The most hopeful person is the most influential. Do you know why? Because nobody wants to be around people who are hopeless, with a defeated mindset. We long for acquaintances, friendships and relationships that uplift, encourage and speak life into our lives.
We have entered a season where everyone’s belief seems to be the right thing. It is a season where everything is permissible. Everywhere we look, it’s always about human rights here and there. Everyone is fighting for his or her own place of influence. If we continue to perceive things this way, we diminish the ones around us.
Look at how the Sadducees and Pharisees behaved? Just because they were considered as the ruling class of Israel, they were always right, right in their thoughts and ways at all times, up to such an extent that they got blinded to see, recognize and acknowledge Who Jesus was. How they boasted in their knowledge that equipped them to argue with anyone who comes their way. Their pride got in the way. No wonder, His word keeps reminding us “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” (Matthew 16:18)
What is LEAVEN? It is a substance, typically yeast, that is added to dough to make it ferment and rise. It is a pervasive influence that modifies something or transforms it. We gravitate towards people who agree with us and us agreeing with them. But it doesn’t stop there. Our default is to influence those around us with what we believe and when we do, we think that we are better than anyone else. Slowly but surely, we become like a yeast that causes the dough to rise. The sphere of our influence gets bigger and bigger and if our knowledge is independent of Holy Spirit’s presence, then we gear ourselves towards pride.
No wonder, His word keeps reminding us how He resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. Truly, when we humble ourselves in the Lord, He will lift us up and when He does, He sustains it.
Knowledge is good but when it’s sanctified in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives it becomes a revelation, a freshly-spoken word of God birthed from a glorious encounter. When this happens, what was once a mere knowledge becomes a part of our being. It graces us to see things in a different perspective and its base is love. This is where transformation begins, the Word becoming a part of us and is evidenced by our actions.
“Knowledge [alone] makes [people self-righteously] arrogant, but love [that unselfishly seeks the best for others] builds up and encourages others to grow [in wisdom]. If anyone imagines that he knows and understands anything [of divine matters, without love], he has not yet known as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God [with awe-filled reverence, obedience and gratitude], he is known by Him [as His very own and is greatly loved].” (1 Corinthians 8:1-3 AMP)
Abiding in the Lord and His word abiding in us changes us. The Holy Spirit in us changes everything. “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63)
I was sharing once with a friend of my life’s testimony in Christ. All I did was telling her my divine encounters, supernatural provisions and healings. I was simply introducing to her our Heavenly Father Who is a good, good Father, Who is always in a good mood. How He demonstrated His great love for us by giving us Jesus, that when I came to hear and kept hearing His word, my thoughts and perception changed and my heart began to believe and receive Him as my Lord and Savior. That was how my life started to turn around. Instead of looking at the mountains of challenges and be overwhelmed by them, He suddenly opened by eyes and graced me to be impressed by the bigness of Who He is that put my heart to rest in His love.
After quite sometime, my sole audience’s heart turned from a heart of hopelessness into a heart igniting with expectation and a joyful anticipation to see the goodness of God in her life.
Leaven or Yeast can also be used in a very good sense. In truth, His word says, “Jesus also used this illustration: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.” (Matthew 13:33 NLT)
We are witnesses of the Living God Who loves us and is so committed to our good. One powerful thing that I have learned and noticed is that when we are fully persuaded by how much Daddy God loves us, we don’t need to convince nor argue with those around us. We are transformed by His love and it is His love that flows in and overflows through us and IT NEVER FAILS.
“Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.” (1 Corinthians 8:1 NKJV)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You, for filling and flooding us with the richest measure of Your divine presence, consistently and constantly pouring Your love in us by Your Spirit. A river always flow to the lowest places and when we are humble and needy of You, You never fail to fill us with Who You are and Your goodness that people around us will taste and see what kind of a loving Daddy God You are, that You willingly gave us Your Son, Jesus, in order for us to HAVE and ENJOY life. We love You.