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? Let’s discuss what you must do with the Word you received from God. If you do these things, you will NOT become the rocky ground Jesus described.
1. You must maintain your expectation for manifestation after the emotional high is over.
— Jesus said the people who are likened to the rocky ground not only hear the Word of God, but they quickly and gladly accept it. The issue is not whether or not they rejected the Word. On the surface, they did the right thing. They accepted what God said, and they accepted it with a smile on their face. However, that’s all they did. Because they failed to allow the Word of God to “go deep into their lives,” it did not produce a harvest (life-changing results). Don’t make this mistake.
— Receiving the Word with gladness on Sunday is good, but it is just the beginning. High-fiving your neighbor, taking good notes while your Pastor is preaching, and leaving the church with a smile on your face BECAUSE of the Word is all good, but what happens after you leave the church is more important. Once you have the Word in your heart, you have to decide what you are going to do with it. The potential of the Word of God will attract opposition, and if you don’t allow that Word to go deep into your life, you will quickly give up when trouble and persecution come BECAUSE of the Word you received.
— The reason why you received the Word with gladness (initially) is because you got excited about the possibility of God doing what He said. It is the expectation of manifestation that causes great excitement in our hearts. We begin to imagine ourselves receiving, doing, becoming, and enjoying what God said. Believe me, when God gives you a Word, it is super-exciting. Just thinking about it gets you fired up. But the key to NOT becoming the rocky ground Jesus talked about is maintaining this expectation for the long haul.
— Jesus explained how the Word you received from God would attract trouble and persecution. Your faith must be strong enough to maintain your level of expectation, even in the face of opposition, obstacles, challenges, and pain. This goes far beyond the initial excitement you had when God said what He said. This type of patience, endurance, and perseverance is required to walk and live by faith successfully.
So, receive the Word with gladness. Get excited when you first receive what God said. Just don’t allow that excitement to wane because of opposition and pain. If you hold on to what God said, you will see what He said manifested in your life!
2. You must dedicate yourself to going DEEP with God! No area of your life should be off-limits.
One of the issues Jesus had with the “rocky ground people” is that they do not allow the Word of God to go deep into their lives. They are surface-level Christians. They look the part. They know how to “fit in” to Christian culture. They sound the part. They know the words to the songs and when to clap. But they don’t fully live the part. They get excited when God says something to them, but they are quick to give up when trouble and opposition come (because of the Word they heard), and it is simply because they never allow the Word of God to deep into their lives.
If you want the Word of God to go deep into your life/heart, here are a few things to consider:
— Don’t have any area of your life that is off-limits to God. God is either Lord OF all or He is not Lord AT all.
— Get the Word down in your heart. This means YOU must read it (to get it through your eye gates) and listen to it (to get it through our ear gates). God is not going to get the Word down in your heart for you. You must read and listen. You must put in the work and time. This has to be an act of your free will.
— Once God’s Word is in your heart, meditate and medicate on it. Nurse-it and rehearse-it. If it was good to you when God said it, it will be good to you as you repeat it over and over in your mind and in your mouth.
— Be quick to repent (which means to make a change and head in a different direction), whenever there is a conflict between God’s Word and your habits/routines. This is how you put God’s Word into action, and this is how God’s Word produces a lasting change in your life.
If you do these things, you will NOT be the rocky ground Jesus taught about in the parable of the sower.
3. You cannot be moved by the opposition that will come BECAUSE of the Word God spoke!
— Don’t get moved by opposition. You have learned in this series that when sowers come (people God sends to speak to us), the Word will come, then faith can come (Romans 10:17), but then satan will come because he is after the Word God sowed in your heart.
— Jesus made it clear that trouble and persecution will come BECAUSE of the Word we received. The Word is so powerful that it attracts opposition from the enemy. So don’t be surprised when opposition comes. Don’t’ get frustrated if things get more challenging before you experience a breakthrough. Focus on the Word. Meditate on what God said. Don’t allow yourself to be moved.
— When God speaks, part of your job, in faith, is to repeat what He said. You are to believe what God believes about you and declare what He decreed over your life. You have to keep saying what God said, in faith, until you see what God said manifested in the earth.
— Saying what God said is easy when everything on earth is lining up with what heaven revealed. But what about when it isn’t? Satan brings trouble and persecution because he is hoping you will GIVE UP on what God said. He is hoping you will cast away your confidence (Hebrews 10:35). He is hoping you will change your confession. But since Paul taught us that the unseen realm (what God reveals in our heart) is more real to us than the seen (2 Corinthians 4:18), we refuse to allow what we see with our natural eyes to cause us to change what we say or what we believe.
Jesus said the “rocky ground” believers give up when trouble and persecution come. Don’t let this be you! You stand strong on what God said. When opposition comes, you keep standing. When it feels like you can’t go any further, you lift up your eyes to God, you tap into the power of the Holy Spirit, and you keep standing… you keep believing… you keep declaring… you live with an expectation that you will see (in your hands) what God revealed (in your heart). This is the life of faith, and it is how we are supposed to live!
That’s enough for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, this is a season of Leveling UP for me! I Level UP by giving careful attention to Your Word. I meditate and medicate on Your Word day and night. I believe what You believe about me. So I open up my mouth and declare what You have decreed over me. I know it will not always be easy. I know Your promise will attract trouble and persecution. But I shall not be moved. Your Word goes deep into my life. I live with an expectation of manifestation. I shall see every promise You have ever given me MANIFEST in my life before I die because I refuse to quit. I will never lower my expectation. I will never change my confession. 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.