find out who looked the best at prom? Who had the most money? Or drove the nicest car? Or had the biggest house?
See what I mean. That’s how most of the things we chase after in life really are–like sand in your hand. You’ve got it for a few moments, and then one day it’s all gone.
Jesus knows we struggle with these kinds of desires. After all, he lived long enough in our world to see how people really are. He’s no stranger to desire–but his desires are of a different caliber than most of ours.
In this parable, Jesus is challenging you to want something very specific. It’s not something money can buy, nor is it something that will likely make you more popular. But it is something that is of lasting value.
What is it? He describes the Kingdom of God as a living growth or pursuit. It’s a pursuit to bear fruit–to multiply. To be what you were designed by God to be.
Did you catch that? Your destiny in Christ is to pursue a heart that grows in your relationship with God! That’s what you’re made to do! Nothing else will come close to satisfying you. Not piles of money, Vegas-style pleasures or winning lottery tickets. Instead, you’re made to have a heart that pursues God.
This pursuit is just as sure as the growth that the farmer sees in his fields. It’s not up for speculation, hesitation, or debate. In modern language, it’s a no brainer.
But why do we forget this? Why do we live as if we were made for things–instead of this one thing?
It’s because we are fallen, broken, and sinful people. We are spring-loaded to pursue things for our own glory instead of God’s. We are hard-wired to build idols as soon as we can grasp with our tiny, newborn hands. Only by the grace of God working by the Holy Spirit within us can we live with a different pursuit that takes us outside of ourselves to live on a completely different plane of existence (like Jesus). Some might call this sensational fanaticism. Jesus calls it living for and in the Kingdom of God. Would others say this describes you?
1. If you died today, would the people at your funeral be in agreement that you lived with a heart that pursued God? Or with a heart that chased after other things?
2. What’s the biggest thing standing in your way of really living in pursuit of God? Or is it just an excuse that you keep using (like a drug) to do your own thing?
3. How do you know if your heart is growing in your relationship with God? Would your family and friends (those closest to you) agree that it is? Or are you just fooling yourself?