Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them and said unto them, "Be fruitful and multiply."
All thy works with joy surround thee, earth and heaven reflect thy rays, stars and angels sing around thee, center of unbroken praise. Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea, chanting bird and flowing fountain, call us to rejoice in thee.”
As the writer of “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” so beautifully states, all of nature should “call us to rejoice” in our Creator. Every one of his creations should direct our hearts toward our loving Father, the God who created the universe. His divine creations are simply reflections of himself and often have a way of teaching us the way his kingdom operates. If we look closely, his organisms and creatures usually have somewhat of a story to tell, a parable of sorts that directs our eyes to the One who created them. A few years ago, a teaching on the harvest at a local ministry inspired me to study the life cycle of mushrooms. Strange, yes, I know, but through those studies, God impressed upon my heart a beautiful analogy of our purpose on this earth and the way God’s kingdom grows.
The fungi that is the life source of mushrooms usually grow underground in a weblike pattern and may stretch for hundreds of feet in all directions. In fact, it has been learned that in some places, the underground network of fungi may form the largest living thing on the planet.
Mushrooms are simply the fruiting bodies of that underground, unseen fungus. They are the only visible evidence that the underlying fungus exists. Their true purpose is to spread spores to enable the fungus to establish new colonies of mushrooms. When the conditions of the environment are right, when ample moisture is present, the fungus soaks up the water like a sponge, giving the mushroom opportunity to grow so that it may spread spores and multiply.
Upon maturing, the mushroom begins to focus solely on reproduction rather than consumption. The reproductive seeds or spores of the fungus are located on the underside of the mushroom cap inside the gills. Until maturity, the underside of the mushroom cap is covered by a veil, which prevents the spores from being released. As the mushroom matures, the cap grows larger, stretching the veil, until it finally breaks, releasing millions of spores of which only a few will germinate. If the conditions are right, the spores create new mushrooms, and the whole cycle is repeated, creating a multiplying effect. The main purpose of the mushroom is to multiply itself in order to enlarge its community and expand the territory of the fungus.
The first recorded words that God spoke to man in the book of Genesis were, “Be fruitful and multiply…” From the very beginning of the human race, God meant for us to be a multiplying community, not just physically, but spiritually as well. We are the fruiting bodies of the underlying, unseen kingdom of God, and God created us to be the visible evidence to others that the kingdom of God exists.
As we take in the moisture of God, the truths of his word, we grow and mature in the knowledge of Him, causing us to grow and break through the veil that keeps us from bearing fruit, the lie that our lives and our salvation are about us. Like the mushroom, a sign of maturity in us is when we begin to focus more on reproduction rather than consumption. We begin to focus more on what we can give to the body of Christ rather than what we can receive.
As we mature in Him, we begin to empty ourselves of the seeds that have been planted in our life, the truths God has taught us along the way, so that those truths will not terminate on us, but will fall to the ground, take root and multiply in the lives of our neighbors. The purpose of most fungi is to take dead organic material and turn it into living nutrients that sustain other organisms. Jesus has taken our dead hearts and made them alive so that, for his glory, they can be used to bring others to Him by providing the nutrients that our neighbors need. Thank you, Father, for all those that God has used to provide the nutrients I have needed in each step of my journey. I pray those nutrients would not dead end on me, but would be released into the lives of others, nourishing the hearts of those God puts in my path.
Father I pray that you would cause us to break through the veil, and release the seeds of truth which you have grown in us into the environments in which we have influence. Some of those seeds will germinate and some will not; nevertheless, God has chosen us to be the visible evidence of the Kingdom of God in those places. So let us go, “be fruitful, and multiply,” teaching others the truths of the gospel that God has so graciously planted within us.