DISPERSAL FOR KINGDOM EXPANSION

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The light we carry, or bear, remains a beam which most times obscures or blinds our sight, and we cannot see the source of the light until the distinct colours are revealed when the light rays are scattered through a prism.

INTRODUCTION

God’s first instruction to Adam was to “Be fruitful and increase in numberfill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis 1:28 NIV). He repeated the same instruction to Noah and his descendants when they came out of the Ark in which they were preserved when every other human species was destroyed in the flood (Genesis 9:1)“Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earthAs for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”  In Genesis 12:1-3, The LORD said to Abram: “Go forth from your land, your relatives, and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great so that you will be a blessing”.

These words connote the idea of spreading, multiplying, not congregating or stagnating in one spot. The same instruction was given to the early Church when the Lord commissioned them to:

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15) 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

(Matthew 28:19-20 NIV)

It is instructive for us today that the descendants of Noah who were called out of the Ark after they were saved from the destruction of the human race in Noah’s generation and commissioned by God to scatter and fill the earth (Genesis 9:1,7) rebelled against this Commission by God by deciding to do exactly the opposite of what they were instructed:

“Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, THEY FOUND A PLAIN IN SHINAR AND SETTLED THERE. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; OTHERWISE, WE WILL BE SCATTERED OVER THE FACE OF THE WHOLE EARTH.”

[Genesis 11 NIV]

This singular action of rebellion against the instruction by the Lord for them to SCATTER and FILL THE EARTH led to the SCATTERING OF THEIR LANGUAGE AND THE HUMAN RACE:

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language, they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and CONFUSE THEIR LANGUAGE SO THEY WILL NOT UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER.” So THE LORD SCATTERED THEM FROM THERE OVER ALL THE EARTH, AND THEY STOPPED BUILDING THE CITY.

[Genesis 11 NIV]

The first Church in the New Testament received the same commission to “Go Into All The World to preach the gospel” (Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8), but also stopped in Jerusalem and settled to organize and run a congregation (Acts 6:1-7) until God allowed persecution to SCATTER them beyond Jerusalem:

Acts 8 Those who had been SCATTERED PREACHED THE WORD WHEREVER THEY WENT… Acts 11:19-21 [NIV] 19 Now those who had been SCATTERED by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed TRAVELED AS FAR AS Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, SPREADING THE WORD…

We can, therefore, see that God has been using DISPERSAL and SCATTERING to keep His people from the tendency to often remain in their comfort zones instead of carrying out the divine mandate to spread His fragrance among the people and the nations. A further look at the meaning of the words ‘Dispersal’ and ‘scatter’ will illustrate these phenomena.

DEFINITIONS

Dispersal  [Noun}THE ACTION OR PROCESS OF DISTRIBUTING OR SPREADING THINGS OR PEOPLE OVER A WIDE AREA; THE SPLITTING UP OF A GROUP OF PEOPLE, CAUSING THEM TO LEAVE IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS (Oxford Dictionary)

Scatter is a verb that means “TO SEPARATE SUDDENLY AND SPREAD OUT IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS.” (vocabulary.com)

Dispersal or scattering can be voluntary, intentional, induced, or forced. In whatever way, such process or action leads to a displacement from one state/position/location to another.

Example from the Dispersal of Seeds

“Seed Dispersal” means THE DISTRIBUTION OF SEEDS FAR AWAY FROM THE PARENT PLANT. Seed dispersal prevents overcrowding. Without dispersal, the seeds would fall near the parent plant and would probably not germinate since they would be competing with the parent plant’s space and nutrients.

What happens if seeds are not dispersed? [from BYJU’S Learn Portal]

If seeds are not dispersed, all the seeds will fall near the parent tree. This will prevent those seeds from getting enough sunlight, air and water. As a result, most of the seeds would fail to germinate. DISPERSAL OF SEEDS IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR THE SURVIVAL OF PLANT SPECIES. If plants grow too closely together, they have to compete for light, water and nutrients from the soil. SEED DISPERSAL ALLOWS PLANTS TO SPREAD OUT FROM A WIDE AREA AND AVOID COMPETING WITH ONE ANOTHER FOR THE SAME RESOURCES.

DISPERSAL AND KINGDOM EXPANSION

As seed dispersal allows plants to colonize vacant habitats and even new geographic regions, God uses the dispersal of His people to spread into places where the gospel had not reached yet. Seed dispersal by gravity occurs when fruits and their seeds fall from the tree in a process called abscission. [BYJU’S Learn Portal].

The seeds that fall from the plant onto the ground undergo a dispersal phenomenon which releases the dormant/latent life in it that produces more seeds. This process of reproduction was alluded to by the Lord Jesus Christ in the statement:

“I tell you for certain that a grain of wheat that falls on the ground will never be more than one grain unless it dies. But if it dies, it will produce lots of wheat”

[John 12:24 CEV]

God also uses persecution, natural phenomena, wars and other “push and pull” economic, social, and natural factors to scatter or disperse His people so that His purposes for them and His Kingdom agenda might be fulfilled.

Joseph saw his being sold by his Brothers into slavery in Egypt as God-engineered to accomplish a divine purpose: “And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you” Genesis 45:5 [NIV] in corroboration of the same purpose as stated in Psalms 105:8-22.

This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all THOSE I CARRIED INTO EXILE FROM JERUSALEM TO BABYLON“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. INCREASE IN NUMBER THERE; DO NOT DECREASEAlso, SEEK THE PEACE AND PROSPERITY OF THE CITY TO WHICH I HAVE CARRIED YOU INTO EXILE. PRAY TO THE LORD FOR IT BECAUSE IF IT PROSPERS, YOU TOO WILL PROSPER.” 

Jeremiah 29:4-7

Esther was reminded by her Uncle Mordecai that there was a purpose for which the Lord catapulted her from her status as an orphan slave girl to the palace as a queen in a Kingdom different from where she came from (Esther 4:14 – NIV):

14 FOR IF YOU REMAIN SILENT AT THIS TIME, RELIEF AND DELIVERANCE FOR THE JEWS WILL ARISE FROM ANOTHER PLACE, BUT YOU AND YOUR FATHER’S FAMILY WILL PERISH. AND WHO KNOWS BUT THAT YOU HAVE COME TO YOUR ROYAL POSITION FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS?”

Esther 4:14 (NIV)

8, “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

Luke 10:8-9

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come”.

Matthew 24:14 (ESV)

Those who had been SCATTERED PREACHED THE WORD WHEREVER THEY WENT. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. SO THERE WAS GREAT JOY IN THAT CITY…. “12 But when THEY BELIEVED PHILIP AS HE PROCLAIMED THE GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, they were baptized, both men and women.”

Acts 8:4-8a, 12

19 Now those who had been SCATTERED by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed TRAVELED AS FAR AS Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, SPREADING THE WORD only among Jews. 20 SOME OF THEM, however, men FROM CYPRUS AND CYRENEWENT TO ANTIOCH and BEGAN TO SPEAK TO GREEKS ALSO, TELLING THEM THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT THE LORD JESUS21 THE LORD’S HAND WAS WITH THEM, AND A GREAT NUMBER OF PEOPLE BELIEVED AND TURNED TO THE LORD.

Acts 11:19-21 [NIV]

EXAMPLE FROM THE SCATTERING OF LIGHT [BYJU’S Learn Portal]

Dispersion of light is another phenomenon that can illustrate the necessity of “Dispersal for Kingdom Expansion”. the splitting of white light into its constituent colours due to the refractive index of the surface and the wavelength of the light.

The dispersion of light is the phenomenon of splitting a beam of white light into its seven constituent colours when passed through a transparent medium such as a prism. 

If dispersion does not occur in nature, then there is no rainbow formation and splitting of light into seven different colours. If there is no scattering, then the oceans and sky appear to be black. The sun appears white all the time (including sunrise and sunset).

In the same manner, the light we carry, or bear, remains a beam which most times obscures or blinds our sight, and we cannot see the source of the light until the distinct colours are revealed when the light rays are scattered through a prism.

In Matthew 5:14-16 [NIV], the Lord describes Believers thus:

14 “YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. A TOWN BUILT ON A HILL CANNOT BE HIDDEN. 15. NEITHER DO PEOPLE LIGHT A LAMP AND PUT IT UNDER A BOWL. INSTEAD, THEY PUT IT ON ITS STAND, AND IT GIVES LIGHT TO EVERYONE IN THE HOUSE. 16 IN THE SAME WAY, LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE BEFORE OTHERS, THAT THEY MAY SEE YOUR GOOD DEEDS AND GLORIFY YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN.

Matthew 5:14-16 [NIV]

THE LIGHT SHINES IN THE DARKNESS, AND THE DARKNESS CAN NEVER EXTINGUISH IT”.

John 1:5 [NLT]

CONCLUSION

Every believer must live with the consciousness that he/she is A SEED and A LIGHT! The Lord who created us, saved us, called us, equipped us, and sustains us has a purpose for every aspect of our lives and existence in the world at the moment. Therefore, He can deploy us to any sector of His Vineyard to fulfil such purposes for which He created us and has been directing our movements and locations at a given time. We must each of us cultivate and live out our lives with a deep sense of destiny and divine purpose. Let us, therefore, be ready to align our responses to the push and pull factors of life with the divine purposes which the Lord has fore-determined for every one us, and be pliable in the hands of the Holy Spirit as He steers our paths and guides our steps in the life journey which spans the eternal purposes for which we were created, saved, and chosen!

Written by Rev (Dr) Reuben Ezemadu, CMF International Director

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