be fruitful, be fruitful and multiply, bringing our Father glory, Christian encouragement, christian journey, christian walk, Christianity, complacency, control, Creator, devotional, devotions, encouragement, family devotions, fruit, fruitfulness, growing, locusts have eaten, organic, seeds
I bought organic bananas the other day. It’s not something I usually try to buy organic, but the “regular” bananas looked so pitiful I couldn’t help myself. Do you know what I discovered? Seeds! Organic bananas still have seeds! I was amazed. I hadn’t seen those black little buddies in quite some time. (I’m especially fond of banana seeds because it reminds me of a Vacation Bible School lesson I had as a youngster. Mrs. Mary Ellen taught a lesson about seeds to a group of kids she probably thought weren’t even listening, but her legacy lives on every time I see a banana seed.)
Those banana seeds reminded me of all the food items I now purchase on a regular basis that have no seeds. This can’t be right, can it? Those little seeds are annoying, I know. I would much rather bite into a piece of fruit without having to deal with the annoying seeds, but the seeds are how God created the fruit to multiply. Genesis 1:11 tells us that God commanded the plants and fruit trees to bear food and “seeds with them.” The seed is how God chose for fruit to reproduce, yet when man makes fruit there are no seeds. We somehow think we are engineering something better than the Creator of the universe.
I can’t help but think about all the ministries today that are failing to reproduce, failing to produce much fruit as stated in John 15:8. Maybe through the years we felt like the seeds that God put in our ministries were too annoying, too bothersome, or too hard to deal with. So, over time, we simply engineered those annoyances to exit quietly. How did we do it? We might have simply made a certain group of people feel unwelcome. We didn’t actually say not to come back, but they got the message and we were relieved. Or, we didn’t financially support a missionary who convicted us we needed to be more involved with missions. We dreaded that slide show, so we avoided them like the plague. Their support diminished. They had to return home due to no financial backing and we are relieved that we no longer have to hear about their calling and be convicted ourselves. Or, we simply could have stopped praying for our pastor, or ministry leader. We don’t like him and we certainly don’t like his family. So, we don’t support anything he does. He’s discouraged, but we don’t care because he should not be concerned with what others think. After all, isn’t he a professional Christian? Over the years, we have just quietly removed the seeds from our ministry and now we sit and wonder why it is no longer producing fruit.
I’m discovering that maybe the problem of unfruitfulness stems back to the fact that we have gotten rid of the seeds, the very thing God meant for us to reproduce. I don’t know if this hits home with you, or not, but I can tell you that I am sure I have been guilty of removing seeds that God fully intended to bring the greatest growth in my life and ministries. I have stopped praying over a person, or a situation, where I now know God wanted to produce fruit. I have stopped giving in an area where it became too sacrificial for my Americanized wants and I have certainly wished a certain person wouldn’t show up to a meeting. Horrible, but true. That’s why I need God so much. That’s why I need Him to reveal these seedless areas in my life and restore to me the years that the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25), even the years I welcomed the locusts in. I’m tired of blaming my politicians, my culture and others for the fruitlessness of the ministries I’m involved with. I am ready to ask God to once again place seeds in my life that may be hard to chew on and that need to be nurtured and loved, but are so ready to grow and multiply into much fruit to bring our Father glory.
Will you do the same? Will you ask Him to reveal areas where you have removed the seeds? Will you ask Him to restore the seeds and help you to nurture them as He intended? I pray you will. I pray you will reach out to our great Creator and trust Him to put the seeds where they are needed and allow Him to grow fruit for His glory in every area of your life. In a few years, you will look at the great harvest you had a small part in and remember that it came from an area you thought was shriveled and dead, but God knew was a precious seed ready to sprout once again.