“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience” [Luke 8: 11-15]
Many these days seem to make “salvation” so complicated it seems. When all this time it has been simply a matter of “the heart”. What kind of soil are you? What is planted in your heart? Is it a heart of stone, is it rough and rigid cracked and dry? Is there thorns and thistles growing up crowding out the pure seed which you knew to be truth at one time? Or is your heart…honest, true…good? I think it may be time to take a “deeper” look at our churches.
Truly, salvation is a mystery. It is a mystery how the Spirit moves, like the wind, as Jesus noted to Nicodemus when he asked about the kingdom of God. Do you wonder if maybe we have, all these years, been presenting the gospel in the wrong way? Like asking, “do you want to ask Jesus into your heart?” When all this time it was simply a “Kingdom question”. That it was a transfer of place, position, value, meaning, and identity. Many have “asked Jesus to be their Lord and Savior” but what was the motive of their heart. WHY did they ask Jesus to be Lord and Savior, and did they even know what they were asking? As a quick side note: this is why correct doctrine matters. Because “knowledge and understanding” seem to be very important to the Apostle Paul, Peter, John, James, etc…when they were teaching believers and planting churches. Anyway. An “honest and good heart”. Very interesting words there. Why did Jesus choose these words to describe the individual who was “saved”? Were any of the others saved? I’m going to conclude, based on some other scriptures, that just ONE was saved. But I thought that only the Holy Spirit could make our hearts vulnerable and able to receive the good news. Maybe that is what is happening here, I don’t know. What I do know is that today, this very day, there are many who are “saved” and yet do not DESIRE to “walk with God”. They are not interested in reading the Bible, or praying, or going to church, or sharing the gospel, or in anything which holds eternal value. So, why aren’t they? I have concluded that either they are not saved, or they have “walked away from/left/shipwrecked their faith/gone back to the law/or are in love with this world” etc. and other terms the Bible uses for those who once knew the truth and the seed was planted in their hearts, but it is no longer, (Yes, this is a controversial topic among believers). Or, they are currently “grieving the Holy Spirit within them“.
So, what is my point in all this? It is simply to get us to ask some difficult questions regarding our loved ones, our children, parents, friends, other “Christians” and…ourselves. The Word of God says: “For where your treasure is there your heart will be also”. So if we take the time to examine those around us, and ourselves, what is most important? What kind of fruit do we bear? What do we read, watch, talk about, and where do we hang out? In truth, all these things speak volumes about our salvation. They speak volumes regarding our hearts. And about the seed which is planted in our soil. Do we love the things of God, or do we love the things of the World?
I am convinced we are in the last of the last days. And if this is true, then these questions are matters of life and death. I want to share something which I will call, “God’s 911 call”: During my prayer time each day this is what I hear strongest, most often, most intense, and most clearly from the Lord. Listen: “That My children, who are called by My name, will humble themselves, and pray to Me, and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways…” Yes, this is a verse and it ends with “then I will hear from heaven and heal their land” But I don’t hear that last part in the way it was meant in the Old Testament. Why? Because WE, the Church, the Children of God, the Temple of God…are that land, in the New Testament. He desires to heal our faith, our brokenness, our patterns of sin, our despair, our hopelessness, our fears, our self-interest, self-perfection, and most of all…our SELF-DEPENDANCE. These last three are extremely dangerous because at the root of them is PRIDE. What is the answer then? Humility. Humility is always the answer. Humility means to let go of you, to surrender you, to open your hand and to give up what you are holding so tightly to in this life. Then the Lord can “heal you” Do you know how His healing comes? It comes through humility, through brokenness, through despair, through struggle and trial. For it is when we are finally on our faces before Him that we will at last take our eyes off ourselves and this world and “LOOKUP”. Then we will receive His purpose, perspective, and delight in what He delights in and grieve what He grieves. And this is His goal. That we seek His face. Pretty simple. But deeply profound. When Moses sought the face of God it radiated the glory of God. We, with unveiled face, can approach the throne of God whenever we want and wherever we are….then we will radiate His glory wherever we go! So, allow time and space for fellowship with your Father and time in His Word. And make it the most important part of your day. Not because you “must” but because the days are short, the time is near, and because your Father loves to hang out with you. Amen