One of the passages I have spent time in over the last 2 weeks (and coming back to it today) is the Parable of the Sower. A contemplation of the types of soil that the seed of God’s Word are distributed, and their explanations is a great study.
“A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Luke 8:5-8 [ESV]
Meaning of the Parable:
|The Path||Represents those who never really ‘took’ the Word. They heard but they did not heed. Satan whipped it away before they believed.|
|The Rocks||Those who are happy to hear the Word but there is no depth in them. In time of testing they fall away…they have not roots to hold them down.|
|The Thorns||Those who have potential for Spiritual advance but they fill their lives with so many ‘GOOD’ things that there is no room for spiritual fruit.|
|Good Soil||Those who bring a good and honest heart to the hearing of the Word. They retain the word, and in adhering to the Word they bring forth fruit.|
Some people identify more with sowing the seed and this is an often ‘preached’ approach to this passage. However, I think that this is much better applied to ourselves and also as a way of ensuring that we don’t get out of our lane. So, when applied to myself the question I need to ask is what soil am I? If I identify with the good soil, am I bearing spiritual fruit? Is there an aspect of my spiritual walk that is more thorns than good soil? What about the Rocks in my life where I tend to fall apart when in certain circumstances? I know that ‘the Path’ is not reflective of anywhere in my life as I find my solace in God’s Word and His instruction is the life blood of my existence here on earth. I must be honest with myself on these other areas though and ensure that I am cultivating the areas of my life that are not yet ‘Good Soil’.
As for the ‘getting out of our lane’ aspect of this parable…I think that we all too often grade ourselves on who and how many of those we share the gospel with actually accept Jesus and are transformed. But God is the Sower; He alone knows where the seed falls. The bible also says that God is the One Who calls individuals to Himself. He already knows those who have good soil that will result in a fruitful spiritual life. When I start to feel like I can change someone’s heart condition relative to the acceptance of the gospel, I am getting out of my lane. I need to stay in the state that I am…a state of freedom that allows me to share the gospel broadly and rest in the knowledge that God will do the work of calling. I can rejoice and glorify God when I see that He has allowed me to participate in the calling of someone to Himself when I have shared my witness/testimony with them. We just need to share Jesus and let others see Jesus in us…and then let God do the rest.