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.”
For days we have been studying “the worries of this life,” or as other translations read, “the cares of this world.” Today we will flow in the same vein.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. When God gives you a Word (or a promise), He expects you to take Him at His Word.
— Most of the time, there is a space between the promise you get from God and the performance of the promise. In that space, satan will do all he can to get you to shift your focus away from what God said. If you do, you can easily get distracted by the cares of this world and/or your selfish desires. If you don’t refocus your attention, before you know it, the cares of this world will choke out the Word and keep it from working in your life.
— If you have confidence in God, you believe His Word is good, and you believe God will do what He said, that is called FAITH! Living by faith means you are living by God’s Word, you have the confidence to take God at His Word, and you resist fear, doubt, worry, and unbelief while you are waiting on God to do what He promised.
— True faith has a rest component to it. When you are in faith, you are also in rest. You rest because you know, deep down in your heart, 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. You know it is merely a matter of time before it manifests in the earth realm.
— If you don’t take God at His Word and enter into God’s rest concerning it, you run the risk of allowing the cares of this world to choke out the Word. However, 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 the cares of this world or anything else.
— 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.
— Once you enter into God’s rest, you feel no pressure to “perform” to earn it or deserve it. You simply believe, and you are ready to do, by faith, whatever you have to do in order to lay hold of God’s grace.
2. God’s Word (His promise) is always working, even when you can’t see it working.
We have been looking at Mark 4:13-20. Later on in the same chapter, Jesus said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself, the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it because the harvest has come.” (Mark 4:26-29)
— Jesus likened the Word of God to seed, and He likened us to the soil. Jesus explained that the Word will work “all by itself.” It doesn’t need your help. It just needs you NOT to stifle it from doing what it does!
— A farmer does not have to have a degree in agriculture to farm. He does not need to understand how the seed produces. All he needs to do is sow the seed and allow the seed and the soil to do what God created them to do. That’s the picture God gives us for His Word. The Word of God will work if you simply give it the time and space it needs to work. You don’t have to make it work, but you do have to ensure you are not fighting against it from working. If you give your mind over to the cares of this world, the love of money, or the lust for selfish desires, you are literally creating and feeding weeds that are working against the Word.
— When God sows His Word into your heart, He wants you to rest in what He said. If you rest in what He said, then the Word will work, whether you understand how it is going to work or not. You don’t need to know how God is going to do it. You just have to believe that He will. However, if you feed your doubts and meditate on the cares of this world, your heart will produce weeds that will choke out the Word. That’s why your thoughts are so important to God. What you focus on daily is critically important to what you experience in Christ.
— Jesus told us that the word is working even while the farmer is sleeping. It does not matter if the farmer is sleeping, awake, or doing something else. Just as long as he is not fighting against the process, the process is always working.
— Even when the farmer can’t see what is going on under the ground, he has to believe that the seed and the soil are doing what they do! He has to simply leave them alone, give them time and space, and they will produce. This is how it is with God. There are times when it looks like nothing is happening. But rest assured, something is happening under the ground. You just can’t see it. God is always working to do what He said He would do in your life!
— While you are resting, God is working. The farmer does not need to know how this thing works; he just knows that it produces. That’s exactly what happens when you rest in God’s Word. You don’t take on any pressure to make it happen. You make yourself available to God to do something if He leads you to do it. But otherwise, you are trusting Him to do what He said He would do. This is how you resist the cares of this world. This is how you keep yourself from getting distracted. This is how you avoid creating weeds that will fight against God’s seed.
— All you have to do with God’s word is allow it to do what it does in your heart! Don’t allow the cares of this world and the worries of this life to cause you to interrupt the Word while it is working. Believe me; it is always working!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, this is a season of LEVELING UP for me! I LEVEL UP in 2021 by meditating and medicating on Your Word day and night. I put Your Word through my eye-gates, and it gets down in my heart. I put Your Word through my ear-gates, and it gets down in my heart. Now that Your Word has been sown into the soil of my heart, I allow Your Word to work. I don’t need to know how. I don’t need to know when. I just need to trust that You, as the Lord of the Harvest, will see to it that Your Word produces in my life. Even while I’m sleeping, Your Word is working. My part is to ensure I don’t produce weeds that will work against Your Word. So I refuse to take on the cares of this world. For years I worked hard, on my own, with human ability, and I did not give You a chance to work in my life. Now I rest and allow You to work. I will only do what You lead me to do. This is a much better way to live! This is why I know GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.