..the seduction of religion
The following was written by Jesse Penn-Lewis... forgive the turn of the century language.... these words have to do with taking the path that Jesus referred to... where fruitfulness only comes from a grain of wheat when it goes into the ground... and dies... not terribly appealing to me back in 1968..... that particular path is the opposite path to the one I was encouraged to follow by religious folks back then... I was offered the path of self-fulfillment... the path of it being my responsibility to do great works for God... my oh my.... did doing great things ever appeal to this young fella ...(way back then when he were still a young fella).... :)
Listen carefully as you read.... it is worth the reading...
"The grain of wheat path, the law of increase in fruitfulness. In the soul-realm the believer wins others one by one-a service for God not to be despised or discounted but where it is the life of God in us able to reproduce itself, because of the pouring out into death of the soul-life, the law of increase is one grain into thirty, and each of the thirty again into thirty more. The increase is by multiplication apart from the activities of the believer. The life of God in us, set free to act through us as the life of nature is buried in death, quickens everything it touches. One of the old writers describes this life as a 'tincture'. Take for instance one drop of ink, or a drop of milk, and it will 'tincture' a glass of water; e.g., when the divine life is in the spirit, whilst the soul-life is being poured out in death, there is a divine 'tincture' through the words you speak. Then you may say but a few simple words, but they bear fruit. You may do a most ordinary thing, but your simple act leaves an eternal stamp upon the one to whom you did it. Oh, thus to live that everything we say or do has the 'tincture' of the life of God in it. That is infinitely more valuable to God and man, and more fruitful for the believer, than the most wonderful 'sense' experience, which ends in nothing but the believer's own joy. It makes the 'ordinary' everyday life full of God. It is so simple that the one who knows it is so occupied with being "faithful in that which is least", that he does not think whether he is 'used' or not. Such a one does not clamour for 'power' or for 'more power', for he has only to see to the 'dying', i.e., the abiding in the death of Christ, whilst unknown to him the life of God in him is 'tincturing' all the 'doing', and bringing forth fruit eternal.
"Bringeth forth much fruit!" Silently, unobtrusively, the grain of wheat life works in the world of men-just in the way that God always works. He does not make any noise over what He does, and does not blow a trumpet telling of what He has done, or will do. You ask Him to do something in prayer, but He does not send a message announcing that He is going to do it! It just 'happens' as it were, and the world knows nothing about it. Oh the beauty of God's wondrous silent working! Men so like a noise, and a flourish of trumpets. But think of God's weak children in the world as grains of wheat, producing other God-like souls, and affecting the whole world without a noise, just being what they are, and walking with God, with the tincture of God touching everything. Is not this picture more worthy of God, because so opposite to man's way, than something spectacular? There is always some danger about the 'wonderful' in believers, because it is liable to be attached to the person. It is so much better that we look 'ordinary', even spiritually, and very insignificant in our lack of visible 'power', whilst God does His silent working through us in grain of wheat fruitfulness, and no glory will ever be attached to us, and our personality called 'wonderful'!"
Hmmmmm... think on these things.