“That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.” Matthew 13:1-9
I have read the parable of the sower may times over many years. This time, it became alive to me, relevant to me in a very powerful way. It occurred to me that the Lord is constantly sowing seeds into our lives and that we, at different times, can find ourselves any one of these grounds that the seeds fall on. I also realized that there are proactive biblical measures that we have to take in order to insure the fruitfulness that the Lord intended. The third revelation was that the enemy is also sowing his seed and the very things that keep our hearts ready and able to receive the seeds of God’s Word are the very things that will prevent any seed from the enemy from taking root in our lives.
Let’s look at the first ground. Jesus said that as the sower sowed, some seeds fell along the path and the birds came and devoured them. He explained it like this, “When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.” I had misinterpreted this to mean a cold and stony heart, but this is actually a place in our hearts that lacks understanding about the Kingdom of God. The enemy’s first line of attack is to keep us from understanding the truths of the Kingdom. If we understand the Kingdom, we will understand our identity, our destiny, and our authority to usher in the Kingdom of God and the enemy hates that!
The “soil treatment” for this condition is found throughout the scriptures. “ If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives generously to all, without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5) Do you need to understand your identity? Start with Ephesians chapters one and two: “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of His (God’s) grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding…” (and that is just for starters!) What if our cry every moment of every day was “Lord , give me an understanding heart…ears to hear and eyes to see.”?
The enemy would no longer be able to snatch the seeds the Lord is daily sowing into our lives.
The next soil is the rocky places. Jesus describes it like this: “Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away.” He explains, “The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the one who hears the Word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the Word, he quickly falls away.” Deep roots need deep soil. A shallow faith and understanding will result in us having emotional experiences without any depth. The effects of these experiences are short lived, and rather then submitting to any real spiritual growth, we tend to end up doubting, and become disappointed in God when circumstances take away the joy we first experienced.
James tells us to “Count it all joy when you face trials of many kinds , because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance…” Jesus told His disciples not to rejoice that the spirits were subject to them, but to rejoice (in the knowledge) that their names were written in the book of life. Again, we see the need for deep roots to understand the principles that rule God’s kingdom.
Jesus describes “the one who received the seed that fell among the thorns” as being like the man who hears the word, but the worries of life, and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. This is the enemy’s last strategy, and again, understanding Kingdom principles is the believer’s offense. Jesus repeated often to “fear not”, and reminds us of His care for us in Mathew 6 “…do not worry about you life, what you will eat or drink…” He also speaks to the issue of wealth in the same passage “…do not store up for yourselves riches on earth…but store up for up for yourselves riches in heaven.” An understanding of these principles will keep us free from the “thorns” that the enemy uses as a last ditch attempt to keep us from being fruitful.
The last ground is the good soil, “the man who hears the Word and understands it, he produces a crop yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what he has sown.” I believe that the deeper our understanding, the more fertile the soil of our hearts. Just as a gardener strives to enrich his soil to increase his harvest, we as believers must enrich our lives with wisdom from God. This is the spiritual “Miracle Grow” that will allow us to bless the Lord of the harvest with the abundant yielding that He is so worthy of.
~ Susan Kewin
Christ Fellowship member