As the Texas bluebonnets and buttercups begin to lace the landscape with glorious exclamations of color, I find myself filled with expectation and wonder—knowing that once again the Lord is faithful in His promises of provision and beauty. Once again, we have entered a season of growth. A time when seeds are sprouting in fields across our fertile nation, and gardens everywhere are beginning to take on the spiritual vision of what is to come.
Yet on closer inspection, we may find barren areas dotting the pristine fields and verdant gardens where visible growth is absent. Patches of earth without color or life, standing in stark contrast to the surrounding richness.
Likewise, what makes some people flourish when faced with unexpected obstacles and sometimes devastating life challenges, and others wither on the vine and retreat into places of fear, anger, and negativity? While the complex subjects of nature versus nurture, inherent personality traits, and a host of environmental, psychological, and emotional factors are all components in this complex cocktail of character, I believe that faith is the true fertilizer of the soul. A faithful transformed heart is the seed from which all blessings flow, producing a life rich in promise and purpose.
The relationship of farmer to field is also one of promise, preparation, and purpose. The ground is prepared, seeds are planted, soil is watered, and with constant tending, the farmer is confident that time will produce evidence of hard work and faith —that he will ultimately reap what he has sown.
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 1 Cor. 3:6
An important aspect of our long-term ministry mission is to provide information about the Jewish roots of our Christian faith, yet there is so much more to growing in our faith than obtaining information. Far more critical is our ability to take that head knowledge and absorb it deep into our heart and spirit. For some, this miraculous integration of head/heart knowledge occurs seamlessly. For others, it is a process that takes seasons of change.
There is a rich and profoundly meaningful tradition the Jewish people have performed for centuries to commemorate this time of Passover when the blood of Yeshua changed the life course of God’s chosen people. Many Christians know (or understand) little of the traditions and celebrations Messiah taught His followers. We are so far removed from what Yeshua experienced and meant by His words in Luke 24:49 “I am sending the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
The Hebrew ears understood what this promise meant from the many years of counting the omer from the Feast of First Fruits to the Feast of Shavu’ot. God had always expected His people to offer a grain offering (an offering representing themselves). But this time as Yeshua commanded them to go and wait, it was going to be different. He was going to renew and grow the Seed of their offering in their very being. He was doing a new thing, clothing His people in righteousness, infusing them with the power of His Spirit thereby changing all who trust Him into a new creation – a Holy and acceptable offering!
While the avenues of our outreach ministry are many, the destination remains the same—to follow of Savior with unconditional trust and love. As we near this appointed season of spiritual growth, let us model to one another in what it means to follow Yeshua. Let us become motivated by a force bigger inwardly as we walk in obedience to Him.