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 for 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.”
Jesus described three types of weeds in the thorny ground: the cares of this world, the love of money, and everything else people want. We have already covered the first two. I hope you enjoyed what I said about the cares of this world and the love of money. We have seen how those things will choke out the Word and keep it from working in your life. Today we shift to the third type of weed. When Jesus said, “everything else they want,” He was talking about people who hear the Word, but their internal lust for other things keeps them from receiving God’s desires and His best. Let’s talk about it.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Priorities matter to God.
— We serve a God who does not look at your outward appearance. He looks at your heart. He checks your inner intent. So when your heart is set on “other things,” the Father knows it. You may be able to fool people, but you will never fool God. He searches your heart daily.
— God wants to be first place in your life. He wants to occupy the highest position in your heart. When He does not, He knows you, as His child, are consumed with selfish desires.
— Jesus is teaching that God’s Word will work, but only if you set the conditions in your heart for the Word to do so. When your heart is full of selfish desires, the soil of your heart will produce, but it just won’t produce a Godly harvest. Instead, it will produce weeds. Far too many believers go to church Sunday after Sunday, only to then produce weeds all week long. If you want your life to produce the fruit God sent you to this planet to produce, you must rid yourself of all competing priorities.
— To be clear, you can be Born-Again and miss out on God’s best. You will still make it to heaven, but you will do so, only to find out that you did not accomplish what you were born to accomplish; that you did not do what you were sent to this planet to do. Why does this happen? It happens because people allow their lives to become full of selfish desires.
— A selfish desire is any desire that was birthed in your heart and not God’s! God wants your life to be about HIM, not you.
— God is not going to force you to be blessed. His blessing has already been stored up for you. Daily, God is trying to get you to walk in it. But if you stubbornly continue to walk down the path of selfish desires, He will stand by and allow you to reap the harvest of your decisions.
— You are not a puppet, and God is no grand puppet-master. God is not pulling your strings. He has stored up your blessing and prepared your success. But the only way to experience what He has for you is by dying to the person you became on your own. You can either die to self (and live the life God planned for you) or you can continue to pursue life on your own terms. God will allow whatever you decide. You can choose Him or choose self. Either way, the choice is yours! Just remember, you will reap whatever you sow.
2. God wants you to want Him!
Let’s look at two verses David penned.
(Psalm 27:4 NLT)
The one thing I ask of the LORD—the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.
(Psalm 84:10 NIV)
Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
— Walking with God is not complicated. He made plans for you before the world began, and He wants you to be willing to give up your plans for His.
— Once you are Born-Again, if you are willing to die to self, you will also die to sin and selfish desires. At this point, you are free to be led by the impulses of the Holy Spirit, and you will become the man/woman God called you to be.
— Since God knows your heart, He knows when you have truly made Him #1 in your life. Once you do, and God knows it, He will withhold no good gift from you.
— David was flawed. He made mistakes. He committed adultery. He got a woman prgant and then had the woman’s husband killed. But in the New Testament, when David is mentioned, God honors him. Not because of his sin and not because he later did everything. But simply because David had a heart for God.
— When you have a heart for God and His desires are your desires, God will use you for His glory. Sure, you won’t be perfect. You will still make mistakes. But when God searches your heart, He sees a person who simply wants to please Him on this planet. When you get to that point, your life will be amazing because it will be the life God planned.
— I am in the Dominican Republic today, away from my own kids, wanting to see the kids we minister to here. Why? Because I want what God wants. I have a desire that God placed in my heart, and my pursuit in life is His desire for me. I pray you get to that point as well.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, this is a season of LEVELING UP for me! I LEVEL UP by leveling up in my heart. There were times in my life when I pursued other things. But those times are over. I want You! I give You first place in my life. You are my #1 priority. I pursue Your purpose. I want to become the man You called me to be. I die to sin, self, and selfishness. I die to selfish pursuits. I die to me, so You can live through me. And as I do, Your Word works in my life, You produce fruit IN and THROUGH me, and You get to use me to leave a mark in this world that will not easily be erased! This is why I keep declaring: GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.