Many of us hear great preechings. These messages transform some. Others are not effected. A vast majority among us have minor changes but are not able to sustain it. Do the people who are transformed receive a different seed? A different message? No. It’s all the same. Then why is there different results for different people from the same message?
How do we hear?
Many or nearly all appear to be silent at church when the message is preached. Many may also appear to be still. But beyond what is seen, surprisingly many have extremely active minds processing and thinking about a lot of different things. Some are imagining or thinking about food, some about work, some about sports, various anxieties, various bills that are getting due for payment, the meetings that are coming up, the tests and assignments, various meetings, test results they await. A thousand thoughts one after another can come up.
Are our minds like the way side?
Silencing every other distraction is important, especially remembering that in the church we are getting an audience with the King of Kings, the Lord over our lives, Father God and the Holy Spirit. When we remember that we are meeting the most important person for ever in our lives, our focus and our attention are on Him. By filling our mind with this, every distraction flees away, because the time is sacrosanct and is the ONLY time with the Lord, the three in one.
Once we realize it, we can hear better. We would then be able to hear the Word preached in the Church. And the Holy Spirit will highlight or specifically nudge you about specific matters – specific Word for you for your life or life situation.
Four kinds of ground were spoken by Jesus, of which the way side is handled best when we focus our attention to Jesus and intently expect and desire to hear from God.
The way side is the only ground the response to the seed sown is immediate. All other soil types its after a matter of time that we would know what type of ground it is indeed?
How do we handle the rocky ground?
The rock, the 2nd type of ground, points to people who hear with great joy. They are people who believe for a brief while. But when temptation comes, the Word which they receive slips away. The Word does not make a change.
Like many of us, these people hardly have any will power. When we belong to such category, we should fill their hearts and minds with the Word of God – by speaking aloud the Word, repeating it and declare the Word, couple of times. Doing this daily a couple of times during the day helps resist the devil, the authour of temptations. Then when temptation comes, you will be stronger. You will see temptation flees in seven directions.
Strengthening yourself regularly before temptation comes is the key.
Physically moving away from the place of temptation is important.
Avoiding places of temptation is important.
Avoiding usual time periods during which temptation comes is also important.
What to do when you find yourself in thorny ground?
The 3rd place is the thorny ground. When we are in thorny ground, we hear the word, we believe the word. Thus they go through the initial stages of bringing the fruit. But during the last mile of bringing the fruit to perfection failure happens and results in loosing out. The riches and pleasures choke the fruitfulness process.
The decitefulness of riches and pleasure are the hindrences which block fruitfulness. When we find ourselves in this soil, we need to examine if the Lord is our first love? How can we restore this? This is only possible when we intentionally give the Lord the greatest importance, far greater and beyond riches and the pleasures. Only with longing which is nurtured with personal prayer time, praying in tongues, reading the word, being intentional about first love, can this be restored.
Relation with Lord is necessary to be worked upon and developed – as a Lord, as a friend, as a saviour – above and beyond a prayer answering God.
Setting and always reminding the mind that the temporary nature of wealth and pleasures is required.
Becoming the good ground?
Mary heard the Word of God with surrender. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
Surrender to God, is place we should camp in.
Ongoing fellowship and relationship with the Lord is required.
Knowing God and His word.
Knowing the Word, the Promises, the Prophesies, treasuring them and declaring them, meditating over them – all this is important to patiently bringing the word into great fruitfulness.
Persevering with the Word is essential.
Aim to reach the good ground. All the effort you put in, the time and efforts is worth it – since the yield is 100 fold.
But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded [e]a crop a hundredfold.” (Luke 8:8 NKJV)
But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.(Luke 8:15 NKJV)
Jesus was very particular that this message goes loud and clear to all of us. He cried out when he told this. This shows the intensity with which he wants each one of to understand this parable and strive to become the good ground. When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”(Luke 8:8b NKJV)
So be and become the good ground. But in case you find yourself in any other ground, get up and step in and run towards the good ground and become that good ground. The moment you realise it, you can be intentional about making a change. As you persevere with persistence and patience you can find yourself in the good ground glorifying King Jesus.