We live in a world filled with discouragement, strife, and negativity.
Many people who may be struggling in life are missing out. They are not achieving the things God wants them to grasp nor becoming the person God longs for them to be.
So together, let’s uncover why people may feel stuck when it comes to the Kingdom of God.
The Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:4-8)
“And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable: ‘A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.’ When He had said these things He cried, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear!’ Then His disciples asked Him saying, ‘What does this parable mean?’ ”
Luke 8:4-8, NKJV
Jesus is speaking to a large crowd who traveled from multiple cities to listen. In this parable, He is teaching about a sower scattering seeds. Some seeds fell on the wayside, some on the rock, and others on fertile ground. Depending on where the seed fell was an indicator of whether or not it would reproduce.
Of the four areas He mentioned, only one type of soil produced a crop. And as a result, it flourished a hundredfold.
This parable has excellent insight into why your life might not be producing a harvest where you’d expect it to by now.
Important Elements of the Parable of the Sower
The Parable of the Sower includes three significant elements: the sower, the seeds, and the soil.
We have one sower that is sowing into our lives. And it is vital to note that we can all hear the same message from the same voice, yet, individually, we can produce something different in our lives.
But how is it possible that you can have an anointed sower planting the same seeds with everyone who is listening, and the outcome is drastically different?
Well, I believe it has everything to do with the soil.
The soil determines what happens to the seed. It is the condition of your heart.
The Soil of Your Heart
Along with being a pastor for most of my life, I have also been a pilot for twenty years. While training to fly, I learned that the first step any pilot must take before taking off is to check and ensure their plane is in working order.
During the initial safety check, a pilot must make sure they have a propeller, two wings, an engine, and a tank full of gas. (If the plane has gas, the engine is rolling, the wings are in proper proportion, and the propeller is spinning, the aircraft will fly every time!)
Similarly, if you put the principles of God’s word into action in your life, you will produce something one hundred percent of the time! And I know that because Jesus said His word would not go out and return void. It will accomplish what it is He has sent it to do!
So if you are listening to a good sower, they are putting out a good seed, and you aren’t producing fruit, it must be the soil of your heart.
3 Causes of Spiritual Defeat
I.Satanic Attacks (vs. 5 & 12)
“A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it.”
Luke 8:5, NKJV
Jesus explains in verse 12:
“Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.”
Luke 8:12, NKJV
Let me be clear; the devil doesn’t have the power to make us do anything. The choice is ours, and when satanic attacks come, it is because we opened our hearts and let him steal God’s seed from within us.
This is why Christians can attend church on Sunday, feel empowered and encouraged by a good word, and then minutes after service is over, take a phone call or hear bad news and become angry, forgetting all about the seed that was planted. When that happens, the devil snatched that good word from your heart!
II.Spirit’s Absence (vs. 6 & 13)
“Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture.”
Luke 8:6, NKJV
Jesus explains in verse 13:
“But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.”
Luke 8:13, NKJV
These are the ones who hear the word and get excited; they’re doing good – for a minute. And then they lose their devotion because they have no roots.
When a seed germinates, it produces roots to take in moisture so the plant can thrive. Water in scripture represents the Holy Spirit, and when you lack roots, it indicates your lack of the Holy Spirit’s guiding and ruling over your life.
Growing up in church, I witnessed many folks filled with Holy Spirit joy, knocking people over nearby as they waved their arms. I would often get scared, saying, “Lord, don’t let whatever is on them come over and get on me!”
Saints, that is a misrepresentation of who the Holy Spirit is! When the Holy Spirit moves you, you still have complete control of your facilities, and if you’re knocking people over, that’s a spirit, but it’s not the spirit of God.
The Holy Spirit is a gentleman who only goes where He is welcome. He doesn’t make you do what you don’t want to do.
If you want to dance, you choose to dance.
If you want to raise your hands, you choose to raise your hands.
If you want to tell Him thank you, you choose to thank Him.
The Spirit of God makes a suggestion to you, but it’s up to you how you will respond. And when you open yourself up to that, you welcome His power and presence into the domain of your life.
You will remain frustrated if you refuse to allow the Holy Spirit to govern your life. As a matter of fact, some continue to feel defeated because they don’t welcome the moisture of a holy God. Invite Him into the soil of your heart, and watch how He shows up!
III.Selfish Agendas (vs. 7 & 14)
“And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it.”
Luke 8:7, NKJV
Jesus explains in verse 14:
“Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.”
Luke 8:14, NKJV
You may feel defeated because you think life is all about you!
Your hearts have been choked with your activities, meetings, distractions, and schedules. You don’t have time to commit to Bible study, spending time with God, adoring Him in worship, or serving at your church.
These things have pushed the presence, power, and will of God out of your life!
This also pertains to your riches, including money, the pursuit of wealth, and the material desires of your life. And do you know what I have discovered? When you put God first, you don’t have to chase after stuff.
Thirdly, Jesus warns us not to cling to our pleasures. We are a people filled with lust and sensuality, and it is choking out the ability of God to bring life to you.
Stop chasing busyness.
Stop chasing money.
Stop chasing pleasures.
Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and every good and perfect thing you need or ask will be given unto you.
The Good Soil
“ ‘But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.’ When He had said these things He cried, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear!’ “
Luke 8, NKJV
Jesus explains in verse 15:
“But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.”
Luke 8:15, NKJV
I believe there are people out there who have good soil.
They have a good heart open to the things of God, and they haven’t allowed these things to choke out the seed God has planted.
I am celebrating those of you who are patiently waiting on God, knowing that God will bring forth flourishing fruit in due season.
Maybe there are some who are reading this and desire good soil in their lives. Can I encourage you? We have a Savior who loves you and wants to take your heart of rocky soil and give you soil that flourishes in His Kingdom.
Will you allow the Good Sower to plow and nourish the broken places of your heart?