What is the leaven in our lives? What holds us back from seeing the glory of the Lord and the blessings we have? What keeps us from moving forward? What is it that makes us stop and be fearful? Can we do better? Can we change our perspective from fear, anger, hatred and bitterness to security, love and thankfulness?
Thinking of these questions and doing some soul searching is not a negative, it’s a positive. Many times over I ponder these questions in my own life. I like to think of it as an accountability test. By evaluating that in my life that causes me to stumble, I am able to move forward with hard work, one step at a time. Searching the true notions of the mind and the desires of the heart I can reach a different perspective than that which tries to rule over me. I am flawed through sin. I know it, I recognize it, I act upon it to try and change it. I am not perfect, yet I am conscious of the failure within self, driven by the power of this earth.
Acknowledging that there is yeast in my life and that it is thick enough to hold me back, allows me to seek out the truth behind what drives me. Sometimes, I find that anger and bitterness are the ingredients in which the yeast grows and has progressed to a point that needs clean up. I equate it to making bread. If ever you have worked with yeast you know what I’m talking about. If not, let me explain. When you take a mixing bowl of warm water, add a little bit of honey and then add in a tablespoon of yeast you get the pleasure of watching it foam. The yeast begins to grow in the water, yet when you add it to flour and baking powder it takes off and is what makes baked goods rise. If you use too much, a loaf of bread can ooze right out of the pan before it is baked. The warmth of baking allows the yeast to rise even more before it stops. My great grandmother used to say that the yeast in bread is still active for a full day after baking. (I thank my mom for remembering that and sharing that story all these years.) Yeast is not in one small part of the loaf, it grows throughout, making the entire loaf rise. They call it the leavening of the bread.
I imagine Satan kneading that sin throughout. Just like kneading the bread to make sure that the yeast is spread throughout the impending loaf, Satan does the same thing. He tries to make sure that every aspect of life is covered in sin, allowing it grow within so that one is unable to see through the over growth. So now what? How does one remove the yeast?
First off, recognition. Secondly, repentance. Thirdly, change. Only through the Lord Jesus Christ can this happen. There is no one else that can do this. Unfortunately, being the humans that we are, we are led by either the ruler of this world or by the creator of all things. If we are chosen by God, we are led by Him, if not we are led by the ruler of this world, Satan. More recently, I have been given privilege to see just how awful the yeast of deceit is. Through hatred, bitterness and anger two occasions have had me realizing that I myself am also experiencing the beginning stages of that which holds me back from the blessing of knowing the fullness of the Lord Jesus Christ. First step, recognition.
Second, repentance. I have been praying that the Lord show me my sinfulness, the nature of my own self, and the lies that Satan is trying to make me believe. I have been asking for forgiveness and for restoration of my soul and for the Lord to take away that which Satan is trying to grow within my being.
Third, change. This is by far the hardest part. To flatten the leavening process, to clean it out of my life and to make sure that I remember my life is unleavened through the death of Jesus Christ. To change means to do things of which make the human psyche nervous, uncomfortable, and seemingly fearful. However, with the power of prayer and the strength of the Lord, peace, calmness and perseverance are active within the search for a life unleavened.
1 Corinthians 5:6-7 6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
Sin has no stronghold on my life. Yes I am still a sinner. Yes I still have a sinful nature, however, it is not a stronghold that can overcome the good in which the Lord has within me. I am renewed, I am restored and I am strong with him as the one who kneads me. There is not room for the yeast that Satan tries to throw into the mix.
There is no room for hatred, bitterness and anger. There is however, more room for truth. Truth in who I am to be with the Lord leading. If I trust in the desires of the heart and notions of mind more than that which He instills in me, than I am wasted away with rot from the yeast that continues to grow. So, although difficult, perseverance to change is the key to the restoration of my soul. That of which I do not take lightly.
Reader, I hope that you will benefit from my own learning experience and that you will evaluate the yeast in your life. Cleansing out that which holds you back from a thankful heart, a steadiness ready to take on the sin within, and a mind that tries to remind of that which is of no use moving forward. Guard yourself from the sprinkling of the yeast. Do not let the ingredients blend together and through prayer keep yourself unleavened.