Today we continue our series, “Progress On Purpose.” I told you that God wants us to walk in “NEW LEVELS IN 2021!” But if we are going to do so, we must be intentional about our progress. With that in mind, as we lay the foundation for the year, I told you that I would discuss “Leveling Up” in five areas:
We have covered the first three thus far. Today we are looking at the fourth: Leveling up internally. In this section, I will cover the following:
1. Being anxious for nothing
2. Receiving unshakable peace
3. Joy and peace in believing
4. Relaxing your mind and getting physical/psychological rest
5. The highest form of faith is rest
Yesterday I mentioned giving the Word SPACE to work in your heart. I will flow in that same vein today.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things:
(Mark 4:18,19 ERV)
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.
1. You have to give the Word space.
In this text, Jesus explains how the Word of God is seed (Peter calls it an incorruptible seed; 1 Peter 1:23). He then explains how this seed is sown into the soil of our hearts. In Jesus’ story, the same sower took the same seed and put it into four different types of soil. The results varied because the soil varied. In other words, the issue was not with the sower or the seed. The varying results had everything to do with the quality of the soil. To be clear, the soil, in this case, is in our hearts. If our hearts are not ready to receive God’s Word, the Word won’t produce. Not because there is something wrong with the Word (the seed), but simply because there is something wrong with our hearts (the soil). So, as I am teaching about Leveling Up Internally, I am driving home the importance of cleaning out our hearts from the weeds that will choke out the Word and keep it from working. Those weeds are the cares of this world, the love of money, and selfish desires. As we are still laying the foundation for 2021 in the first quarter of the year, this is the time to consider what we are growing in our hearts and clear out anything that will stifle God’s Word from working.
2. The danger of the cares of this world.
Please take a moment to picture the visual Jesus gives in this parable. The sower takes it upon Himself to sow seed into the soil. Why? Because HE is looking for results. The process did not start in the soil. The desire for the results was birthed in the heart of the sower. The sower wants to see results, so HE provides the same seed to four different types of soil. He gets varying results based on the soil. In the case of the ground with thorny weeds, Jesus paints a picture of weeds actually growing alongside the good seed. The problem is that the weeds are FED more than the seed. So the strength of the weeds eventually overpower the good seed and keep it from producing a harvest. This is exactly what happens when God starts a process in you — a process that was birthed in His heart an,d one designed to produce results in your life — and you allow the cares of this world to stifle and eventually stop God’s process from working in your life. This is a powerful picture, and we should learn from it.
3. Don’t feed the weeds.
a) God not only went out of His way to pursue you to ensure His messengers presented you with the Gospel so you could be Born-Again, but God is actively pursuing you now, to sow His Word into your heart. God sows His Word as seed into the soil of your heart so it can produce a Godly harvest in your life – a harvest God planned from the foundations of the world. But when you give more attention to the cares of this world than you do the Word that is sown in your heart, you are hindering God and His Word from working in your life. Look at it this way: Picture your “focus” as feed. The soil of your heart has both the seed of God’s Word and the weeds of this world. Whatever you FOCUS on is whatever you are FEEDING. If you focus on the cares of this world, the love of money and selfish desires, you are literally FEEDING THE WEEDS. As a result, the weeds will grow up and choke out the Word. However, if you FOCUS on God, His Word, and what he is saying to you in this season, you are FEEDING THE WORD. As a result, you will grow your faith and the Word will work in your life. So make no mistake, your focus is critically important. Good or bad, whatever you give your focus/attention to is what will produce in your life.
b) When you give the cares of this world more attention than the Word of God you are working against what God wants to do in your life.
c) You get to choose what you give your attention to. Jesus likened the cares of this world to weeds, and He likened His Word to seed. Your focus can FEED either one. If you focus on the cares of this world, the love of money, and your selfish desires, you will be feeding your weeds more than God’s seed and when people look at your life all they will see is weeds.
*** The fruit of your life, what you are producing on the outside, is actually a testimony of what is happening in your life on the inside.
*** Whatever you give your focus to internally is what will manifest externally.
d) When you choose to meditate and medicate on God’s Word day and night, you are training yourself to think like God. Once your mind is aligned with God, your actions will follow. Inward transformation produces outward results. You will produce fruit, everyone will notice, and people will start to see God working IN you and THROUGH you. While most Christians want to produce fruit, many fail to realize that external fruit begins with internal renewal.
*** You will never act like God on the earth until you start to think like Him in your mind.
*** Meditating and meditating on God’s Word day and night helps you feed your faith and starve your weeds!
4. Clear your heart!
a) One of the greatest things you can do in 2021 is to declutter your heart. Don’t allow your heart to become FULL of OTHER THINGS.
b) When you begin to live life from heaven’s perspective (from God’s point of view), you will have a hard time finding anything that causes any true care or concern. Said another way: Your life will NOT be full of “the cares of this world,” if you are living from the perspective of another world. When you look at things from heaven’s point of view, the way God does, nothing is impossible, nothing is too hard, and nothing is overwhelming.
c) When you live your life from God’s point of view, you will quickly find that your desires and pursuits will be different. Your heart’s desire will be for the things of God. You will start to want what God wants for your life and along the way you will realize how selfish and self-centered you used to be.
d) When God gives you a Word, He expects you to take Him at His Word. He is good for it. When you release faith in what God said, you are demonstrating your confidence that He will do what He said He would do. At this point, you must resist the urge to take on “care” while you are waiting on God. The devil will do all he can to distract, discourage, and derail you from God’s promise, which is why it is so critically important that you protect your mind and your heart. When you cast down negative thoughts and internally focus on God and His Word, you are clearing OUT the weeds from your heart. Doing this gives the Word SPACE to work and produce!
e) You must remain IN-FAITH throughout the space between the promise and the performance. Living by faith means you are living by God’s Word, you have the confidence to take Him at His Word, and you actively resist every inkling to fear, doubt or worry in the process.
f) We are called and commanded to walk and live by faith. True faith has a rest component to it. When you are in faith, you are also in-rest, knowing that God already did what He said He was going to do. He did it by His unearned grace. He did it from the foundations of the world. He did it within the halls of eternity and it simply has not manifested itself in time yet. Living by faith means you believe God’s promise is already done in heaven and the manifestation of it in the earth is merely a matter of time.
g) Receiving God’s peace is great, but entering into God’s rest takes you to another level. When you enter into God’s rest concerning something, then that’s it! As far as you are concerned, it’s a done deal. No matter how long it actually takes to manifest in the earth, you know the matter is settled in heaven and you are not moved by anything you see. When you live this way you do not allow “the cares of this world” to choke out the Word.
h) Once you enter into God’s rest, the pressure of the situation has no power over you. You don’t take on any care because you are confident in God and what He said. The enemy can try, but the pressure he attempts to put on you, while you are waiting on God, is resisted because you have entered into God’s rest concerning it. This is a picture of a CLEAR HEART! No weeds… only God’s Word!
That’s enough for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank you for sending people to SOW Your Word down into my heart. I received the gospel, I accepted Jesus as Lord, and I am Born-Again. Now that I am born-from-above, I feed my heart with your Word daily. I then meditate and medicate Your Word day and night. Your Word is seed. I have the seed of Your Word sown into the soil of my heart. Your seed produces fruit through my life. The fruit I produce on the outside is birthed from what You are doing on the inside of me. Instead of giving my attention and focus to the cares of this world, the love of money, and selfish desires, I give my laser-focus to Your Word. I feed my faith (Your seed) and starve my doubts (the weeds) daily! This way, when people look at me, they will see the fruit Your Word is producing! My inward transformation is leading to outward manifestation. I level up on the inside in 2021! GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith, in Jesus’s name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!