|One Seed's Journey...
Jesus was the master teacher. He knew that many who followed him would not understand the spiritual meanings. So, he used the natural creations to explain spiritual concepts, a man sows seed, a man draws water from a well.
Jesus used a corn of wheat to explain his death, burial and resurrection. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.". (John 12:24-25)
Once long ago there was a corn of wheat called Traveler. He knew he was supposed to be made into bread, for the Master's table, but he liked to travel.
One day a man came onto the grain floor and said "I want to buy some seed, the good hard wheat kind." Traveler got excited because he knew he was one of the special hard seeds.
The seed buyer went on to explain what a great need there was for this type of seed in Jerusalem. What I buy will be shipped up to Jerusalem. The deal was made, and the grain was put into seven sacks. Traveler saw that one of the sacks was not very good. He wanted to miss that sack, but that is the very one he was put in.
All seven sacks were placed on a cart, and the ox pulled them down to the dock where the ship was waiting. While the men were loading the sacks one got a small tear and some of the seeds fell out. Traveler was one of them.
About that time a gust of wind picked him up and set him on a brace eight feet above the deck on a ship headed for Jerusalem. When they get to Jerusalem all of the other wheat is unloaded. Traveler is left high and dry.
The ship takes on new cargo and heads off to a new landing. At first it is fun to ride the ship up and down, here and there but after a while Traveler got tired. Each spring he felt something inside that wanted to burst open. He knew his calling was to be bread for the Master, but he had no husbandman.
One day he overheard some men talking. They were going to paint the ship. Traveler was concerned to say the least. He wondered what would happen to him. The next day a crew of men came close by him. One man was saying, we are going to clean the bulkhead well and do some chipping of the old paint.
The cleaning started right away. They brushed down all of the braces and bulkheads. This was done while the ship was underway to Jerusalem where a man and his boy had contracted to pick up all of the trash. As usual, they picked it up this time and Traveler was in one of the sacks.
The man and his boy had a habit of looking through all of the trash to see if there was anything of value. When they found Traveler, they knew right off that he was on of the special seeds. They took him to the grain floor to be used with the rest of the seed.
Traveler had surrendered to do what he was made to be, Bread for the Master's table. The process from a seed to ripe wheat, ready to be ground into flour is a suffering and painful way. The first step is to leave the Sower's hand and fall into the ground. It is a cold and damp place. Then after being covered with dirt, you are stepped on and firmly packed down. (John 12:24-25)
Traveler surrendered to do God's will. Some seeds know they have a call on their life even before they are born. "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." (Jeremiah 1:5)
Traveler the corn of wheat has been in the ground about three days and three nights, the last day and night in the ground there was great pain. As he lay in the cold, damp earth, he knew he was dying. He could hear his outer shell cracking. Then he remembered a story that a High Priest was telling about a man called Jesus, and how he was crucified. This man came up on the third day with new hope and resurrection glory.
Traveler died to his old form, as he died a new inner embryo, like the new spiritual man, took root and began to grow. "...first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." (Mark 4:28)
"Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it. Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: thou settlest the furrows thereof: thou makest it soft with showers: thou blessest the springing thereof. Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness. They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness: and the little hills rejoice on every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing." (Psalms 65:9-13)
Now Traveler can see the sun. He is so happy he waves his little hand (blade) and shouts for joy. He can drink water now and feed from the heights and from the depths (humility and exaltation). He has come up out of the valley experience. Now he is climbing up to a mountain top experience. This is the way to grow spiritually.
Traveler spent all of the growing season drinking up water, and taking in the sunshine. The sun, and the green blade, draw up nutrients from the ground during the day. Then in the night season, this turns into a sugar type liquid, and feeds the plant.
The next time you go through a night season (spiritually) don't cry. God is feeding you and you are growing in more humility. Thank God for humility. More battles are won in weakness and humility than any other way.
Now it is almost time for Traveler to mature. He has put on a lot of grains and they are turning brown and getting fat. All of this time the High Priest is watching. Traveler now has a lot more to give to the High Priest than he ever had.
While he was riding on the bulkhead of the ship, he had nothing, just a little brown seed. Now he has position, stature, and a full head of wheat grains. We don't always stand tall even when we are mature. He put forth his sickle to reap. It was time for the harvest.
"They are exalted for a little while, but are gone and brought low; they are taken out of the way as all other, and cut off as the tops of the ears of corn". (Job 24:24) Our ultimate goal is to become one with our High Priest; (The Lord Jesus Christ).
The stalk of wheat no doubt thought why has this happened, I was doing so great standing tall, now look at me, I am cut down flat. I can never do anything for the Lord. We must put our trust in the one who cut us flat. All things work together for good... (Romans 8:28)
When a person is sincere in going on for the Lord, and wanting to grow. We will find ourselves in pain and suffering for a season, and then in pleasure for a time. This is God's way of testing us. It is his hand that brings us through it all.
"O my threshing, and the corn of my floor: that which I have heard of the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, have I declared unto you." (Isaiah 21:10) God was talking to Israel his natural bride, and he likened her to corn or grain on the threshing floor. The High Priest will not leave him there any longer than it takes to separate him from the stalk and chaff.
After the stalk and grain was separated, they fed the stalk to the horses, and would toss the grain and chaff into the air for more separation. "The oxen likewise and the asses that ear the ground shall eat clean provender, which hath been winnowed with the shovel and with the fan." (Isaiah 30:24)
Part of Peter's conversion was to be sifted by Satan, God told him, "...and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." (and thy sistren) (Luke 22:32)
The next step is the grinding of the grain into flour. "Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen." (Isaiah 28:28) After the grinding, the grain is now a powdery substance that can be changed into any shape or form that the High Priest desires.
He is the potter and we are the clay, the song says "I thank him for he didn't throw the clay away". Now back to the flour, it can be made into bread. Bread that is fitting for the master's table. "And thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth deals shall be in one cake. And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before the LORD." (Leviticus 24:5-6)
By this time Traveler was aware his ultimate goal was to become one with the High Priest. He thought about how this was to be accomplished. He went over in his mind, some of the things he had already come through. From seed to root, to blade, to ear, and then to full ear. His next step was the threshing floor, then suffering of the winnowing. Through all of these experiences, he was able to keep some form or shape.
Now the High Priest was asking him to become flour, with no shape or form. There are many ways each seed goes through suffering. God has a mill for each one of his seeds. Sometimes the hands that turn the mill are visible, and sometimes we don't know the person that is turning the crank. But, the end results are the same, because God is using the person(s) to operate the mill, when the flour looks good, he will say that is enough.
When the wheat is ground into flour, it must still be sifted. I can remember my mom sifting flour with a metal container that had a crank on the side. When the crank was turned a wire turned and pushed the flour against a screen and the flour came through the screen and into a mixing bowl. Mom would then feel the flour with her fingers and if it didn't feel just right it went through the sieve again.
The High Priest would do the same thing with the flour that was used to make bread for the Master's table. Then he would mold it and shape it into a cake just the right size. He would put it into an oven and turn the fire up to just the right temperature. The bread would come out brown on all sides and cooked through the center.
We, as ministers of God (singers, teachers, preachers), must go through this process. This is not in a literal sense but in a spiritual sense. Like the corn of wheat we must die out to our ideas and to our human sense and use divine sense.
Sometimes when a person ministers, people can see they have not been in the oven long enough. They are white or doughy on one side and burned with pride on the other. Some want to be just on the front burner so all can see. Soon as they get crusty on one side, they want to be flipped over quickly and get a crust on the other side.
If we are not careful we will get ahead of God and people can tell we are crusty or burnt on both sides and doughy in the middle. We must go into the oven, in secret, just the Lord and you. There you will become golden brown bread and when the Lord brings you out, you can become bread for many people.
Making bread out of flour is a great process, measuring the flour, mixing in just the right amount of liquid. All the ingredients had to be stirred and then the dough had to be kneaded so it would have the right texture. Each cake was to weigh two tenth deals. Even though all things were measured in the bread and in the anointing oil, there had to be a High Priest present to bear the iniquity of the Holy Things.
"And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD." (Exodus 28:38) It is the same way today, when we bring a portion of our flesh or will, and place it upon the altar. Our High Priest, Jesus Christ, is there to bare the iniquity of the rest of our sins and flesh.
While reading this story of Traveler, you will see some of the same things happening in your life. The next suffering to go through was the heat of the oven. The control is on the outside, and the High Priest set it at just the right temperature. As we endure the heat, we can think of the nice brown cake of bread that will come forth.
After Traveler came out of the oven and was placed on the table, he had to go through another kind of fire. "And thou shalt put pure frankincense upon each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto the LORD. Every Sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant." (Leviticus 24:7-8)
For seven days Traveler sat on the table in the holy place to take in the light from the candlestick. The fragrance from the incense at the golden altar permeated Traveler. The fire on the frankincense upon Traveler also released a nice fragrance, which is a picture of humility and surrender.
The bread was changed on the 2nd Sabbath. The new fresh bread was set on the table, and the pure frankincense with fire. The old bread was for the High Priest and his sons to eat. In the old Testament the High Priest was a picture of our High Priest, Jesus Christ.
"And it shall be Aaron's and his sons'; and they shall eat it in the holy place: for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of the LORD made by fire by a perpetual statute." (Leviticus 24:9) The way to be lifted up on a higher plane, or to become one with another is to be eaten by the one that is higher. Jesus said that we could eat of Him and he would eat of us. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." (Revelation 3:20)
I can hear you thinking what in the world have I got that Jesus would want. He is so complete, I could not add one thing to his stature...
... to be continued ...
written by Rev. Bill Weast