that mustard seed “sparkle”

This morning was BSSM registration day. The line was absurdly long, but fortunately I had the pleasure of meeting another BSSM student, Nathan, who stood in line next to me. He must be no more than 19 years old and had just graduated from high school. He shared passionately about his desire for God’s presence and power to invade in signs, wonders and miracles. I listened with rapt attention.

Nathan shared a testimony of a man who had broken his entire left side due to a motorcycle accident. His left shin was so shattered that doctors had to replace it with a piece of metal. He wore a half-body cast, and doctors told him it would take at least 3-4 months of physical therapy before he could start walking again. After a session of prayer and forgiveness—i.e. forgiving himself for the accident—he stopped taking pain medication and went to see his doctor, who told him that there was no more trace of metal in his shin but rather new bone had formed. A few weeks of physical therapy later, the man was walking on his own.

Another true story happened in Chicago during a Jesus Culture conference. Two ladies were walking around a neighborhood looking for people to pray for when they heard a blood-curdling scream from a house down the street. They quickly ran to the house, where a mother was grieving over her 3-year-old son who had just drowned in the bathtub. Paramedics were already at the scene performing CPR, but the boy was beyond rescue. The two ladies refused to accept it and started laying their hands on him and rebuking death to leave. Suddenly, the boy woke up and coughed out all the water. He was alive. He was raised from the dead.

I could see the glint in Nathan’s eyes as he talked. He wanted it so badly. Anything less than Kingdom invasion was not good enough. Sickness and disease was not an option. He knew His God was bigger—bigger than anything anyone could ever even begin to fathom.

This reminds me of Mark 4:20:

“Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop – thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.” 

I consider myself a good listener, just like this morning when I was listening attentively to Nathan’s stories. But is that the same thing as hearing the Word, accepting it and producing a crop?

I think of it like fruit preserves. In order to preserve fruit, you have to let the fruit soak in sugar water for a long period of time until it becomes fruit jam. Its consistency completely changes—it transforms! The sugar breaks down the fruit so much until they become one; you cannot separate one from the other.

That’s preserving the Word.

Have I allowed the Word to enter my heart and my whole system (i.e. physical and spiritual, mental and emotional) as a transforming agent, like sugar is to fruit, or do I simply listen… but eventually “the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful”?

There is something about that sparkle in someone’s eye when they share about the Kingdom with intense passion. Some people might call that naivety…

But I think in God’s eyes—that is the potential of a mustard seed to grow into the largest tree in the whole garden.

Again [Jesus] said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.”

Mark 4:30-32

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