In Matthew’s Gospel chapter 13, verses 10-17, Jesus quotes from the prophet Isaiah to explain to his disciples why he mainly teaches in parables (except to the disciples themselves in private Mark 4:34). The three reasons I believe this are that: (1) The ability to discern (hear or see and be certain you are hearing or seeing God’s voice or activity in your life correctly). This is accomplished through intense and regular prayer — both speaking and listening — through which the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth (John 16:12-13);
and by the wise and supportive counsel of other believers who have committed themselves to pray for their own discernment and yours, and their own spiritual protection as well as yours. (2) Jesus tells us that developing the spiritual character of our heart is the most important spiritual activity we can be about (see Matthew 13:10-17, 15:7-20 and Matthew 12:33-37). And (3) Paul completes the picture in Galatians 5:16-25, where he paints a clear picture of what qualities of character we should be prayerfully seeking the Spirit to help develop within us. If we concentrate on these three activities, we will show the world that God has the power to change lives for the better. The world is waiting to see changed hearts and changed lives. If we are committed to that vision we CAN show them that. But one of the hardest parts is believing we can’t do it in our power alone. We NEED one another. What do you think?