Jesus was a story teller, and by the use of parables, taught great spiritual truths. There is one parable that left every hearer baffled and none seemingly understood, even His disciples. So He explained it to the disciples when they were alone without the following crowd.
"A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on the footpath where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it. Other seed fell among rocks, and began to grow, but the plant soon wilted and died for lack of moisture. Other seeds fell among thorns that choked out the tender plants. Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted...anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand."
Jesus explained the seed was the Word, the hearer is the soil. The seed that fell on the footpath and eaten by birds, were those who hear the Word, and here comes old "scratch" saying in their ear, surely you aren't buying this crap? This guy is saying someone you don't know actually died for you..c'mon now, you are a good guy, everyone likes you. If you believe this, everyone will laugh at you. He has had several milleniae to improve his art. But the lies are always the same as with the conversation in Eden, has god said ? These hearers reject truth and believe the lies. Is this you?
Other seed fell on rocky soil and didn't make it either. The reason, Jesus said, no moisture. They received the Word gladly, and believed with their tongue...not the heart. They went about their business and the Word was forgotten. Many of us have been there. Fair-weather believers, that fall apart the moment trouble comes. Nothing changes with this individual. These talk the same, act the same, think the same ways, but tell everyone their a believer. The life-style is the same. I was there, confessing Jesus, living like a pure devil. Is this you?
Some of this seed fell into the weeds or thorns, and Jesus said these are the ones that believe the Word, but life here is more important. Material gain and the cares of life have preminence in their lives. These poor folks have placed their homes, cars, their children, and jobs all ahead of God and the Word. They really want to believe, as long as their busy life and things gained aren't disturbed. God is placed on the shelf with all of their deities, pluralistic theology. Is this you?
The last example are the ones whose hearts were fertile soil and received the Word in sincerity. These are they who are not only hearers, but doers of the Word, and devote themselves to the truth of the gospel. The doers produce because they give what they receive, they die to self, they hold nothing back. Is this you?
I am convinced by everything around my sphere of understanding, from events worldwide, that these are the days Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24, that Paul spoke of in 2Timothy 3, that Peter mentioned in 2Peter 3. These are the days that the prophets foretold, Joel, Ezekiel, Daniel, etc. The real danger for all mankind is that so many of the believers, have turned a deaf ear to the Message, the seed is being choked out, snatched away, and has died from thirst. This is us.
We, the body of Christ must, by any means receive the seed of the Word, and allow it to fully grow, shooing away the birds, weeding out the soil and the rocks, and watering and fertilizing it. In other words, putting the Word as priority in our life, in the lives of our children. If we allow its dominance, change will come in ways that we didn't expect.
I can say without reservation, that because of our neglecting the Word in our homes, and in our churches, (all churches in general, you may think the group you are with currently is super-spiritual and New Testament in action, that will change), that this is why we seldom see demonstrations of God's manifest presence...He shows up by the unity of the body of believers hearts in agreement with His Word and placing the Word and ways of God on a shelf of it's own far above any and everything in life.
Where are the healings, miracles, prophetic utterances? Are they dead with the apostles? Has God withdrawn them because we have the Word in written form, The Holy Bible? Many think so, mainly from traditional knowledge, you know, that church teaching we have never checked in to. If it is that when the written Word arrives the gifts are withdrawn...I guess the calling must be withdrawn too. It seems that when the miraculous is present, so are people.
Those who feel the gifts passed with the apostles, have boxed God in, and with unbelief eliminated healing for many, and in reality, it was over debating tongues or no tongues. The seed choked out by doctrinal difference, stolen from the evil one with ignorance. Doctrinal pride robs our God-presence mentality to receive the bounty of His blessings, and realize He doesn't withdraw, He adds, and adds, and adds.
I can say that my need for personal repentance never ceases to be a part of my walk with Christ. I must keep myself fertile soil for the sowing of seed, and the reaping of a hundred times what was planted in me. If these days are those leading to the consumation of all things, which day do we decide to be serious about it, and receive the seed of God's Word in our hearts for real?
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith