This morning, I was reminded of the parable of the sower.
He told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground where they did not have much soil. They sprang up quickly because the soil was not deep. But when the sun came up, they were scorched, and because they did not have sufficient root, they withered. Other seeds fell among the thorns, and they grew up and choked them. But other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty.
“Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground where it did not have much soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep. When the sun came up it was scorched, and because it did not have sufficient root, it withered. Other seed fell among the thorns, and they grew up and choked it, and it did not produce grain. But other seed fell on good soil and produced grain, sprouting and growing; some yielded thirty times as much, some sixty, and some a hundred times.” And he said, “Whoever has ears to hear had better listen!”
“A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled on, and the wild birds devoured it. Other seed fell on rock, and when it came up, it withered because it had no moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns, and they grew up with it and choked it. But other seed fell on good soil and grew, and it produced a hundred times as much grain.” As he said this, he called out, “The one who has ears to hear had better listen!”
Usually when I hear it explained, the explanation follows along the lines of what Jesus had told his disciples when they asked about it. It describes the condition of people in relation to the Word. Those along the path hear, but as soon as they hear Satan comes and snatches it away from them. The rocky ground describes people who take the word with joy but the ground will not allow the root to grow so it dies off in times of trouble. The term among the thorns describes people who allow worldly cares to distract the people and choke out the word. And the ones who are good soil are the people who hear the word and it produces fruit in their lives.
Today however, my focus was taken off of people and directed more towards the heart, for the heart is where the word lives.
We all know people who struggle in various areas of their lives. Great fruit will produce in areas like volunteering or prayer, but then they struggle over giving or faith. It becomes hard to put a single person in to one of these categories, because most of us fall into each of them with different situations or challenges if we are being honest with ourselves.
Just as not all seeds produce the same fruit, not every Word will produce the same result or fruit in our lives. That is because the “soil” for that word might not be in the condition to allow for growth.
Thankfully, God works the ground with our help.
The Holy Spirit will minister to us in areas that He knows we struggle in and point to the rock or thorns in our soil. We have the choice as to whether we allow the ground to be cleansed and made productive, but God is always faithful to approach us in an effort to redeem the land. This is rarely an easy process, but once free the soil will begin to produce fruit and something good will spring forth.
The parable of the sower has a broader message than just trying to explain away why some are saved and others are lost. We have to remember the sower will work the land in order to make it fruitful. No land owner will just cast aside property when difficulty is encountered nor will God just cast away His people when they struggle to produce the fruit from His word.