Summary: How do you want to grow? Do you want a fruitful or an inconsistent life? What kind of soil is your heart?
How do you want to grow? Do you want a fruitful or an inconsistent life? What kind of soil is your heart?
Browsing through the Bible, “The Parable of the Sower” could be found in Mark 4: 2-9, Luke 8: 4-8, Mark 4: 13-20, Matthew 13: 18-23 and Matthew 13: 3-9. It is all about a sower who scattered seeds and fell on 4 different types of ground. The hard ground which fell on the side prevented the seed from sprouting at all, and merely became a bird’s food. The stony ground provided enough soil for the germination and growth of the soils, but because it lack the deepness of earth, the plants did not take root and soon withered in the sun. The thorny ground allowed the seed to grow, but the competing thorns choked the life out of the beneficial plants. Lastly, the good ground received the seeds and produced fruits.
If you will look closely, this story could be well embodied by 3 major representations; the Farmer, the Seeds and the Soil. The farmer is symbolized by Christians who share Jesus to people. The seed is the Word of God. And lastly, the soil represents the condition of out hearts.
It would be very easy to think that we’ve heard this story over and over again, and still find that there is nothing new to it. We think that we know about this so well, that we can close our hearts and minds to what the Lord is telling us. Little do we know that this is the point of the parable.
Let us look into the 4 Soils in this Parable and explicate its analogy to how our hearts really act upon the Word of God.
1. Along the path = This is the seed eaten by birds. It did not even take a root. This represents a person who has a closed heart and mind. And because of his indifference to the Word of God, the evil can easily snatch away His faith in the Almighty.
Because life is difficult and unfair, we have a tendency as humans to respond to life from a carnal mind-set and become hard-hearted. Whenever people abuse, malign, attack and hurt us, our initial response is to protect ourselves. We will either recoil, hit back, shield our hearts from continuous attack or will run as a form of escape. This leads us to harboring bitterness and establishing resentment in our hearts. Eventually, we become unresponsive to God’s Word.
2. Rocky ground = This seed grew up quickly, as the soil was shallow. When the sun came up, it withered away, since it had no root. This symbolizes the person who has a shallow understanding of God’s Word, that he quickly receives the seed but gives up easily in times of troubles.
The Word comes to this person but it does not have a bearing or impact for there is no root that goes deep into his heart. This is the person that comes to church looking for an emotional boost. They hear the Word of God to get affirmation and they accept it with joy, but they don’t do anything more with it after they leave the church.
You might feel emotionally uplifted for awhile because God’s Word is good every time you listen to it, but you cannot continue living if you are not being grounded and rooted. It is not enough to have knowledge and emotional lifts; you must have a heart that is fertile and deep, and not shallow and rocky under the surface.
3. Among thorns = The seed grew, but the thorns also grew and choked the plant. This is the person in whom the seed grows, but the worries of life and pleasures of the world quickly chokes the seed and does not bear him any fruits.
The person with this kind of heart is always confused, distracted and restless. Instead of having their mind and heart dedicated to pleasing God and pursuing righteousness, they are isolated. A divided mind and heart will always prevent God’s Word from producing fruits of salvation. If our focus is on worldly wisdom, personal ambitions and earthy pleasures, then our heart is full of thorns which will eventually choke out God’s Word.
4. Good soil = This is the seed which grew and produced fruits. This is represented by the person who received the seed and understood it. It means that the seed grew in him. He avoids the distractions, overcomes temptations, stands firm in times of troubles and produces many fruits.
The person with a noble and good heart who hears the word and applies it to his life will then receive a harvest of spiritual fruit. The heart that is similar to a good soil is a fertile ground very easy for God to use. God wants to see His Word produce fruit in our lives. God wants to produce change and He desires to make your life fruitful and Christ-like, but it all depends on the condition of your heart.