Matthew 13:3-8, 18-23 The Parable of the Sower
In this week’s scripture, I do not bring forth an interpretation, but more of an application. I will explain one of the ways I have applied this scripture into the life I live here on the earth, and I trust, this may also be useful to you as you walk and grow closer to Jesus Christ, our Lord.
I am well aware of the interpretation, given by Jesus himself, in verses 18-23, and I would not try to re-interpret anything that is so clearly given to us by our Lord. The following is one of the ways I believe God has shown me to apply this scripture to practical living.
If you will, I can see in my heart, 4 divisions, or types of “soil”; hard-cement, stony, weedy, and pure fertile dirt. I find that when the word of God is sown to me, it falls in one of these categories in my heart. When it falls on the hard-cement, or “the wayside”, it is not understood by my heart and consequently never sprouts, grows, or becomes fruitful. When the word falls on the area that is full of stones, the seed starts to grow, wants to produce fruit, but dies when the “sun comes up and burns it”, that is, when the times of trials and tribulations come that challenge or test my faith. When it falls on the weedy area, I struggle with it, part of me wanting to let God’s word have it’s total control, and part of me wanting to live my own way. But when the sown seed falls in the fertile dirt, it produces fruit in abundance.
Now, God’s word tells us in Isaiah 55:10-11, For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and returns not thither, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
This is how I apply the parable of the sower to my life. Although the seed is sown by Jesus, the Sower, it is falling in my field, which is my heart. So, when the seed falls on the part of my heart that is like cement, this is an area that I may not even know has been closed to Jesus, and it doesn’t penetrate, I need to stop and ask myself, “What happened there? Why am I rejecting this?” The only way to get rid of this type of hard-heartedness is to admit that I am wrong, and that His word is right! Each time I do this, it is like taking a sledge hammer to the concrete part of my heart; and it starts to break up into many hard pieces of rock, laying on top of the dirt. Now, when the seed falls on this stony area, it is no longer the same as concrete, but the seed does start to grow. These would be areas where I start to believe God has answered my prayers or has told me to go do something or say something, but when hard times and tribulations come along, I start to doubt, and the doubt caused by these hard areas of rock cause the seed and my faith in God to diminish. Anytime I believe the word, but then doubt sets in, it is a rock that needs to be removed. The same is true with the weedy area of my heart. It is the part that the pleasures of the world have sown seed and are producing weeds that need plucked out. I must recognize these areas and work the ground accordingly, by the power of the Spirit. And lastly, some seed falls on the fertile soil and produces fruit. Ah, if only my whole heart was filled with this type of soil!
I believe that this is a lifelong process, ever finding the different types of soil in my heart. I do not worry about searching them out though, for to do this would be similar to a work in my flesh, which never produces the fruit of God, but if, when the word of God hits my heart, and I am shown these areas by the power of the word, which is sharper than any two edged sword, then it is a work of God which He has given me to do at His discretion and direction.
I hope this application of the sower finds soft soil in your heart, and produces much fruit for the Lord as it has for me. God bless you and keep you.