If you have been in the church any length of time, I’m sure you have heard the parable of the sower. Jesus speaks of this farmer who goes out to plant his seed, and the seeds fall in one of four places:
- The Path, where it was trampled on and birds snatched it up.
- On rocks, but when the plant came up it withered because it had no roots.
- Among thorns, which grew up with the plants and choked them.
- Good soil, where it came up and produced a crop a hundred times more than was sown.
Then Jesus explains to the disciples the meaning of the parable:
This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. –Luke 8:11-15
I myself have heard, and read this parable many times over the course of my life, but when I read it the other day, something really stood out to me: The condition of the soil (where the seed fell) represents the condition of our hearts.
The path would be the heart that is so in tune with the world that it wouldn’t even stop to allow the word of God to do anything in their hearts.
- The rocks would be hearts that have no roots…they just hear the word and like the perks/benefits of what it says, but when things start to get difficult, they turn away from Him.
- Then there is the soil with thorns…I must sadly add that most “Christians” fall into this category…this is the heart that desires to live for Jesus…but they allow the enemy to plant thorns in their heart as well. These thorns never allow God to fully have His way with the heart/person. This heart will let things like life’s many worries, pleasures and riches compete with God for their time. It is the heart that desires God…but cannot let go of the world.
- Then lastly, the good soil. This is the heart that is noble and good (as it says in the scripture). This heart takes the time to get to know God, and allow Him to remove everything that is impure out of their hearts. This heart perseveres through the trials, and retains the Lords word. It is the heart that considers all else a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing their Savior, Jesus Christ.
If your heart is in the condition of the path, the rocks, or the soil with thorns, I want to encourage you by strongly expressing that there is hope. You see, the condition of your heart is not a onetime thing. It is a process. We can still allow God, the farmer, to work with the soil of our hearts, no matter what condition it is in. We can allow him to remove those rocks and those thorns from our heart…we just need to be ready and willing for Him to do it. And a huge part of this is coming to terms with the fact that our heart is not in the condition it should be…because God won’t be able to change the heart of one who thinks they are fine just the way they are. The enemy will continually try to plant thorns in the heart of anyone, even those with good soil, but to maintain a heart that seeks after God we must keep our eyes fixed on the Lord, and allow Him to remove any impure thing.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
This is the attitude we need to have, one that is willing to allow God to examine the condition of our heart daily.
Allow God to begin a purification process in your heart. And I promise, this process will not end until we are a pure reflection of Jesus…which will never happen….so each one of us needs to be in the process of being purified. So let me close on this note; Jesus desires to produce a crop in you that will produce hundreds times more than what was sown…so let Him.