Most of the country’s population now live far away from agricultural related activity. At the turn of the 20th century over 90% of people worked in an agricultural related industry job. Now less than 2% of the population does. Farming metaphors now are basically lost in trying to teach people different concepts. Unfortunately farming metaphors are the main metaphors used in scripture. We really don’t understand the huge deal and work it takes to farm and to bring a crop to harvest.
Here’s a test.
What is this tree?
Here’s a closer look at what it produces.
What about this tree?
And it produces these.
For some who live near farms this is rather an easy test. For most others it’s not so easy to identify. Do you know what it takes to have these trees produce a bountiful harvest? How much work is required year round to maintain a healthy tree or orchard? Water, pruning, thinning, pest control, etc. …
The same concepts apply to spiritual knowledge and familiarity with spiritual things as well.
Unfortunately the human condition likes to remain comfortable, and remain ignorant and demanding, rather than going through the work of growing and learning, and moving towards maturity. Basically people like to be spoon fed, rather than learn to eat for themselves. Most would rather have a pastor or spiritual leader spoon feed them what they need to know rather than learn how to hear and be taught by the Holy Spirit themselves. They want someone else to do all the work so that they can just enjoy the end result. They don’t want to do the research, prayer, contemplation, the asking of questions of the Holy Spirit and patience to wait for answers. Farming is a year round job. Harvest is just a season. There is work to be done in each season in the orchard, or on the farm. The same is true in the spiritual journey of growth and maturity.
Did Jesus come to give us a spiritual leadership system that is the human priest / pastor ‘go-between’ Him and us?
Or did He provide the Holy Spirit for us? And who is the Holy Spirit? Is He the ‘least’ in the Trinity? The step child? The One we shouldn’t really be concerned with?
Or is He God … as well?
Then why does the systemized institutional ‘Church’ system almost never teach or explain how to interact with Him and give Him His proper place … in the gatherings?
What exactly was the purpose of the 5 / 4 fold of gifts given to the Church that Paul mentions in Ephesians 4? Simply …to equip the Body. Does that mean those roles are to be their spiritual ‘parent’ spoon feeding the Body milk with a bottle for their entire lives?
What was Jesus’ disciple methods?
Seminaries teach that sermons need to be at a third grade level. How many people are still stuck in third grade spiritually?
Can you hear His Voice? Or do you require someone else to tell you what they think God is saying to you? Learn to discern Him. Walk with Him. Listen to Him. Learn from Him. Ask questions and actually wait for the answers … from Him.
Do you really want to really grow spiritually? Stop being fed by someone else. Go directly to the Source yourself. Ask the Holy Spirit yourself. Do what He tells you. Don’t look to others for your spiritual marching orders daily. Or for most people – just once weekly between 10 and noon on Sunday morning.
Here’s modern speak – that Paul would have used today. “Grow up people. Learn to eat spiritual meat for yourself. Instead I’m still having to provide and hold the baby bottle of milk for you.”
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”
Hebrews 5:12-14 ESV
Answers: Pistachios and Almonds