Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Perfect Spiritual Soil . . . It's So Simple

"The 11 disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. When they saw Him, they worshiped, but some doubted." Matthew 28:16-17

Peat moss, pine bark mulch and vermiculite. That's it. Last Spring I grew my entire garden in potting soil bags. It was weed-free, easy to harvest, and gloriously productive. I piled up the bags on platforms I had made, cut them open, planted the seeds and plants and had more Romaine lettuce, salad greens, and spinach than we could eat. And, guest what? That potting soil was so simple. It had only three ingredients: peat moss, pine bark, and vermiculite.

Obedience, worship and humility. As I read Matthew 28 and the Great Commission I was fascinated to see the condition of the apostles when Jesus gave them this life-changing mission. Jesus had given them a command through the women who visited the empty tomb, "Go and tell My brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see Me there." (Mt.28:10), and they obeyed it as they "traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them." When they saw Him,  "they worshiped." And, apparently, those of them who doubted Him were open enough that their doubt was observable and became part of the Biblical record, "but some doubted."

When Jesus observed these men, worshiping and doubting, He "came near and spoke to them." How awesome is that, how fruitful our life is when the Lord draws near. 11 men obeying His command. By the way, there is no fruit or power in disobedience. 11 men worshiping Him. The most common word for worship in the New Testament means to fall on your face before God. There is no fruit or power in some of our worship, but there is when the worship is whole-hearted. Those who didn't worship, or did so with doubt, were humble enough to admit it. 

We don't know why they doubted. Was it really Him? Was it a ghost? Was in an imposter? Who knows? What matters here is that they were open and honest about their doubt. Hidden doubt is discouraging. Prideful doubt is deadly. "God resists the proud." But, admit your doubt honestly before the risen Lord, and it can become a root of humility. And, you know what God does with humility, right?  "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (Jms.4:6)

Mix obedience, worship and humility together and notice what God will do. He will come near, and speak, and what He speaks will change your tomorrow. The whole scene reminds me of that previously mentioned passage in James that we started above. Here's the rest. "Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you." (Jms.4:7-8a)

So, how's the spiritual soil of your life? Prepare it for what the Lord wants to do: obey, worship, and humble yourself before the Lord.