In our last devotionals we discovered that there are two leavens that are detrimental to our soul:
1. "Herod's leaven", refering to people who rely solely on their own prowess, living like atheists even though they may attend church.
2. "Pharisee leaven", refering to religion, where man will try to reach heaven on his own efforts instead of trusting solely on God.
Yes, both of these leavens are quite similar, as they resist the influence of God's Holy Spirit. The real leaven, the "Kingdom's leaven", goes against both of these two attitudes.
Jesus' disciples were affected by these as well. When Jesus warned them about these false leavens, they thought He was referring to the fact that they had forgetting to bring bread. They were more concerned about what they lacked than what God could provide. They had an improper foundation (See Mark 8:13-16). No wonder Jesus exclaimed: "Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Are you heard of hearing?" (Mark 8:17, NIV)
Right after Jesus had fed the 5000 people, the Bible records, "They didn't understand what he has done at the supper. None of this had yet penetrated their hearts." (Mark 6:52, NIV).
Why couldn't they understand?
Because they were too focused on their lack instead of simmering in the abundance of their Heavenly Father.
Jesus wanted his disciples to experience the supernatural and make that their norm, relying solely on our Father.
How many times don't we fail in this aspect as well?
How many times don't we become disgruntled when we leave a grocery store and find out we have forgotten something? One forgotten item makes us completely miserable; but meanwhile we have an abundance of provisions!
Or another example: A teacher is assigned a "bad" class. His first thoughts are: Why me? I don't deserve that!
I like to buy several books at the same time from a discount bookstore. If one of my ordered books is sold out, and when I get my package and discover I am missing a book, why do I all of a sudden want to read that missing item?
Why are we so focused on what we don't have instead of rejoicing in the abundance that our Father provides for us?
Interestingly enough, when I wrote this devotional I had no illustration in mind for it. I didn't worry, for I knew my Father would provide. And He sure did!
My family and I were driving on the Blue Mountain Parkway in North Carolina. Our fuel tank was almost empty, and there are no gas stations to be found on the parkway. It's as if they were forbidden to be there!
We stopped at Craggy Gardens as planned, right next to four bikers. I exclaimed out loud: "Perfect, we can ask them where to find diesel. I'm sure they will be able to help us." And they sure did: "Black Mountain would be your best bet," they told us. "It's only 32 miles from here!"
The problem was that our remaining fuel range was only 40 km... Which translates to 25 miles!
One of the bikers told us they world pray for us. We certainly appreciated that.
After we explored the Craggy Gardens, a note was found on our windshield from our biker friends: "We found out Ashville is closer . . .About 20 miles. Yeah! Have a safe trip!"
Right then and there we started to pray: "Thank you Father for your abundance that you provide to us. We will not linger on what we don't have, but on your abundance. Thank you for leading us."
As my wife drove towards Ashville, our fuel range, which registered 40 km at Craggy Gardens, began to go up. Once we finally reached a gas station, our range was at 70 kilometers! God always provides! No need to linger on our lacks any longer!
Are you running out of gas? Rejoice, as this will be your opportunity to discover the abundance of our Father.
The Illustrator: This daily newsletter is dedicated to encouraging everyone to look towards Jesus as the source of all the solutions to our problems. It contains a daily inspirational story, a Bible verse and encouraging messages. HTML and plain text versions available.
The Nugget: Published three times a week, this newsletter features inspirational devotionals and mini-sermons dedicated to drawing mankind closer to each other and to Christ.