Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Are You Turning Stones to Bread?

“The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Matthew 4:3 

In our quest to faithfully serve God, the danger is in becoming too involved in worthy causes that detract from our individual ministry purpose.

Feeding the hungry is a good thing, but has God called you to spend several hours a week in a soup kitchen? Serving the homeless is a noble cause, but has God called you to volunteer at a homeless shelter?

After Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness following his baptism, he was hungry. The first thing Satan tempted Jesus with was food. Turning stones to bread would have not only solved Jesus’ hunger but many others. Surely he was sympathetic to the needy in his community. Yet Jesus refused Satan’s offer.

Jesus didn’t lack empathy for the hungry. Throughout the Gospels, we see examples of Jesus feeding thousands rather than sending them on their way after he preached. But eradicating hunger in the world wasn’t Jesus’ ministry.

Satan will present service opportunities, which are charitable, yet divert from a more important ministry in that moment. If we’re not careful (or prayerful), we’ll jump at every opportunity to serve, even if it diminishes our capacity to fulfill the role God called us to.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.” Matthew 13:24b-26 

The flower on the right is a daucus pusillus or, in lay terms, Wild Carrot or Rattlesnake Weed. According to legend, it can be used as a poultice for a rattlesnake bite. Weeds serve as food in the animal kingdom. Like many weeds, this one produces a beautiful flower.

Weeds can be beautiful or even beneficial while at the same time destructive. Left unchecked, they choke out vital crops for man. The same is true when we participate in activities, however worthy, when we’re called to do something else for that season in our life.

The purpose of the enemy sowing weeds is to reduce the Kingdom harvest.

Are you busy turning stones to bread while the enemy sows weeds in your ministry field? Is the Kingdom work you were called to do getting your leftover time and talent?

If you feel overworked, overcommitted, or stressed, ask God for clarity in your ministry. Perhaps you’re right where He wants you for spiritual growth. Perhaps not. He might point you in a different direction.

How may I pray for you today? Please leave a comment or e-mail me confidential requests. My contact info is under the heading above marked “Talk to Me.” While you’re here, would you lift up those who leave prayer requests, as well as those on the prayer list at the top of the blog?

God bless,

© Laura Hodges Poole 

Stones image courtesy of suphakit73/ 

Post from archives—originally published May 29, 2012.


  1. Laura, what a beautiful reminder to focus on God's plan for us, not someone else. I have always heard that if the devil can't make you bad, he'll make you busy. Thanks for this beautiful post.

  2. Great post, Laura. We just had this discussion at Bible study this morning. We're working through Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. The analogy of putting the big rocks (most important priorities) in a container first, then adding the "smaller" items next means everything "fits". While God calls us to certain big rocks, sometimes we try to pour our own agendas in and then cry out in frustration when we can't get it all to fit. A good wake up call for this busy mama who doesn't always choose the rocks He calls me to load first. ;-)

  3. Thank you, Laura. This topic has been something I've been struggling with recently, and your post is so timely for me. I read it first thing this a.m. while I was still in bed, tired (exhausted!), and discouraged. May you be blessed in all that you do.

  4. Great point. I've seen so many Christians do this to the detriment of their families and their individual walk with Christ.
    Key is staying focused on God. Asking Him for direction and then LISTENING.
    This is something I'm trying to be mindful of. I'm learning, "Just because I can do something doesn't mean God wants me to do it."