I find it so interesting how often God uses seeds and planting as metaphors throughout scripture. Check out the following examples:
1. Matthew 13: 3-8 – Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
2. Matthew 13: 31-32 – He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
3. Matthew 17: 20 – He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
I had never really made the connection between all of these passages until just recently. Check out how God interweaves our faith with the advancement of His Kingdom. First, Jesus explained to His followers how the act of scattering seed will eventually lead to seed falling on fertile soil, where it will grow up and bear a crop. Then He explains how the smallest seed, the mustard seed, can produce the biggest plant. Then He takes it one step further and says that their personal faith is like that mustard seed.
For the longest time, I thought that these scriptures were more about Jesus criticizing His followers for their lack of faith. However, I am beginning to see that He is really encouraging them by explaining how much God can do with even the smallest amount of faith. It’s as if Jesus is saying to them, “God doesn’t need that much to work with. I know it’s scary, but if you just show Him a little bit of faith, He can use it to yield a crop larger than anything you could imagine. So take the bag of seed that He has put in your hand and get out there and just start sowing it! Some might fall on bad soil, but don’t worry about that. The soil is not your responsibility. Just spread the seed, because some is going to fall on good soil. Then I am going to use what looks like a tiny, insignificant mustard seed, as a seed of faith to advance the Kingdom of Heaven in ways you never thought possible. But I can’t do that if the seed is sitting in the bag. So trust me, and get to sowing!”
Any seed at all is only as good as the soil it is planted in. Therefore, any seed that stays in a bag is useless. It cannot produce fruit. What bag of seed has God put in your hand? Are you keeping it in the bag because it seems insignificant? Are you holding back from sowing it because it seems too small? Are you having trouble envisioning the crop it could produce?
I can make you an absolute 100% guarantee based on substantial evidence in God’s word. That bag of seed in your hand is extremely significant to Him. He is just waiting for you to trust Him, take it out of the bag, and sow it. The smaller is seems to you, the larger the crop God has planned for it. He has had a vision for that seed since before He even hung on the cross and died so that you could sow it. That seed, or faith, isn’t doing you or anyone any good stuffed inside of the bag. Trust your all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving Father in Heaven. Start sowing!