I love the passion that followers of Christ show when they are focused on Kingdom work, especially in the beginning stages of new ministry. We become excited to begin serving, loving, teaching, counseling, and building relationships because we desire to see the expansion the Kingdom of God. We want to see people come to know Christ and obtain life, but we want to see it now.
When we run into obstacles, are rejected, or our message seems to fall on deaf ears, we become frustrated and discouraged. This is often what leads people to back out of serving or quit ministry, but more importantly this response shows an improper view of Kingdom work. When we become frustrated and discouraged, we show that our expectation of our labors are different than God’s. We want something different than what God wants. Whether it is faster sanctification, more folks in the church house, a more receptive counselee, or better responses in small group discussion, we should not become disheartened by a lack of response. God has a perfect plan in how He is growing the Kingdom, and we are called to simply be faithful and patient. We never want to be behind God’s timing or ahead of it.
Here is how Jesus describes the Kingdom of God: Matthew 13:31-32 says, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. 32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed… A seed… It doesn’t start out like a full-grown plant. When we expand the Kingdom of God into an unchurched area, we start with a small seed. This is completely counter-cultural to the way we work today. We don’t prefer to buy seeds. Instead, we purchase potted plants which are grown by someone else. Contrary to this, sometimes when we do work for the Kingdom of God, we are given a small, tender seed to care for. We are called to sow the seed, to water it, and to trust God for the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6-7).
Growing a strong tree takes a lot of work over a long period of time, and, in order for us to be a part of the growing process, we must be patient and faithful. Change won’t likely happen overnight, but, after years of work, we can see transformation. We know this to be true because of the promise in verse 32. “…when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and has become a tree…” The Kingdom of God is not a lost cause. It is the best cause. The Kingdom of God is the best investment because, according to Christ, when the seed is fully grown, it is larger than all other plants.
So, on the days that you don’t see growth in ministry…On the days you feel faint from your work… On the days you have a desire to quit… Confess your weakness to God and remember that the Kingdom of God is a seed.