I know exactly what you’re thinking… “He’s lost his mind,” or “What’s with all these crazy titles and posts?’. Ha! Let me explain…
I’m gonna get right to the point with this one; let’s look at the parable of the sower (Luke 8: 4-15). Jesus takes us through the understanding of this parable and explains about where the seed (the Word) lands, and the condition of the people that receive it. He makes it very clear that the sower (God) can and will sow seed to anywhere it is needed, but the focus is on the condition of the soil and its surroundings. The Bible teaches us that His word cannot return to Him void (Isaiah 55:11); void can also mean without result. This re-iterates the fact that the soil is a very important factor for growth and the condition of such is significant for the result.
Even from the beginning of creation, mankind was designed from the soil, dust, earth, and ground. The earth was historically considered to be the most valuable asset; this is the reason why God promised so much land, why Moses was instructed to help the people of Israel to inherit it, and why David was commissioned to possess it at all costs. Why? Because of the capabilities of the ground; its ability to reproduce and sustain growth.
The most common thing in the parable is the soil; notice that every instance where the sower spread his seed, there were still results. Even when the seed was sown on rocky ground (or shallow soil, in some translations), it STILL sprouted!! What does this tell you? That no matter what condition the soil is in, there is always potential for growth. Soil is still soil; whilst its capabilities may be hindered or reduced by other factors and conditions, it was designed to bring forth life. And so are we… No matter what life may throw at us, we still grow. Don’t get me wrong; not all growth is good growth. In fact, I would encourage you to be the best kind of soil you can be to get the best results. But a lot of the times this is not possible.
Life can challenge us in ways that we can become hidden from the proper conditions for growth. The more that we stay away from His presence, we lack the moisture of the Spirit, the daylight of His glory and the warmth of His grace. And guess what? We will continue to grow, but not the growth we truly need. Did you know that growth can still take place in darkness? We can even grow in crowded places with no substance, around people that have ulterior motives, ministries with false doctrines or teachings. We, being the soil, can have our own ideas about how to live right and serve God, instead of searching His word and following His mandate for us. Many times, we often think that we are rooted in good soil and don’t realise we’re setting ourselves up for a mighty fall.
Here's the beautiful thing; God is still God! The unchangeable, omnipotent, unshakeable God. The one who’s conditions for growth never change. The same yesterday, today and forever more (Hebrews 13:8). Where the sun always shines and the rain always falls; the perfect balance for all our needs. Yes, of course we will have times where we feel like we are out of our depth and storms will come to shake up the very core of our existence. Who doesn’t go through turbulence? I’ve sure had my fair share of tribulations; far more than I care to think about. But in all things, God has remained consistent: the clear blue skies, the radiant sun, the perfect temperature and even the amazing downpour.
Whilst God provides the perfect conditions for growth and reproduction, we must take responsibility for our “depth”. Good soil demands us to have room for roots to develop, in order so that when we grow, we become resilient and strong. It’s at this place where we can truly bear fruit (Luke 8:8, 15). We ought to grow, not because God demands our fruit and substance, but to distribute what we have manifested for the greater good of His kingdom. It’s important to remember not to take His unchanging nature for granted, Isaiah reminds us to call upon Him while He is near (Isaiah 55:6) so we must draw near to Him while we still have breath. Let’s be good soil and grow as He would have us to grow: strong, resilient and fruitful.
BY STEPHEN MCCORMACK