Matthew 13

18 “Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the [i]word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. 20 The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the [j]word, immediately he [k]falls away. 22 And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the [l]world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 23 And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”


Understanding, afflictions, persecutions, worldly worries and the deceitfulness of wealth are all the challenges we face daily.  These things stand before us in an attempt to up root the word of God planted in us; the earthen vessels.  The constant pressures of life bare down on us.  They crash into us with force, trying to shake loose the seed.  When your time in the wilderness comes, how will you respond?  Will you beg your oppressors to take you back?  Will you turn to Egyptian gods? Will you trust in your own doing? Or will you hold fast to the Lord? Will the wilderness cause you stand still becoming paralyzed?

From a boat Jesus told the crowd the parable of the sower ending it with these words; “He who has ears [to hear], let him hear and heed My words.”  The disciples came to him afterwards and asked him to explain.  Jesus did so but not to the crowd.  He asked the crowd that whoever understands to take heed to the hidden meaning.  Jesus spoke in parables often to hide certain things from the people.  This fulfils the prophecy of Isaiah.

‘You will hear and keep on hearing, but never understand;
And you will look and keep on looking, but never comprehend;

This world is filled with distractions to aim to keep us from hearing and seeing.  Things we experience from day to day are happening in the hopes of keeping us from understanding.  Our self-preservation and desire to be free of God aids in our willingness to be deceived.  If we look at the Hebrews as they were delivered out of bondage as well as Job going through his trials and tribulations we can see it.  When we don’t understand we can’t take hold of Christ.  When we don’t have a solid foundation we have nothing to stand on or build on.  When we don’t understand we have no source to draw power from.  We will not have a point of reference nor a standard.  How can you trust someone you don’t know or have a relationship with?  Our peace is based on having assurance in our Savior who we have a relationship with.  Our peace helps us face life when it’s uncomfortable.

If we don’t understand God’s grace and mercy, if we don’t understand what Christ has accomplished, if we don’t understand the freedom God gives; we leave ourselves open to the tricks of the enemy.  We become easily led astray by every new “truth” or “spirituality”.  Every time someone has a “new word” we will be deceived by the pied piper.   Sometimes we allow our understanding to remain shallow.  We purposely stay entry level basic with our relationship with God.  We just what to shout and thank God for blessings.  We sing of heaven only and never about God in the midst of daily sufferings.  We remain shallow when we only want to hear of breakthroughs.  When we just want happiness. So when life bring discomfort and affliction our faith, joy, peace and assurance is damaged and we fall away.  Because our understanding is shallow and we think affliction means that God isn’t good or that He has abandoned us.  When we understand at a level that can’t reach the heart we tend to keep God in our heads.  We tend to live life on our own power.  We tend to pray to be in a position where we don’t need God because instead of being friends with God we are friends with the world.  We are in the world and of it as we mask our lives in such a way that we appear godly.  Wealth has become our barometer of righteousness.

But when we do hear with our ears and see with our eyes and the word of God takes root, we bear fruit that can feed a nation.  We will bear fruit that glorifies God.  When the word takes root, when the storms come and they will, we can stand.  When the word takes root our lives will change for the better.  When the word takes root we are led by the Holy Spirit.  As we grow in Christ we will go through degrees of being rooted and unrooted but always remember that the Lord is leading us; we must understand this.

“And the Lord will continually guide you, And satisfy your soul in scorched and dry places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail. – Isaiah 58:11

The Lord is leading us and just as the Holy Spirit led Christ into the wilderness, the Holy Spirit strengthen him also. The same God that has seemingly guided you into a trial is the source of strength only if we don’t get selfish about the situation being about our comfort and not God’s glory in the midst of trouble.


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