Jesus told a parable about a woman who hid leaven in 50-60 pounds of flour (Matt. 13:33). That’s a goodly amount of flour. Ordinarily, leaven is symbolic of evil, or of bondage, or of haste to escape. However, Jesus uses leaven here as a symbol his kingdom. Someday, Christ will manifest himself and confront the world head on at the apocalypse. In the meantime, our life is “hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3).
It is not that the church’s witness is hidden. In fact, it is proclaimed all over the world unless driven underground by persecuting governments. Getting rid of the church is no more possible than getting the leaven out of flour once the leaven is in it. On an individual level, God hides Christ in a person who believes, and the leaven begins its work. Unless one holds onto legalism and religion, the Holy Spirit will permeate every bit of the flour that the human is. Christians begin to manifest Spirit life in ways not even planned or analyzed. By his Spirit, Christ simply takes over – that is unless resistance is encountered when trials come. How long can that resistance last?
The fact is that if you belong to Christ, nothing that comes to you happens to unleavened flour. Christ is all in all in the Christian. This means that no flour is wasted or discarded. It all has leaven hidden in it that cannot be separated out. Wish as you might at times that you had not gotten into the stress of being a Christian, there is nowhere else to go as Peter said (John 6:68). Suffering is the one thing that produces glory, so the only thing to do is to stay focused on the “eternal weight of the glory” and not the temporary pain of the suffering (2 Cor. 4:17). Keep in view the goal.