Understanding Is Critical

by Rick

Today we continue our new series entitled, “Expecting the Word to Work!”  This is part 5.  Let’s get to it. 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)


Today we will discuss the first of the four soils: the soil along the path.  Jesus paints the picture of the Word going out to people.  They hear the Word, but somehow satan comes immediately and takes away the Word they heard.  The picture Jesus gives us is of satan literally snatching away the Word that was sown in their hearts.  


Matthew’s version of the story gives us better insight into why this happens.  Let’s take a look at how Matthew records what Jesus said. Matthew’s version reads, “When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.” (Matthew 13:19).  Matthew’s version exposes the key issue with this type of soil: a lack of understanding.  If you receive a Word from God and you do not understand it, then at that moment, you are like the soil along the path.  At that moment you are susceptible to losing what you heard, but you failed to understand what God was saying. Satan comes to snatch it away, because he knows how much God’s Word can produce in your life.  If he can take the Word from you before it benefits you, you missed out on receiving a harvest on the Word sown.


So what does this mean to you today?  A few things.


  1.  The path to gaining wisdom begins with seeking understanding.  Solomon, the wisest man in the Bible, said it this way: “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.  Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7).  Although God graced Solomon with supernatural wisdom, the king explained that getting understanding is going to cost you something.  Solomon told us that it may even cost us all we have. Sometimes it takes focus, thoughtful consideration, determined prayer, and careful study to gain understanding.  But the investment is well worth it. If you get to the point where you received a Word from God and you truly understand it, then that Word is going to produce an amazing harvest in your life.  That’s where you want to get to. Seek understanding with all your heart.


  1.  If you hear a Word from God, but you don’t understand it, you are not in position to make the most of the Word you received.  This is why you must carefully and prayerfully seek understanding.


  1.  The goal is for the Word of God to produce in your life.  But you cannot apply a Word you do not understand. So don’t just read or hear the Word.  Ask the Holy Spirit, who is the author of the book, to give you understanding. Once you have understanding of a Word from God, you can put that Word into practice, you can walk it out, and you can experience a harvest from it.  That should be your goal daily.


  1.  You will never maximize what you do not understand.  When you have a true understanding of something, you are in position to apply it, leverage it, and benefit from it.  But if you do not understand a truth, that truth is not useful to you. In all your getting, get understanding!


  1.  Don’t approach the Word of God as an obligation.  Don’t read God’s Word because you are simply holding yourself to a reading plan.  Don’t go to church out of tradition. Don’t sit under teaching without a heart to receive or ears to hear.  When you have an opportunity to receive the Word of God — whether in written form or audibly — always position yourself to hear what God is saying.  Pray for wisdom. Seek understanding. This is the only way you will develop a “working knowledge” of scripture that is useful/beneficial in a way that will bring about significant change in your life.


  1.  Once you understand a Word from God, no one, not even satan himself, can take that Word from you.  Your goal should be to get a true understanding of the Word of God. Once you understand it, it’s in your heart, it becomes yours, and you will never lose it.  At that point you can apply it, live it, and experience a harvest from it. This is how you live by faith. Living by faith is living by God’s Word!


Closing Confession:  

Father, this is a season of expectation for me.  I seek divine wisdom daily. I pursue understanding.  Whenever I am in position to receive Your Word — whether in church, though someone else, or in my reading time — I always approach the moment with eyes open to see, ears open to hear, and my heart open to understand.  I do this because I know that if I can ever see, hear and understand a Word from You, I can be CHANGED by the Word I see, hear and understand. So that’s my goal. I approach Your Word daily ready to receive it, understand it, believe it, declare it, apply it, and live it!  This is how I will become the man/woman You birthed me to be. This is how You are going to change the world through me! I am a world-changer, atmosphere setter, and problem solver, because I live with an understanding of Your Word! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!


This is Today’s Word.  Apply it and prosper!


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