Change Happens INSIDE First

by Rick

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:

Jesus said:

(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.”  

I will continue to focus on the line, “the worries of this life.”  Other translations read, “the cares of this world.”  Let’s get into it.

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

1.  What you feed the most matters.

Take a moment to picture the visual Jesus gives in this parable.  The sower takes it upon Himself to sow seed in the soil.  Why?  Because HE is looking for results.  The same sower provides the same seed to four different types of soil and he gets varying results, based on the soil.  In the case of the ground with thorny weeds, Jesus paints of the picture of weeds actually growing alongside the good seed.  The problem is that the weeds are fed more than the seed.  

— Your mind is always working.  It is always thinking about something.  If you give your attention to something, and you meditate/medicate on it, think of it as “feeding” that thought in your mind.

— You get to choose which thoughts you are going to feed.  If you feed the thoughts from God and His Word, then those thoughts will grow.  If you feed thoughts from satan and your selfish desires, those thoughts will grow.  Jesus likened satan’s thoughts and your selfish desires to weeds.  If you feed the weeds more than you feed God’s seed, the strength of the weeds eventually overpower God’s seed and keep it from producing a harvest.  This is what happens when you allow the cares of this world to choke out the Word from producing in your life. 

— What thoughts are you going to feed the most?  Let me help you with the answer: Don’t feed the weeds!

— Make a decision to meditate and medicate God’s Word day and night.  If you do, you will feed your faith and starve your doubts!

2.  You can avoid self-inflicted wounds, setbacks, and delays.

I have done lots of teaching about the fact that both God and satan are after your heart.  God wants you to believe what He believes about you.  Satan wants the same.  While I could teach about God vs. satan (and I often do), today, within the context of the thorny ground in Jesus’ parable, I have to talk about God vs. YOU!  

When you allow the cares of this world, the love of money, and selfish desires, to grow in your heart, your humanity is producing weeds that choke out your divinity.  You can’t blame satan for this.  This is all on you.  In this military, we would call this a self-inflicted wound.

— My point is that you already have enough to deal with when dealing with the attacks of satan.  Don’t add to your problems by bringing them upon yourself.

— When you choose to 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.

— Your life will be much easier when you simply die to sin, self, and selfishness, so you can give the Word of God the priority and space it needs to produce in your heart.

3.  God has to work IN YOU before He can work THROUGH YOU!

The things of God always manifest on the inside well before they manifest on the outside.  This is why God is working IN YOU.  He sows His seed (the Word) in your heart because He needs you to believe what He believes about you.  The Word of God helps you to align with the God of the Word.  The more you fill your heart with God’s Word, and the more you align with it, the more you will become what you behold (God’s image).  

— For God to produce the fruit THROUGH YOU that He intended from the foundations of the world, He needs to get His Word to produce fruit IN YOU first.

— Once you can see it and believe it on the inside, it is only a matter of time before you experience it on the outside.  But none of this will happen if you fill your heart with the weeds of this world (the cares of this world, the love of money, and selfish desires).

— I have told you before that your legs will never take you where your mind and heart have never been.  You have to see it (first) in order to be it.  You have to believe it (on the inside) before you can have it.

— When you choose to meditate and medicate on God’s Word day and night, you are giving God and His Word the time and space they need to do what they need to do in your heart.  God’s works on the inside first.  And the good news is that once you see it, once you believe it, once you get convinced (fully persuaded) by God concerning it, it is only a matter of time before you see, in your hands, what God already revealed, in your heart.  But it won’t happen on the OUTSIDE until it happens on the INSIDE!

This is why this parable matters.  This is why we must not have competing priorities when it comes to God and His Word! 

Declaration of Faith

Father, this is a season of LEVELING UP for me!  I LEVEL UP in 2021 by giving You and Your Word priority over everything else.  You are working on something in me.  You go out of Your way to sow Your Word in my heart, because You are attempting to produce fruit from my life.  I want You to operate IN, WITH, and THROUGH me, so I cooperate with You.  Instead of giving my attention and focus to the cares of this world, I give my attention and laser-focus to You and Your Word.  I feed my faith and starve my doubts daily!  I see myself the way You see me.  I believe what You believe about me.  And since I see it on the inside, it is only a matter of time before I have it on the outside!  Which is why I keep saying, GREATER IS COMING FOR ME!  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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

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