Summary: We talk, sing, and pray using the language of the Kingdom . . . words like Lord, King, and sovereign. However, citizenship in a democracy keeps us from understanding the throne.
Game of Thrones
Pt. 2 - Seedy
After 1 year we have finally come to the final battle in the attack on the 5 principalities that I identified for us. We have fought isolation, poverty, hopelessness and apathy. Now we square off against compartmentalism.
Compartmentalism is pervasive in our society and apparent in the church. We honestly believe we can cut our lives up into carefully controlled slices and that those slices can stay in their respective areas with no bleed over. Our spiritual slice has no bearing on our social slice so we can do things socially that contradict the standards that we embrace in our spiritual life with no guilt or any understanding of the hypocrisy this presents to those around us. We can lie when it is convenient. Cheat when it benefits us. The spiritual is a segmented slice that has no impact on business practices, entertainment choices, dating, or vice versa. Our spirit man is confined to spiritual matters and we will not allow the Spirit to have any rule or reign over any other area of life. We are literally playing a game of thrones.
I think we come to church and talk, sing, and even pray using the language of the Kingdom . . . Words like Lord, King, sovereign, and Jesus positions Himself to sit down on the throne of not just our church life but rather our entire life and then when He tries to rule over those areas we pull the chair our from under Him. We play a game of thrones. We only allow Him to sit on the throne in areas we choose based on whether we like the blessing and protection that comes from allowing Him to reign. If He tries to offer correction, then we pull the chair.
I want to draw your attention to a familiar parable that Jesus told that shows us our lives compartmentalized. This parable reveals what we must do to enthrone Him again.
Text: Matthew 13:3-9
Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
Like you, I have heard this passage read and preached hundreds of times. I have heard it used to talk about shallow Christians (rocky ground), distracted Christians (thorny ground), and committed Christians (good ground). All right and all good. But today I want to examine this in a different light.
I want to first draw your attention to the fact that the parable doesn't say the sower went to different locations to sow seed. He was in the same area. As He was sowing some seed fell on different kinds of soil. So these different kinds of soil were in the vicinity of one another. Perhaps, at least in my mind, all in the same field. As the sower would walk around the field he would throw seed and the seed was cast into different kinds of soil . . . but the same field. You may think I am taking liberty with the account but I think this is a legitimate argument because isn't that a picture of our own lives? We want to be all good ground but inside of each of us, despite our best attempt to hide it and disguise it, there is rocky ground and thorny ground. Paul owns up to it for all of us when he famously said in Romans 7, "And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway."
In other words, there is a ground war going on in each of us! This is an all out war for territory! The one with the most territory wins. Same field . . . different ground. Same life . . . contradictions. Compartmentalism personified. We only show the good ground on Sunday but Monday - Saturday the rocky ground is exposed and the thorny ground is on display. It is there. Different soil for different days.
But I want you to also see that the seed is the same! He didn't throw super seed into some ground that worked in spite of ground type and weak seed into other ground. He just sowed seed. So there was no difference in the seed. What determines the existence of a harvest isn't the quality of the seed but the saturation of the seed! What changes soil from bad to good? Different seed? Nope. More seed? Probably doesn't hurt but nope! Saturation. We want to blame the Word when it doesn't seem to work. Well, I spoke the Word over that situation. I claimed the promises over that area. Yeah but did you check the ground? I remind you that the Word of God says about itself that the Word never returns void but its power can be impacted by our unwillingess to deal with our dirt! Same Word but areas of our life we won't let it grow roots.