2019 was a "tough year." Many promises in my life looked as though they were being restored, and they were. Who knows the enemy comes to steal the seed the Lord has planted in our hearts to detour us from our destiny, calling and purpose.
Now, I've seen and acknowledge that I and many have used the enemy as a scapegoat for why we've walked in disobedience, unbelief and unrighteousness. Yet, all throughout scriptures, there's is a response-ability given to humanity. To some this may seem like I am implying some return to legalism. No. Heck No! I am simply saying, I have examined the soil of my heart and seen the vital importance to, especially in this hour, be soil that is open and ready for the seed to take root. I see that there is an ability to respond to the Lord that He has given humanity. Jesus' parable of the sower reveals to us where, in what way we are responding to Him. With this is an invitation for Him, the Farmer, to til the soil and prepare our hearts for us to carry what He's given us.
Jesus told the disciples that they had been given the secret of the kingdom of God and if they didn't understand this parable, they wouldn't understand ANY of the parables.
The ones who walk with Jesus, the ones who He's chosen to share His heart with, are the ones He has entrusted with the secrets of the Kingdom.
Let's talk about soil....
Can a palm tree grow in New York? No. What about in Florida? YES!
What determines the growth of the plant? It's the soil. The environment determines what can grow.
Now when I am talking about the fruit of the Spirit growing, I can't cause it's growth. I can't water it or cause it to increase. That happens. naturally. It's a seed. It wants to grow and sprout forth fruit. Technically, I can't even make my own soil ready. It takes a farmer to prepare the soil for the planting of the seed.
Yet, I do believe we can ask Him to give us ears to hear and to open the eyes of our understanding. It is vital for us to seek first the kingdom, so that the farmer and sower can have His way in our hearts.
What reveals the condition of my soil? My attitude and behavior does. Not only when I'm with people and how I treat others, rather how I am in response the Father in all aspects of life.
The way I am being and showing up in the world around me and in relationship to Him reveals where I am.
The law is our schoolmaster. It actually reveals that I needed a soil transplant. I needed Him to rearrange and plow this soil in order to prepare the seed to grow. It reveals my utter need for a righteousness that is not my own. It is the revealing of where I am.
And Jesus commands are revealing. He says, those who love me will keep my commandments. There is no reason to take on shame. He wants to give us the empowerment to walk out His commands through His love for us. He doesn't give a command and commission He doesn't empower us to walk in.
God opposes the proud and self-righteous attitude ad gives grace to the humble. Jesus said it's better to throw ones self on the rock and be broken then to be crushed by the stone. It's better for me to realize I can't produce one thing, one act of righteousness, one iota of goodness apart from Him. This dependence on Him leaves me utterly reliant on Him to both plow the ground of my heart and give me ears to hear, and for Him to produce the growth. What I get to do is throw myself at His mercy and ask for wisdom. This is why seeking first the kingdom is so vital.
So what kind of soil am I? I ask this of myself, not to condemn me or guilt myself. But as an honest a question before the Lord.
Why? Jesus shows us why.
At the end of this Mark 4 passage, Jesus is sleeping in the storm. The disciples aren't worried, fearful and thinking of themselves. Jesus, you don't even care about us because, you didn't calm the storm. And He straight up tells them, why are you afraid, you still don't have any faith? He's literally saying, you guys are the soil for the fruit to be manifested yet. My words haven't taken root in your heart yet. How does He know? Because they came to Him to calm the storm, full of fear, full of misunderstanding and full of pride. Their pride, selfishness, you're not taking good care of me Jesus was proof of their soil. They let their circumstances determine what they believed about the Lord. They came to conclusions about His character rather than actually being humble and letting His words take root. I've done this very thing.
Now, the good news is that Jesus doesn't leave us there. He always set us up to teach us and if we are hungry to learn and grow, He will feed us what we need.
What a privilege to asses where I'm at, not in condemnation and guilt because it's only Him who can even plow the ground of our heart and give us ears to hear. Faith is a gift that comes from hearing. If faith isn't flowing, ask God to help us hear.
What's coming up from my ground is proof of what I actually believe. It's why I need Him to share with me the secrets of the Kingdom. It's why I need to know Christ and Him crucified. It's why His gift of righteousness through the blood of His Son is the only way to even know Him. Oh to search out the riches of this inheritance we have in Him!
I invite you to come along this journey with me this year of hearing God with clarity and humility. Asking Him, searching for the glory He hid for Kings to search out. I understand, Christ is the Wisdom of God manifest for us, He is the mystic secret of the ages. It is only through Him that I even have access to search out His ways and to know the Father. There's a whole world of I don't knows, and being open to the Lord, being postured to receive from Him is a great way to start off this year.
I want to be the Earth that Heaven flows through. In every aspect. In word and deed. That the movements of my life would in alignment with the words of the Father. This is His work that He is faithful to do. He is both the faithful plower and the sower!
Lord, teach us and have your way!
With Much Love and Blessings,
MARK 4:1-41 - ESV
1Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. 2And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 3“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. 5Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. 6And when the sun rose it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. 7Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” 9And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
The Purpose of the Parables
10And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, 12so that
“ ‘they may indeed see but not perceive,
and may indeed hear but not understand,
lest they should turn and be forgiven.’”
13And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? 14The sower sows the word. 15And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. 17And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. 18And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, 19but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 20But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
A Lamp Under a Basket
21And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? 22For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. 23If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. 25For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
The Parable of the Seed Growing
26And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. 27He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. 28The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
The Parable of the Mustard Seed
30And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? 31It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, 32yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
33With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. 34He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.
Jesus Calms a Storm
35On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”