This morning we continue our series entitled “Leveling Up with the Word!” We have been looking at the parable of the sower. Let’s get back to it today.
Setting the stage:
(Mark 4:13-20 ERV)
“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.”
We are still looking at the rocky ground. These are the people who, as Jesus said, “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.” Let’s go deeper.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. You can trouble your trouble and not be troubled by it.
Here is the definition of “trouble” from Noah Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language (1828 edition): To agitate; to disturb; to perplex; to put into confused motion. When God sows His Word in your heart, the Bible says trouble will come BECAUSE of it.
— Satan will do all he can to agitate, disturb, perplex, and confuse you.
— Satan does this because he knows that if you FOCUS on the trouble, and you begin to meditate on it, you will lose your focus on what God said.
— Once you are no longer focused on what God said, and the trouble you are facing becomes more real to you than the Word God spoke, then you will be like the rocky ground in Jesus’ story. Jesus said that these people do not have deep roots in the Word of God, and as soon as trouble and persecution come because of the Word they heard, they are QUICK TO GIVE UP!
— Make sure you understand the context. This is someone who received a word from God. God went out of His way to sow this word down in their heart. God did His part. He provided the word. Along with the word, God provided both the power for the word to produce and the grace for the soil to endure. So God provided the seed, He put power in the seed, He sowed the seed into the soil, and He put His grace on the soil. All the soil has to do now is wait. This is where satan comes in. Satan stirs up trouble because he wants the soil to quit. Remember how powerless satan is against God and the things of God. Satan cannot make the soil quit. Satan cannot corrupt the seed. Satan cannot remove the grace God placed on the soil to produce. All satan can do is stir up trouble and HOPE that the soil will get so frustrated, perplexed, and confused that IT DECIDES TO QUIT!
— If the soil decides to quit and give up on God’s promise, satan did not actually stop them. They stopped themselves by giving up on God and His Word. Please don’t make this mistake. If God said it, the Word He spoke WILL PRODUCE in your life if you do not give up before your harvest time!
— The devil brings trouble because he is trying to get you agitated, disturbed, perplexed, and confused. However, when you continue to believe God, despite the trouble, you leave the devil agitated, disturbed, perplexed, and confused. He will not understand why you seem to be unbothered by his attacks. In this way, you can trouble your trouble and not be troubled by it!
2. You don’t have to feel persecuted by persecution.
Here is the definition of “persecution” from Noah Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language (1828 edition): Severe affliction; distresses of life; vexations; the infliction of pain, particularly for adhering to a religious creed or mode of worship, either by way of penalty or for compelling them to renounce their principles.
— Satan is looking for you to renounce your principles. He wants you to give up on what you are believing God for.
— Satan knows that if you receive a Word from God and you stand on that Word, the Word will produce Godly change IN you and then Godly fruit FROM you. This is why he puts pressure on you to give up while you are standing. And this is why God tells you, “Having done all, STAND!” And when you feel like you can’t keep going, the Holy Spirit will say, “Keep STANDING, for I am STANDING with you!”
— The three Hebrew boys were persecuted for what they believed. When they refused to bow before the king, the heat in the furnace was cranked up 7X hotter than normal. Level 1 fire was enough to kill them. Cranking the heat up to Level 8 was not going to change anything. But this is exactly what satan does. He will crank up the heat on you, putting pressure on you, hoping you will give up, cave in, and quit. But like the Hebrew boys, you can refuse to give up. Even if you get thrown into the fire, we serve a God who will GET IN THE FIRE WITH YOU! If you DON’T BOW, you WON’T BURN!
— Don’t allow any pressure or persecution from the enemy to cause you to lose your faith! You shall reap… if you don’t give up!
— Never allow what the enemy causes you to SEE in the earth to cause you to change what God SAID from heaven, or what you are SAYING in the earth!
— If you focus on what heaven SAID and what heaven is SAYING, you will not be moved by what you see and hear in the earth. This is how you experience heaven-on-earth!
— Persecution may come, but you don’t have to be persecuted by it.
In closing, I want to point out that while it is true that the Word you received from God will attract trouble and persecution, it will also attract favor and grace. So while you are facing challenges, please remember that the favor of God will be drawn to the promises of God, and God’s grace (to perform) has been allocated to every Word He declared!
That’s enough for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, this is a season of LEVELING UP for me. My expectation to LEVEL UP tied to Your Word and what You have spoken over me for this season. So I meditate and medicate on this Word day and night. I understand how the purpose and potential You placed IN me, along with the purpose and potential found in Your Word, will attract trouble and persecution. That’s okay. I shall not be moved. I will not be shaken. I refuse to be swayed. I keep my heart, and my mind fixed and focused on You. Even if the devil cranks up the heat on me, even if he intensifies the pressure, I refuse to quit. I will not allow what I see and hear in this world to cause me to lose heart from what I saw and heard from heaven! No devil, demon, or demonic influence can derail me from my destiny! I LEVEL UP my commitment to standing on Your Word! GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.