This morning we continue our series entitled “Leveling Up with the Word!” We have been looking at the parable of the sower. So let’s continue through it today.
(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 start to wrap up this series. We have a few more messages. Let’s seek to close out today strong and head into the weekend strong.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Hearing from God is not a one-time event.
This parable is about hearing from God (through the written Word or the Holy Spirit) and then making the most from what you heard. This is how God’s Word produces a harvest in our lives.
The following is an excerpt from my book (Level Up Your Life):
(2 Corinthians 3:17,18 ERV)
17 The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
18 And our faces are not covered. We all show the Lord’s glory, and we are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings more and more glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
“The Apostle Paul talks about us beholding the glory of the Lord and then being continually changed into that very same image. The way Paul explains it, the longer we walk with God, and the more we are changed into His image, the more glory is revealed. The more glory we are exposed to, and the more we gaze into God’s glory, the more we become what we behold. Beholding God’s glory and becoming what you behold is a process that should repeat itself for the rest of your life.
You cannot just hear from the Holy Spirit one time. You must hear and then continue to hear. Being led by the Holy Spirit is not a one-time event. It is a lifelong journey.”
In the book, I use Abraham as an example of this. I say:
“Abraham heard from God clearly when it was time to offer his son up as a sacrifice…” But, “If Abraham did not remain open to continue to hear from God, he would have killed his son.”
2. You can be good ground today and wayside ground tomorrow.
Whenever I teach from the parable of the sower, I have people say, “I am good ground.” However, to be clear, you may be good ground now, but that does not mean you will be good ground forever.
Maybe you are good ground today, but let’s say, a few days from now, the Holy Spirit speaks to you. He gives you a clear Word. You receive it. But you don’t understand it. You don’t know what God meant by it. Obviously, God wants you to seek understanding concerning it. He wants you to meditate and medicate on it. He wants you to pray about it and ask Him concerning it. However, if you think to yourself, “Man, I don’t know what that means. Ah, no big deal. I will think about it later.” Guess what? Later may never come. The text says that satan will come immediately and snatch away the Word you did not understand. This happens to all of us. We are all going to get to heaven, only to realize that there were things God spoke to us about, but we did not understand what He meant at first, and we either forgot about it, or we put it off long enough for satan to snatch the Word out of our hearts.
3. You can be good ground today and rocky ground tomorrow.
You may think you are good ground right now. But what if God speaks a Word to you and you “quickly and gladly accept it,” as the parable states, but then you are not ready for what comes next? The parable states that the Word you received from God will attract trouble and persecution. So let’s say you got really excited when God spoke to you. You wrote it down. You told your friends about it. You put it up on your vision board. You even posted something about it on social media. But since satan gets a vote, let’s say satan starts to attack you BECAUSE of the Word God spoke. Are you ready for those attacks? Are you ready to endure? Have you added patient endurance to the faith you say you have? If you are not ready to endure for the long haul, until you see what God said, you will give up well before your harvest comes. In this way, you will be like the rocky ground, at least in this instance.
So you can be good ground right now, holding on to what God said about one thing. But then rocky ground the next time God speaks and opposition comes. This is why you just check your heart daily.
4. You can be good ground today and thorny ground tomorrow.
Let’s say you feel pretty good about your walk with God right now. I am teaching on the parable of the sower, and you boldly declare, “I AM GOOD GROUND!” That sounds good. But all that means is that you believe you are good ground right now. The thorny ground Jesus spoke of is for the people who allow their lives to become “full of other things.” They get caught up in things like “the cares of this world, the love of money, and selfish desires.”
So let’s say you are good ground today. But tomorrow, you get a job offer that will pay you far more than you are making right now, but the job is going to take you away from your church, the prophetic voice that has been speaking into your life, and your support system. Not only that, but the job will require you to work so much that you know your relationship with God will suffer. I’m not saying you should not take the job. You have to be led by the Holy Spirit. It may be God, or it may be an offer from satan designed to take you away from God. My point is that the motivation of your heart has to be God and His will for your life, and not money. Countless people have ruined their lives in pursuit of the almighty dollar.
Or let’s say you are good ground today. But tomorrow, something happens in the world. The event is very public, and people are very emotional about it. People are upset. Society is in an uproar. You get caught up in it, and before you know it, this thing is the ONLY thing you are talking about. You are so consumed with it that you don’t even think about God. People from your church try to reach out, to check on you, but you say, “They just don’t understand.” Listen, I am not saying you should not be passionate about things. The Holy Spirit will give you passion for many things. All I am saying is that you have to ensure you are being led by the Holy Spirit and not your emotions. There are good people, who love God, who have derailed themselves from their destines over something they saw on the news. Don’t let the cares of this world or the worries of this life get you off course. You only have one life. Stay focused on your God-given destiny.
Lastly, let’s say you are good ground today. But tomorrow, you develop a lust for something that is not part of God’s will for your life. This thing becomes your singular pursuit. You work on it day and night. You tell people that you are in your “grind.” But the entire time, the Holy Spirit is attempting to convince you to get back on the path that He established for you before the world began. You keep ignoring the Holy Spirit because this is something YOU WANT, and you are simply selfish. Guess what? Countless people are going to heaven who are like this. They will get to heaven, only to realize that they spent their entire lives trying to be great at something they were not supposed to be. Don’t let this be you. Don’t let your life get consumed with your “lust for other things.” Check your heart daily. All you should want is what God wants for you!
I will stop here for today. That’s enough to meditate on during the 4th of July weekend.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, this is a season of LEVELING UP for me! In order for me to LEVEL UP daily, I must check my heart daily! I come to You on a daily basis, and I ask You to search me through and through. I yield to the impulses of the Holy Spirit. I submit to what You have to say. I don’t have anything in my life that is more important than You. I don’t have any desire that will ever trump Your desire for me. All I want is what You want for me. Nothing more. Nothing less. I declare that I will allow myself to be led by Your Spirit every second of every day, and my heart is always ready to repent if I am ever going astray. Living this way, 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.