This morning we continue our series entitled, “Refined Focus”. For the past few days we have been looking at the parable of the sower. We are walking our way through it. Let’s get back to it today. Jesus said:
“The farmer is like someone who plants God’s teaching in people. Sometimes the teaching falls on the path. That is like some people who hear the teaching of God. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the teaching that was planted in them.
Other people are like the seed planted on rocky ground. They hear the teaching, and they quickly and gladly accept it. But they don’t allow it to go deep into their lives. They keep it only a short time. As soon as trouble or persecution comes because of the teaching they accepted, they give up.
Others are like the seed planted among the thorny weeds. They hear the teaching, but their lives become full of other things: the worries of this life, the love of money, and everything else they want. This keeps the teaching from growing, and it does not produce a crop in their lives.
And others are like the seed planted on the good ground. They hear the teaching and accept it. Then they grow and produce a good crop—sometimes 30 times more, sometimes 60 times more, and sometimes 100 times more.” (Mark 4:13-20 ERV)
Yesterday we discussed the soil along the path. Today’s message flows in the same vein. I already pointed out that the sower seeks out the soil, and the not the other way around. God sends people to provide seed (His Word) to us. Paul explained this well in Romans 10. Paul told us that people will not believe in a God they have not heard about, nor can they hear without a preacher, and they preacher can’t preach unless he is sent. God anoints humans to preach His Word — which in this parable we see is likened to seed — to the hearts of people. This is the picture we get when the sower goes forth to sow seed into the different types of soil.
In the same passage in Romans 10 Paul goes on to explain that faith comes by hearing the Word. Two chapters later, in Romans 12:3, Paul taught us that God has dealt every man “the measure of faith”. So every man has been given a certain measure of faith and that faith is activated when they hear the Word of God. This is why satan is so quick to come and snatch the Word away. The King James Version of Mark 4:15 emphasizes how fast satan comes. It reads, “These are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.”
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
1. God is seeking you out to bless you.
a) God has already dealt you the measure of faith you need to live a successful life in this world (Rom 12:3). You have faith, but like a muscle, your faith must be exercised and developed.
b) God sends people to you and anoints them to preach/teach His Word. His Word is incorruptible seed and it can produce life-changing results.
c) God has been extremely good to you! Think about it… You did not pursue God without God first pursuing you. You could not love God until God first loved you. You did not pursue the Word until God went out of His way to send people to bring the Word to you. God even gave you the faith you need to receive the Word, so the Word can produce in your life. So, pause for a moment to think about the goodness of God. God gave you faith, He gave you His Word, He gave you His love, He gave You His Son, and now He gives you His plans for your life. Your part is to simply use the faith He has given you to access His grace and goodness, and then REMAIN FOCUSED as you seek to ALLOW GOD to do the work through you in pursuit of your purpose. Who would not want to serve a God like that?
2. Satan will do all he can to keep you from walking in God’s best.
a) God sends people your way, to bring His Word to you in ways you can understand. These are the preachers He “sends”, as explained in Romans 10.
b) The preacher (or the sower) comes with the Word of God. When the Word comes, faith can come (see Rom 10:17).
c) The sower comes, the Word comes, faith can come, but then satan comes immediately. Why? Because he wants to snatch the Word (or seed) away before it can develop your faith and produce results in your life.
d) Satan is after the Word because he is after your faith. Satan knows he cannot stop you when you are in-faith, accessing God’s grace. But if he can get you before you activate your faith, he can stop you, because at that stage you are still operating with human ability. Satan wants to stop you in the natural BEFORE you tap into the supernatural. Because once you do, he knows he is powerless against God.
Closing Confession: Father, this is a season of refined focus for me. I bring my life into focus in 2016 by giving careful attention to Your Word. You have dealt to me THE measure of faith I need to succeed in life. I have faith, but my faith must be activated and developed. Both are accomplished with Your Word. I pursue Your Word daily. Your Word feeds my faith and starves my doubts. You send people to me to deliver Your Word. The sowers come, Your Word comes, faith comes, and satan will come. But satan will not be successful. He will not snatch the Word from my heart. Because I am quick to receive, quick to believe, quick to apply, and quick to cross over from natural to supernatural. Your Word works in my life because I work Your Word! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.