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. These weeds compete with and ultimately run the risk of overtaking the Word of God. We have already covered the first two. We have been looking at the third for a few days. We will continue to flow in this same vein today with a message entitled, “You can simplify your life.”
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. You void out the power of God’s Word in your life when you allow your heart to be consumed with selfish desires.
— God has given you the keys to success, happiness, and eternal security. These keys are found in His Word. If you allow God’s instructions to be the ruler by which you judge every one of your decisions, you will experience an amazing life; it will be the life God birthed you to live. However, if you allow your life to become “full of other things,” things other than God’s ways, you run the risk of missing out on God’s best and becoming someone you were not birthed to be.
— The Word of God contains the will of God documented. It tells you about God, this world, and yourself. It contains instruction, inspiration, and power. Furthermore, the Word of God is alive. The words contained in this book are full of God’s Spirit and life. This is the one book on this planet that you can read and be changed supernaturally by, because it is a supernatural book. Wouldn’t it be a shame to have access to a book like, a God-book, but then nullify the power of the book because you have filled your heart with “other things”?
— Jesus explained that the power contained in God’s Word (which is clearly supernatural) could be nullified, stifled, and choked out by the weeds of worry, the love of money, and selfish desires. Please don’t make this mistake. The Father goes out of His way to get His Word down in your heart. But if you don’t make your heart a place that is conducive to the seed of His Word, you are wasting God’s efforts. In the military, whenever someone wasted or misused something from the government, they could be accused of “a misappropriation of government resources.” Within the context of today’s message, when you receive the Word of God but then cancel it out with selfish desires, you can be accused of a misappropriation of God’s grace. You are wasting God’s efforts and nullifying the power He has made available to you.
2. Once you are Born-Again, the Holy Spirit can help simplify your life.
— Every generation has its set of challenges. I was talking to someone yesterday about some of the challenges facing the generation that is coming up right now. We talked about how those of us who are in ministry, and who are called to minister to this generation, are facing some things the previous generations did not face. You can make the argument that things are more complicated today. But the counterargument is that God is still God, the Holy Spirit still has power, Jesus is still sitting on the throne, and if we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, He will give us the insight we need to minister to every generation. Why? Because there is nothing God does not know, and there is nothing God cannot do. If we keep our focus on Him, ministry, and life in general, are less complicated.
— We make life hard, confusing, and overly complicated when we pursue things that are outside of God’s will. We are doing this to ourselves. But when we strip away everything but God and the life He birthed us to live, life becomes more simple, the pursuit of success becomes more clear, the rewards become much more fulfilling, and the impact we can have in this world becomes much greater.
3. God’s vision is supposed to restrain you and keep you laser-focused.
(John 5:19,20 ERV)
19 But Jesus answered, “I assure you that the Son can do nothing alone. He does only what he sees his Father doing. The Son does the same things that the Father does.
20 The Father loves the Son and shows him everything he does…
(John 5:30 ERV)
Jesus said, “I can do nothing alone. I judge only the way I am told. And my judgment is right, because I am not trying to please myself. I want only to please the one who sent me.”
(John 6:38 ERV)
Jesus said, “I came down from heaven to do what God wants, not what I want.”
(Prov 29:18 AMP)
Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish…
(Prov 29:18 NIV)
Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint…
Life for Jesus on this planet was pretty simple. He got up every morning, went off to pray, He received His instructions from heaven (His orders from quarters), and He then allowed the Holy Spirit to guide Him throughout the day. He had no competing priorities. He had not selfish desires. Simply put, His humanity was not in the way of His divinity. This is how we are supposed to live.
Once we are Born-Again, we are human conduits of the divine. Everything that was made available to Jesus is made available to us. We have the same faith, the same Holy Spirit, and access to the same power. As Jesus is, so are we, in this world (1 John 4:17). But we make life complicated when we get consumed with the cares of this world, the love of money, and selfish desires.
Once we are Born-Again, the Holy Spirit begins to reveal the plans God made for us before the world began. This is called “vision,” and this vision is supposed to restrain us.
— The Bible teaches that those with no vision cast off restraint (Prov 29:18). They try anything. They dibble and dabble in just about everything. They don’t know where they are going, so they loosely stumble their way through life. Jesus did not live this way. He was focused. He had vision, and He pursued with discipline and determination.
— God provides you vision because He wants you to live your life with clarity.
— Those who have a clear vision from God are restrained by it. They don’t chase every opportunity. They don’t accept every offer. They know where they are going, and they refuse to allow their lives to become, as Jesus said, “full of other things.”
— When you live your life with divine vision, you can enter every day focused, and life becomes much more simple.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, this is a season of LEVELING UP for me! I LEVEL UP by leveling up in my heart. I strip away everything that is not like You. I declare that Your purpose and vision are my only pursuit. I have no other desire. I have no other assignment. You sent me to this planet for a reason. I will accomplish my divine assignment before I die. I refuse to allow my life to become “full of other things.” My life is ONLY full of You and the divine purpose You gave me. Living this way, I get to tap into the abundance of grace You provided for me, and I get to experience Your best every day. My life simple, clear, and focused. Therefore, GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.