Heart Soil - Part 1 - David Mitts
In the spiritual life, seed is called the word of God.
“The sower sows the word." Mar 4:14 (NASB)
In the parable of the sower Yeshua tells us about 4 conditions of the soil. These reflect different scenarios of receptivity to the voice of the Lord. We spoke last week about the first condition, which is in many ways a front-line condition called the side of the road.
"as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up." Mar 4:4 (NASB)
Yeshua interprets this for the disciples by ascribing to the “birds” the power of Satan.
"“These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them." Mar 4:15 (NASB)
We mentioned last week that the side of the road is where the billboards are placed. Billboard advertising relies on huge numbers of exposures. Today’s billboards would also be like internet website ads or commercials on streaming services online. The idea is to place something in the stream of lots of people.
In Roman times of the Gospels, the side of road is where the crucifixions occurred. This public display was designed to bring the fear of death to the people of Israel. This is Satan’s primary power structure, death and the fear of death.
"Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives." Heb 2:14-15 (NASB)
Satan used the crucifixion to broadcast the message of death and the fear of death to the people. When we fear death, that fear controls our lives. It tunes us to other voices to control the circumstances or situations that can possibly kill us. Fear magnifies. We could say it blows things out of proportion. We hear that someone died of this or that and fear grips our heart and suggests that maybe we are next. We run to the doctor to make sure we are ok, or we run to the cabinet and take a vitamin. In any case it is the side of the road, in the highways and byways that this snatching of the word happens. This is the place of everyday life. The voices of the media blast us with this message through the tv or through social media.
Yeshua, knowing this strategy, was crucified demonstrating that through His death, he destroyed the power of the Devil to control God’s children with fear of death and death itself.
The result is the opportunity to activate into a true authority in life, called the crown of life:
"‘Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. ‘The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.’" Rev 2:10-11 (NASB)
The second death is the death that comes to those who are already dead to the fear of death and therefore death itself. In this hour when death is being promoted on all the airwaves and people are being injected with an internal prison, we need to walk without fear. This is the message of the side of the road seed. Satan wants to consume it, devour it with fear.
"Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. So resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brothers and sisters who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you." 1Pe 5:8-10 (NASB)
Like the birds, Satan wants to devour the word with fear. We need to embrace the call, the hour we are living in. Yes there will be the full on use of fear to try to silence the Word seed and even consume it with evil, but it is a time for boldness.
The second heart condition is the rocky soil:
"“Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. “And when the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away." Mar 4:5-6 (NASB)
Yeshua interprets the symbols in this heart condition:
"“And in a similar way these are the ones sown with seed on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and yet they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution occurs because of the word, immediately they fall away." Mar 4:16-17 (NASB)
Living in Arizona, I know well the rocky places. We are surrounded with rocky places. Yeshua describes this as people’s heart that respond to the voice of the Lord with joy but have no firm root in the soil of their heart. Rocky terrain is difficult terrain to grow crops but great terrain for weeds.
"Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. “But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and left. “And when the wheat sprouted and produced grain, then the weeds also became evident. “And the slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ “And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves *said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ “But he *said, ‘No; while you are gathering up the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. ‘Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and at the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the weeds and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”" Mat 13:24-30 (NASB)
This is a clear statement that there is a war over the seed. Yeshua explains this:
"Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the weeds are the sons of the evil one; and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. “So just as the weeds are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. “Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH LIKE THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father. The one who has ears, let him hear." Mat 13:36-43 (NASB)
Yeshua tells us the weeds are from the voice of the enemy, of Satan. What is interesting is the allusion to the sun in both verses. In the parable of the sower the sun is the power that scorches the plants that have sprung up in the rocky places. In the parable of the weeds, the Sun if the description of the righteous seed. I think this is by design. I think the Lord is telling us that the key to our seed bearing is to shine like the sun and NOT to stalk around in the dark. We will either be the sun of we will be destroyed by the sun. In other words, in this time of darkness , the word in us must shine with righteousness or the brightness will scorch the shallowness of our faith.
This is a rallying cry for boldness. Shame is a weapon of darkness, a weed seed.
"And He summoned the crowd together with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. “For what does it benefit a person to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? “For what could a person give in exchange for his soul? “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”" Mar 8:34-38 (NASB)
As we approach the return of the Lord, shame and the fear of people will be tested by the light of His glory. It’s time to shine like the Sun.