My mother was a great cook. She especially loved to bake bread and pies.
Ooooh, I remember getting off of the school bus on "bread day" where the aroma of fresh baked goodies bid me welcome home.
Mom would have a warm slice of bread with a thin layer of butter waiting for me.
(Served with an ice-cold glass of fresh milk, courtesy of "Buttermilk" our resident milk cow. Awww! Life on the farm:) YUM.
Well, my mother taught me how to make homemade bread and I recall being fascinated about a strange substance called yeast.
Apparently, nothing happened without it. She set aside a bowl of very warm water mixed with the yeast and prepared the other ingredients. She had explained that without the yeast the bread would not rise. I recall watching the mysterious bowl waiting for something to happen. Nothing.
But after she combined the yeast with the flour mixture, she kneaded the dough and covered it with a cloth. Every now and then I would walk past the bread loafs and witness that the dough was indeed expanding and filling up the space in the pan. Like I said, I was fascinated.
My mom wasn't surprised. She totally expected it.
But to a young child I thought, "what was this strange thing that caused such mysterious results?" My brain could not wrap itself around this.
It wasn't until I was older that I was able to develop more of an understanding about living, microscopic organisms that could kill, heal or ... cause dough to rise.
There was something alive in that yeast.
Now fast forward to when I began reading the word of God and the Holy Spirit was giving me knowledge with understanding about the "mysteries" of God as I sought Him through the Bible.
That is when I began to literally take Him at His word and appropriate it into my daily life.
There is a balance between grace and faith. Grace is what God has already provided for us, and faith is our positive response. Now, this is going to be a crude example but without going into greater explanation I'll try ... grace and faith ... each separate from the other will not produce physical results. Or manifest God's power working in our lives.
Like the flour without the yeast would not cause an effect. But combine the two along with the very warm water and an activation occurs.
"Faith IS the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen."
We read the word ... "the words that I speak to you they are spirit and they are life" ... it causes "hope" ... a positive imagination is the right environment for faith to rise ... then the combination of faith, grace and the Holy Spirit sets things into motion in the spiritual world. We may not always see immediate results but if we don't begin to doubt (take the cloth off the bread) then "God's word will not come back void but will accomplish what it was sent to do." No flat bread here:)
And I want to add this also, my mom baked out of love for our family, it was part of her ministry. I didn't do anything to earn that slice of bread. I just responded to that sweet aroma and sought it out. So likewise, we don't have to beg God or "knead" His heart into submission. His heart is perfect. "Perfect love."
It's our hearts of unbelief that need to be worked on.
Back in Momma's kitchen I watched and listened to her softly humming a song as she lovingly stretched and folded the dough several times until it formed a perfect round shape.
"Faith without works is dead." Not that we have to earn anything from God. As born again believers, we inherited a new life in Christ. We just need to appropriate His faith in us. Read His word, let love "knead" our hearts and yield faith. It's no longer a mystery to me.
It's Jesus. God has come in the flesh. Let faith arise.
(Heb. 11:1, Luke 8:10, 1 Cor. 4:1, John 6:63, Isaiah 55:11, James 2:20, 1 Timothy 3:16)
Contact Brenda Groves at email@example.com