How Spiritual Life is Like Bread Dough

Today, I want to share a chapter from an upcoming book to be published in is below. Enjoy!

Leaven in Flour

He (Jesus) spoke another parable to them, “ The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three specks of flour until it was all leavened.”
Matthew 13:33

Leaven, like yeast, is composed of very small, flour-like particles. Like the mustard seed, a single particle of yeast is hard to even see with our eyes. 

Yet when you add leaven to bread dough, the leaven will transform the entire portion of the dough. In this parable, the woman, the bread maker, adds a small amount of leaven to the flour. Next, she sets the dough aside for a time. After a time of hours or days, the leaven will permeate the entire loaf of dough to make it it fluffy and delicious when baked. Without the leaven, the dough would bake into a hard lump, having the consistency, and likely the flavor, of a rock. But with the addition of the leaven, the entire amount of dough is transformed into something useful, delightful, delicious, and satisfying.

The comparison of the kingdom of heaven to leaven is similar to the parables which compare the kingdom of heaven to the growth of a plant from a seed. We do not know all the scientific details as to how the plant grows, and neither do we fully understand exactly how such a small amount of leaven can transform an entire batch of dough on its own. Also, once the dough is leavened, you cannot remove the leaven. The dough is now a wholly new type of substance, with new properties. In a similar way, when a person is transformed by the spirit of God, that individual's soul is completely transformed and renewed.

I believe that the Holy Spirit is like the leaven for mankind. It was when the Holy Spirit was sent down at Pentecost (as written in the book of Acts in the New Testament), that the process of “leavening the dough of the hearts of mankind” was added to the life-experience on Earth. It was at that time that an initial reaction occurred, and it was at that time when access to the spiritual Kingdom of God became available to all mankind. Since that time (which was about 33 or 34 A.D.), the Holy Spirit, together and with the direction of God through Christ, has been transforming the lives and hearts of people all over the world. 

When you, as an individual, accepted the message of Christ, you also received the Holy Spirit as available to you as your sole “guide;” and you received your “portion of leaven!” Do you recognize, at least in part, how the “spiritual leaven” in your own life and attitudes is working? How has the spiritual leavening process changed you thus far? What areas of your life, or attitudes in your life, have you allowed to be transformed by the message and teachings of Christ? What areas of your life do you know still need to be transformed?

There will be seasons in your life during which God will allow or bring circumstances into your life in order to continue your spiritual transformation. You can allow the transformation to occur and look forward to it, or you can slow the process by resisting the promptings of the Spirit upon your life. Paul wrote in Philippians 1:6, “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ.” Likewise, you can be assured that areas of your life which have not yet been touched or transformed by “God's spiritual leaven” eventually will be transformed over time. The Spirit will nudge you to make changes in certain areas of your life, in order to bring those areas into accordance with the will of God. When this happens, be faithful to God and to the teachings of Christ. Allow those areas of your life to change in order to be in accordance with God's will. It is worth it! The transformation often seems hard. Sometimes the transformation seems frightening or undesirable. However, I have never known anyone who has been “spiritually leavened” by the Holy Spirit who isn't delighted with the end result! Take notice of the spiritual leavening in your own life and thank God for bringing you closer to Him in the process!

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