I have had the privilege of sitting under Apostle Dutch Sheets on several occasions. He truly is a spiritual father to this generation. And when I read this post of his – I just knew that our Next Generationers all needed to hear this message! I hope you are encouraged and inspired…
As a father to this generation, I thrive on helping others realize and fulfill God’s dreams for them. When imparting life lessons to emerging world changers, I always emphasize that we can fully embrace our identity in Christ only when we willingly participate in the process God has designed for our success.
It is good to desire growth, change, maturity, and results, but we frequently want results without embracing the process that will yield them. In the same way that we long for the finished product, we also need to undertake and embrace a passion for the path – the journey – to our completion. We cannot expect to be overnight legends in the faith. A life of obedience necessitates conforming to God’s means (His process) just as much as to His ends (the finished product). If we continue abiding and abiding and abiding, it will happen.
The truth will make you free. So shall My Word be which goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
Seeking Permanent Change
Several years ago the Lord spoke something to me that was one of the greatest revelations I’ve ever received. I was talking to Him about why the Word wasn’t working in me. Truth be told, I was complaining about seeing a lack of fruit in my life. I’d sat under countless great teachers, listened to all the right tapes, read all the classic books, and all I heard was how I was supposed to be victorious in every area of my life.
With pure heart motives for being greatly used by God, I aimed to be the best Christian I could possibly be. Oftentimes, along this quest, I would leave powerful church services and prayer meetings high on hope that I now had what I needed to finally see permanent change. But a few days later and – you guessed it – I was the same.
“God, why isn’t this working for me?” I cried out. I was pretty upset, feeling like a complete failure. And then He spoke to me what without a doubt has been one of the most important things I’ve ever learned.
“Because all truth comes to you in seed form.”
He continued: “For those people who are teaching you – the ones who are giving you all these testimonies of what worked for them – that truth is fruit in them now. But it isn’t transferred to you as fruit. It comes to you as seed. Whether it bears the same fruit in you depends on what you do with it, because all truth comes in seed form. If you do what they did and abide in My Word, that seed will grow in you also, and the truth will make you free, just as it has for them.”
I chewed on this for a while. I began to think of all those I knew who were clearly bearing fruit in certain areas of their lives. A former drug addict whose mind was “fried” immediately began to immerse himself in God’s Word after giving his life to Christ. For hours each day he would read, meditate upon, memorize, and speak Scripture. After only a few months, not only was this young man completely free of any temptation toward drugs, his mind was completely healed.
I recalled another young man who was set free from a poverty mentality, having only known extreme poverty up until that point in his life. Seeds of revelation were planted while hearing a man speak on true prosperity, being blessed by God to be a blessing. The transformation of his mind came about as he spent months identifying and meditating upon Scriptures on God’s provision, sowing and reaping, etc. Before long that stronghold was broken and in its place was an incredible faith for finances. He became one of the most prosperous men I know…and one of the best givers.
The Seed Principle
I could see the thread. It became what I call The Seed Principle – a process of growth until fruition. Suddenly, I knew I couldn’t expect freedom in problem areas of my life if I had not spent time in God’s Word regarding those areas. You have to work the process. Information seeds must become fruit-producing revelation. And for that to happen, you have to tend the seed.
Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8 all recount the parable of the sower in which Jesus talks in detail about this seed principle. He indicates that the maturity of the seed – His Word in us – is a growing process. And if that seed is nurtured, just like a natural seed, it will grow to fruition. Jesus summarized the process of tending the seeds of His Word as follows:
- Hear: Receive the written or spoken Word of God (Matthew 13:23)
- Understand: Put these new pieces of God’s Word together with the knowledge of God we already have for greater revelation (Matthew 13:23).
- Accept: Receive and embrace with assent and obedience (Mark 4:20).
- Hold Fast: In our tending to the seed (Luke 8:15).
Aborting The Process
Jesus also mentions a valuable truth of which we all need to be acutely aware as we tend to our seed: whether through fear, financial stress, lust…satan’s primary goal is to get us to abort the process so he can steal the seed. His attacks will no doubt be well-timed, sneaking in at our most vulnerable moments in life.
Despite the storms that will come to disrupt and challenge our maturation, we must strengthen ourselves in the Lord and “hold fast [to] the confession of our hope” (1 Samuel 30:6; Hebrews 10:23). If you continuously yield to the work of the Master Potter, He will give grace to help us in our time of need and bring to completion the good work that He’s begun in you (see Hebrews 4:16; Philippians 1:6).
Nurturing the Word
In summary, when we persist in nurturing the Word of God, revelation will come to enlighten and bring truth to us (see Ephesians 1:17-18). If attended to (see Proverbs 4:20), guarded (see Proverbs 4:23), continued in (see John 15; James 1:25), and meditated upon (see Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:1-3), the Word of God will bear the fruit He has promised.
Galatians 6:9 offers the perfect encouragement: “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.”
Anchor yourself in God’s Word. Surround yourself with life-givers who will pray with you, for you, and hold you accountable to the standard God’s called you to. Continue to abide in Him, abide in His Word, and you will be set free to become whom God has made you to be, and experience the power of your identity in Christ.
Dutch Sheets Ministries