We use yeast, which is a fungus, to make bread. If we add a drop of yeast into a whole jar of flour, the yeast can infect the entire jar. Jesus is saying the Kingdom of God is like yeast. In the world, we hear people warn one another of friendships and associations.
September 19, 2022
Matthew 13: 33 (ESV) – He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour till it was all leavened.”
We use yeast, which is a fungus, to make bread. If we add a drop of yeast into a whole jar of flour, the yeast can infect the entire jar. Jesus is saying the Kingdom of God is like yeast. In the world, we hear people warn one another of friendships and associations. Even the Bible says that a corrupt company corrupts behaviour, which means if we are among a certain kind of people, our behaviours, language, lifestyle, etc., become like them. If it is a bad company, it will lead to death and decay in our lives. However, the Kingdom is much more infectious than the associations we see around. It is more powerful than decay, darkness, chaos and violence.
Imagine if there is a room full of darkness, a small candle has the power to vanquish that darkness. Likewise, if we experience some situation in our life full of chaos, one ounce of the peace of God is enough to overcome that chaos because of the infectious nature of God’s Kingdom. In a good way, the Kingdom of God is infectious, and it can infect people with goodness, mercy, love, strength, and encouragement. If we walk into a room full of discouraged people, we will automatically be discouraged. However, if we are stepping into the same room with the power of God within us, the atmosphere changes because the Kingdom within us is infectious. It has the power to overcome, overwhelm and defeat everything that comes contrary to the reality of God. Violence, chaos, sickness, sinful attitude, negative thoughts, and discouragement are not good, but where the Kingdom of God is, there is God’s reality- His peace, righteousness and joy.
Kingdom comes from the words ‘king’ and ‘domain.’ Therefore, the Kingdom is where King’s rule happens. Our lives inner reality will always be determined by who the King is. If we are the King of our lives, driving and ruling it, then it would be limited as per our capacity and capability. Until we are the Kings of our lives, our achievements, attitudes and quality of life will be limited to ourselves. Many consider this as freedom; however, it is a heavy burden. The best solution to not be trapped by oneself is to become part of the Kingdom of God. Like any Kingdom, God’s Kingdom is also not a democracy. People feel the Church is unfair when their opinions are not considered. In Church, only the opinion of the king matters. Kingdom requires us to let go of our opinions, control, and logical reasoning. The Kingdom wants us to surrender to the King of Kings and start experiencing abundant life. Then this Kingdom within us begins to overflow and infect everything that needs transformation.
The Kingdom starts infecting even the people we meet. For instance, if we meet sick people, we pray over them, and they receive healing. Christianity is neither about achieving nor about going to heaven. Christianity is experiencing heaven, which is the reality of God, right now. There is no sickness, chaos, jealousy, heart issues, strife or poverty in God’s Kingdom. The catch is that because of Christ; we can experience it right now. When we permit God in our life, He comes and starts living inside us. Then our life and our body become heaven. The gospel is that we can begin to live in heaven today because we are born from above in Christ. The day we receive Jesus, we invite God into our lives. When we invite Him into our lives, and He comes, then His reality starts affecting our minds, hearts, emotions, thoughts, and bodies. Further, the power and reality of God begin to infect our seemingly dead circumstances, violent spaces, broken relationships, and chaotic finances.
History tells us that we need one person with a transformed heart to transform a city and bring revival. Revival is revolutionary. The transformed person has the audacity to raise their voice against injustice, tyranny, or dictatorship. It is usually one person who dares to speak out. And then the onlookers join with them and become an alliance, group or party against the tyranny. In God’s Kingdom, one transformed heart can transform an entire city. Thus, the Kingdom of God is an infectious kingdom that can infect the world with His goodness, strength, encouragement, peace, righteousness, joy, and all the good things that God has that are right within us.
A water hose that is connected to a water tank flows with water when the tank has water. The water flows from the tank through the hose and out of the mouth of the hose. But if we close the mouth of the hose, even though the water is flowing through, it will not come out. By closing the mouth of the hose, we go against the flow. For the water to flow out effectively, we need to understand the flow of the water.
The problem in the Kingdom arises when we assume that, like the world, the Kingdom of God is outside-in. The Kingdom of God functions inside-out. The Kingdom of God touches our soul before it touches our body. For example, the Kingdom transforms our minds before it changes our financial situations. So if we want to see the Kingdom of God flow mightily, we have to flow in the direction of the Kingdom. As we have discussed, the flow of the direction of the Kingdom is inside-out. So if we desire to see more Kingdom flowing, we must go beyond everything occupying us, be it heart issues, pain, or situations.
When we become a part of the Lord’s Kingdom, we have to learn to stop internalising our wounds. In other words, we have to move out of our tiny world and stop looking within for answers. We need to begin in faith and flow in the direction of the Kingdom. We do the same by taking a step of faith and becoming a channel of blessing to somebody. The flow of the Kingdom of God is mighty. If our capacity is that of a glass of water, even if there is an unlimited flow of water, we can only hold the given capacity. To expand our capacity, we need more room. We create more space by flowing out or giving away what is stocked within us. To experience God’s overflowing power and reality, we must start giving what we have. If we remain stagnant like a pond, where water comes in but does not go out, our blessing will be limited to a season. After that, we may start stinking. If we want to be blessed and overflow with the blessings of God, we have to choose to be a blessing. God fills us again when we function beyond what we see in the natural world and choose to be a blessing. This is why we hear many testimonies of people who started with negligible resources but were ready to put all they had into the Kingdom and experienced supernatural prosperity.
Trusting God is Prosperity
Prosperity is not limited to finances. Instead, prosperity is trusting God; even when we have nothing and have given out everything, a flow from heaven is open for us. In other words, prosperity is trusting that there will always be a continuous supply of flow from heaven because we are in the Kingdom of God where there is no poverty. Prosperity is not limited to finances or resources. It also includes emotions and relationships. Imagine when we pour into a person by spending time with them and being emotionally available. Even while we do that, we must depend on God as our source.
We are filled every time we give out, and our capacity expands. We have to stop the pond attitude and become a river. We have to become a river which flows out. God does not entrust many people with riches because they are like that ATM that never withdraws. But we are called to be like that ATM that is always working and always listens to God’s voice, and then He can entrust us with riches. If we want to overflow in the gifts and resources that God has blessed us with, we must become a channel of blessing.
If we look back into our respective lives, we can all attest that our lives are a testament to God’s goodness. Everything that we have is because of the Lord. If we did something for the Kingdom, it is because the Lord wanted to be a blessing through us. What looks like a sacrifice to us in the Kingdom of God is always an investment. We can never say, “God, I beat you this time. I gave more than what I have received.” We can never say that to God. Be a channel of blessing. Heaven never remains a debtor to us.
Mindset: Supply and Demand
Suppose we make a list of 10 names of people who are journeying with us. Divide them into two categories of people who live a blessed life and are in the struggling category. Furthermore, if we try to analyse the list, we will understand that the people living in the blessed life category are the ones who have chosen to be a blessing to somebody. They live with a supply mindset when they have nothing and everything. These people would have dared to look beyond themselves and give in to the voice of the Lord. We will always find such people as blessed people who consider it a privilege to serve others. They are not limited to serving in churches but also in the outside world- in their offices, schools, colleges, localities, etc. They are honourable to the people above them and under them. While the other category of people comes from a demand mindset. They keep receiving, but they never have enough.
We can take a simple example of sickness or weakness in the body. A person with the supply mindset will look for others who need healing and minister to them through prayer. The healing of God starts flowing through their bodies into others. Thus, they, as well as others, are healed. However, a person with a demanding mindset would look for someone who can care for them and be there for them. They want the heavens to deal with their concerns first, assuming they will be generous to others later. They think they can only speak peace when they have peace. By doing so, they block the flow, as they become the source of their lives. In short, they fail to trust the goodness of God and His overflowing power.
Being in a supply mindset does not mean we must completely ignore our problems. In other words, we are not called to live in denial of our lives. Indeed, we have to recognise the situations that are troubling us. However, knowing the goodness of God, we must, with boldness, say, “God, I trust you. As a step of faith, I am getting involved in this person’s life and becoming a blessing. I know that you will take care of all that concerns me.” Indeed, if today we want to hold on to our pain, guilt or shame, God and our fellow believers will empathise with us. However, we are called to see beyond ourselves. If we need deliverance, we have to become a channel of blessing to somebody.
Extremes and balance
There are always people who function in the extremes. One extreme is where we constantly become a channel of blessing but fail to spend time with God. This makes us spiritually burnt out. The other extreme is where we only spend time with the Lord but fail to become a channel of blessing, leading to spiritual obesity. We have to learn to flow in the direction of the Kingdom. We get empowered in the presence of God, and then we become a channel of blessing in whatever capacity God has called us. The volume or the amount does not matter. However, what matters is the mindset, whether we do things knowing that the God who supplies will keep on supplying or not. Poverty or lack-mindset is when we hoard things and worry about tomorrow. Generosity is to give, knowing that God will take care of our tomorrow.
John 4: 14 (ESV) – but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
Jesus converses with this lady who has come to draw water from the well. Before this conversation, we see that Jesus is exhausted, and the disciples have gone to get food. Meanwhile, Jesus is talking to this woman about living water, which can overwhelm her conditions and become a spring in her through which many others can be blessed. This is exactly what happens to us when we invite Jesus into our lives. He overwhelms our minds, hearts and bodies, and we begin to function in the overflowing power of God from within us. Further in this encounter/episode we see that when disciples return with food, the response of Jesus is a beautiful illustration of functioning in the flow from heaven.
John 4: 31-34 (ESV) – Meanwhile, the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.”
He was hungry, tired and weary from the trip. But when He gave what he had to this woman who was discouraged, when he encouraged this woman, He got filled again. This is true for us. We are filled whenever we bless others.
Philippians 2: 17 (ESV) – Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.
Paul says, “Even if I have to give everything I have into your life, I am glad. And I rejoice.” Nevertheless, many times, when we pour into the lives of others, we want an immediate result, which stops us from becoming a channel of blessing. We say, “I gave them my resources, time and energy, but they have not changed.” This disappointment stops us from becoming a channel of blessing again. Most times, our previous generosity stopped us from being generous today.
In the parable of the sower, we see the seeds are sown in all kinds of fields. The sower scatters the seeds without measuring the immediate impact. An important lesson is to recognise that our responsibility is to keep sowing into people’s lives through our time, money and energy. It is not the sower who multiplies and brings the harvest, but God. Maybe when we do not reap from those we have sowed, we will reap from those we have not sowed because we did what the Lord said.
Success is not in the impact. Success is “I heard God, and I obeyed Him.” Success is obedience. Success is when we do what we are called to do and let God decide the outcome. Every time we choose to become a channel of blessing, our bonds will always overflow, our bank accounts will always overflow, our hearts will always overflow in emotions, and our minds will always be encouraged by good thoughts. Even when we are discouraged, we can encourage and affirm those who are discouraged. We will be encouraged to see the change in them. We see in the life of Elisha, who died of sickness, but when a dead body touches the bones of Elisha, he is revived and comes back to life (2 Kings 13). There is power in becoming a channel of blessing. And when it starts working for somebody else, it will bless us too.
Job 42: 10 (ESV) – And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.
When we pray for others with all sincerity, God uses us to be a blessing to them. And as He is using us to be a blessing to them, we will overflow in the blessings of God. Our fortunes will be restored to us, and we will receive double portion blessings.
He first Loved us
It is tiring and exhausting to become a channel of blessing, especially when we are burning out or do not see a result. And this is natural to happen.
1 John 4: 19 (ESV) – We love because he first loved us.
Every time we find ourselves weary and drained out after being a blessing, we come into a posture of prayer saying, “Oh God, I am tired. I have given my everything. I gave it all away. I became so generous, and I feel so low. And I feel so empty, but I did this because you loved me first.” This simple prayer of submission and confiding in God’s presence can restore to us the capacity to overflow. If we can acknowledge that it was God who began the good work in us, it was God who blessed us and loved us first. We will automatically partake from the cup that runs over.