MATTHEW 13:23: “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: What is keeping you from your overcoming? What is keeping you from experiencing the blessings of God? What is keeping you from the next step of growth in your spiritual life? The enemy has three key weapons he uses to rob us. They are,
The parable of the sower reminds us that it is God’s will to bless us. He desires that we have a fruitful life filled with His joy, blessings, and spiritual growth. Jesus confirms this in His teaching of the vine and the branches.
- “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” John 15:7-8 NKJV
If this is God’s will for our life then why do we struggle to experience it? The pathway of spiritual growth and blessing is not automatic and there are enemies at every turn trying to kill, steal, and destroy what God wants to do in our life. The parable of the sower reminds us what these enemies are.
The first one is DOUBT!
- “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.” Matthew 13:19 NKJV
The enemy will try to cast doubt in our hearts so that God’s Word never takes seed. To Adam and Eve, he said – “Has God said?” The wayside is the place where the seed cannot penetrate. The seed bounces off the hard heart and the enemy comes immediately to steal it. We need to learn to pray the prayer that the father sick child prayed – “Lord I believe, help my unbelief!”
If the enemy cannot steal the seed with doubt he will try to kill it with DISCOURAGEMENT!.
- “But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.” Matthew 13:20-21 NKJV
God’s Word will always be tested in our life. There are two types of testing. One is the testing of the Lord to strengthen our faith and bring us to maturity. The other is the attack of the enemy to discourage us so that we lose heart and let go of the promise of God. Throughout the Scriptures, we are reminded that it takes faith and endurance to receive the promises of God. Galatians reminds us,
- “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9 NKJV
Finally, if the enemy cannot steal the seed, if he cannot kill the seed, he will try to destroy the seed through DISTRACTION!
David speaks of the man who meditates on the Word day and night. It is like the faithful farmer who watches over his field. He protects it from predators. He waters it and removes the weeds that would choke out the seed. He remains diligent and undistracted.
However, the enemy has a much easier time distracting us today. There is a multitude of activities, distractions, and temptations that are right at our fingertips. Some seem innocuous until the hook sinks deeply into our soul and we find ourselves trapped. All we have to do to find our seed destroyed is to turn our back on it. The glitter of this world is the enemy’s lure to hook us and kill God’s seed! If we are to be fruitful in this life we must not get distracted by that which is passing away!
It is God’s will that we are fruitful in life. The blessing of the good seed of His Word is received by those who hear and understand God’s Word. How do we do this? Again, David gives us the key in the very first Psalm.
- “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.” Psalms 1:2-3 NKJV
We cannot simply read God’s Word or hear a sermon on Sunday. We have to meditate on God’s Word. This means we have to hide it in our hearts. We have to pray over it. We have to seek the Holy Spirit to illuminate it and help us to understand it. And, we have to cultivate it by putting it into practice. Without the engagement of faith, we will not win the battle over doubt, discouragement, or distraction! We do what we believe! God’s Word must be mixed with faith and confirmed through action!
- “For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.” Hebrews 4:2 NKJV
Heavenly Father, I thank you that I am saved by grace through faith and not of my own works. Yet, I want my faith to grow and be seen by your fruitfulness in my life. Give me the grace to hide your Word in my heart, protect it, meditate upon it, pray over it, and put it into practice. Let my faith be evidenced by obedience in my life and the garden of Your fruitfulness!
In Jesus Name!