3He told them many things in parables, saying, “Listen carefully: a sower went out to sow [seed in his field]; 4and as he sowed, some seed fell beside the road [between the fields], and the birds came and ate it. 5Other seed fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil; and at once they sprang up because they had no depth of soil. 6But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.7Other seed fell among thorns, and thorns came up and choked them out. 8Other seed fell on good soil and yielded grain, some a hundred times as much [as was sown], some sixty [times as much], and some thirty. 9He who has ears [to hear], let him hear and heed My words.”
Have you ever pulled something out of your pantry and wandered, “How long has that been in there?” As you flip the package, you discover that the item you wanted to use has already passed its expiration. Almost everything in life has a shelf life, meaning that it loses its potency and its ingredients disintegrate and becomes inactive. Yet, in all of the impotency of our world, God’s WORD is ETERNAL! In fact, Isaiah described the power of God’s WORD,
The grass withers and the flowers fall,but the word of our God endures forever.”
GODS WORD has the POTENCY to completely change our lives, but the potency of the WORD can only be maximized by the posture of our heart.
Jesus shares four conditions which will disrupt or erupt the seed of God’s word. He shared the spaces in Matthew 13 and he ended with the statement, “he who has an ear let him hear”, due to the value and importance of UNDERSTANDING. God’s WORD wants to ERUPT in our LIVES, but our hearts will determine the fruitfulness of the SEED. I want to share with you four areas which Jesus discussed in Matthew 13.
- HARD PLACE- This is the unbelieving, stubborn heart which rejects the WORD of GOD before they even can allow it to take hold or receive comprehension. I call it the OPEN MOUTH, CLOSE EAR approach. When God talks about hard ground or hard hearts, he speaks of the unwillingness to obey and surrender. In Hebrews 3 the writer is emphasizing how the children of Israel died in their wilderness because of their UNBELIEF! Even though God did miracles around them, HE COULDN’T DO THE MIRACLE WITHIN THEM, because of their UNBELIEF. Where you find UNBELIEF, you will also find murmuring, complaining, and gossip. They reject the WORD with their OWN WORDS! Why? BECAUSE they LACK COMPREHENSION! Many people have WORD RECOGNITION BUT THEY DON’T POSSESS WORD COMPREHENSION. The enemy doesn’t care if you know the WORD, he just doesn’t want you to have an UNDERSTANDING of the WORD. My wife teases me all the time because I will use a “big word” that she has heard before but she doesn’t have a complete understanding of it. Instead of passively ignoring what I just said, she will look at me with a glare and say, “WAIT! What was that WORD! I have never heard that word before…” Of course, I’ll say it again and she will ask me, “What does that mean?” Once I give definition to that WORD, she will then give me a WORD that is synonymous to the meaning to provide clarity and then say, “WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST SAY THAT WORD!” We may RECOGNIZE the word, GRACE, but until we get a comprehension of what is grace and how it works in our lives, we will continue to allow the ENEMY to SNATCH THE SEED before we can UNDERSTAND IT! Once you receive WORD COMPREHENSION it DEMANDS APPLICATION, APPLICATION CREATES MANIFESTATION. the Bible tells us in Hosea, “My people perish for a lack of KNOWLEDGE.”
- SHALLOW PLACE- This is the seed which is planted in an area where it cannot develop roots The seed is germinated but it cannot develop maturation. Jesus said, this is the place where it its encumbered by rocky ground which gives the seed no depth. This shallow place is a cultural phenomenon in our world, because it is not enough to know what GOD SAYS if YOU DON’T SAY WHAT GOD SAYS. Your DEPTH is DETERMINED BY DEFINITION. We have a generation of people who are asking everybody and everything, “What do you say?” What do you think?” and we vacillate between the opinions of what others say. We find ourselves easily persuaded by life’s challenges and obstacles which cause us to be reset to our default settings. We have not allowed the WORD to TRANSFORM OUR IDENTITY, so we are BEING CONFORMED BY OUR ISSUES. Our default settings are the old patterns of our former life before Christ which carry the baggage and brokenness, but when we come into Christ our spirit was transformed, but our soul is being transformed. We call it in the church, sanctification. Because we have not allowed the WORD to take ROOT in OUR IDENTITY, we find ourselves always being “setback” in our old ways and patterns. THE WORD has to BREAK IN before we can have BREAKTHROUGH! We have to CONFESS with our HEART, “I AM WHAT GOD SAYS I AM, I CAN DO WHAT GOD SAYS I CAN DO, I CAN HAVE WHAT GOD SAYS I CAN HAVE, I CAN BE WHAT GOD SAYS I CAN BE!