A GRAIN OF WHEAT, A LEAF, A SEED
God will “progress” His digression of our self-sufficiency until we come to see the futility of our titles and degrees; until we see that all our giftings, callings and accomplishments cannot hold a candle to His glory; until we come to the end of our strivings, strength and earthbound knowledge to finally admit that we have nothing to lose [worth keeping]. When we have nothing to lose, we can do whatever He calls us to do without fear of losing friends or reputation—we have already lost everything [our illusions].
Jesus said, “...Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (Jn. 12:24). A dead man falls straight to the ground like a piece of lead—there is no resistance or life left in him. He goes straight down. But a man who is not so sure what he wants falls to the ground like a leaf that has broken off from the tree. It is certainly dead, but it falls with uncertainty, because it seems to have a measure of green color in it. It bears the outward indications of life, but it is surely dead apart from the branch - whether it knows it or not. Always at the whim of every puff and billow of the wind, a leaf separated from its branch flutters and floats its way to the ground.
Even after it lands on the ground, it is at the mercy of every breeze that comes by. You see, the leaf is not quite sure that it is dead and it has no clear destination or destiny. It has not made up its mind to die to itself. It might be willing to fall on top of the ground, but it is all too ready to respond to a new opportunity. Whether or not it is the right opportunity is not the point. It was on a mission to die, but its commitment to that death is constantly interrupted by the remaining ambition and memory of its past glory [illusions] that just won’t die.
Unlike a leaf, a seed is destined for death, burial, and resurrection in a new life of productivity. It carries within itself an inner longing for death and new life, for in that death resides the potential for nearly unlimited reproduction, fruit-bearing, and fulfillment of purpose!
Until you really see Jesus, you will never see yourself for who you
really are and you will never see the point to dying. Even a lowly leaf,
if it is willing to lay low for a season, can yet rise from its earthbound
grave once the storm passes and a gust lifts it up again. But the
seed that has seen the Lord knows it must fall into the earth and die.
It must abandon all vestiges of the flesh, all hope of the earthly kingdoms
of pride and of position. That seed has to go under the ground to sprout