IS THE ENEMY DEVOURING YOUR SEED?
Last week in my blog What’s Worms Got to Do with It? I talked about the four types of soil Jesus mentioned in The Parable of the Sower.
For the next four weeks I will talk about each type of ground and examine how each one pertains to spiritual growth.
THE SEED SOWN ALONG THE WAYSIDE
In this parable, Jesus first mentions the seed sown along the wayside. Birds ate this seed as soon as it fell to the ground because the seed couldn’t penetrate the hard-packed soil. People constantly traveled this path, so nothing could grow.
I compare this road to a hardened heart. God is speaking [seed], but the hardened heart cannot hear.
BELIEVERS CAN HAVE HARDENED HEARTS
I used to think the “wayside” in this parable talked about unbelievers. A worldly person hardens their heart to the gospel. But what about those who follow Jesus?
I recently read an article by Andrew Wommack that opened my eyes, The Hardened Heart.
Picture this. The disciples dedicated their lives to Jesus, ate with Him, spent everyday with Him, constantly under His care. But when Jesus told them to beware the leaven of the Pharisees they talked about how they had no bread. They didn’t understand the spiritual principle he was telling them. See Mark 8:15-21 Jesus marveled that their hearts were hardened and pointed out that they hadn’t learned from His miraculous feeding of the five thousand. How could they worry about their next meal when they experienced His provision in such a divine way? He shared nuggets of spiritual wisdom, revelation from above, and they missed it.
This led me to question my own heart. I tend to think the soil of my heart is pretty soft and pliable. I consider myself teachable. But I wondered, could this Jesus-follower have hardness in her heart? Of course. Maybe I’m not hardened to the Gospel message, but there are still areas where my spiritual perception is dull.
Think about it. The dirt gets compacted from years of pressure from sandaled feet and donkey carts. In like manner, years of friction and pressure can harden our hearts to the voice of God. Our spiritual senses become dull as we deal with the pressures of life.
HOW A HARDENED HEART DIFFERS FROM A HEART CHOKED BY WORRIES
This raised another question. How does hard ground differ from the soil where weeds choke out what has sprouted? Wasn’t Jesus describing worries and cares here? So what’s the difference between a hard heart and a heart choked by worries?
In hard ground the seed never gets to germinate. In other words, the Word never penetrates the heart.
I acknowledged Jesus’ love for me for many years before I ever felt it. Like most of us, I had childhood experiences where I unknowingly put up walls to protect myself from hurt. But as I persisted to know Him in a deep way, the Lord gave me “aha” moments where my head knowledge of His love turned into experiential knowledge where I felt His love wash over me. Like Sleeping Beauty, I awakened from slumber. I began to feel Jesus’ love in more ways than ever before. For example, I no longer felt the need to “perform” so I could earn His love. I realized He loves me just the way I am.
Have you ever hugged someone, and you knew they were distracted and didn’t really receive your hug? I felt like Jesus had been hugging me all this time and I finally opened up to receive it.
A SEEMING CONTRADICTION
Something surprised me when I read the entire passage from Matthew 13. [See above link about the parable.] The disciples asked Jesus to explain why He talked in parables. This whole passage precedes Jesus’ explanation about the Parable of the Sower. He explained to His disciples that not everyone can hear what He has to say. However, He told them that they could hear, and that the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom belonged to them. That seemed contradictory to the passage where Jesus says their hearts were hardened. If Jesus said they could hear, how could their hearts be hardened?
I concluded that sensitivity to His Word is a process. The disciples didn’t get it right away and neither do we.
So don’t get discouraged if the enemy is devouring your seed. It takes time to turn “dead dirt” into “living” soil.” See my blog, Soil Is Living but Dirt Is Dead.
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