I Am The Soil

In the book of Mark, Jesus said the following:

3 Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.

. . . and further down, we read the following.

14 “The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.

Mark 4:3-8, 14-20

When I was younger, I often heard this portion of Scripture taught in the context of evangelism.  In other words, if I share Jesus with someone, their receptivity will be based on the condition of the soil of their heart.  While that is true, it made it easy to think this Scripture was not really about me.  It was always about some unbeliever and their readiness to hear the gospel.  It took the focus off of my own condition, and thereby limited my ability to impacted the way God would have me to be.  I had to change my thinking so that I could understand that I am the soil. 

Recognizing that I am the soil opens the door for God to work in me, to fertilize me and cultivate me, to be able to produce a crop that far exceeds what was sown.  I have to be alert to the things in my life that can limit my fruitfulness, and I have to be willing to allow God to work in those areas.  I have to be willing to be tilled and changed so that the soil of my heart can be primed to receive the truth of God’s Word in my life. 

Let’s examine the things in this Scripture that may limit fruitfulness.  The first thing identified is when the Word is stolen before it has a chance to take root.  This is seed that fell on hard ground near the path.  A hardness of heart is often a result of pride.  Satan has an opportunity to steal the Word that is heard by a prideful heart.  It is the prideful heart that says, “I already know that,” or “I don’t agree with that,” and won’t allow further truth to be received.  Sometimes this response is triggered because you don’t like the messenger, or sometimes because you just don’t like the message.  It may be something that will require too much of you, and so you reject it outright.  Hardness of heart always opens a door for Satan to steal the Word. 

The next type of soil described is the rocky soil, depicting someone who hears the Word, gets excited and receives it, only to have it stolen from their life later on.  This may be likened to a person who makes a New Year’s resolution.  They get excited about the prospect, but are unable to make real life change to create a habit, and as soon as a challenge to the resolution comes along, they quickly abandon their good intentions. If we are not willing to apply the Word in our lives in a way that changes us and creates new habits in us, challenges of life will cause that Word to be burned away from our memory.

Seeds also have the potential to fall among thorns.  It’s like having weeds growing in your garden alongside the good plants that you planted.  You must pull the weeds regularly or they will steal nutrition from your plants, and will eventually choke them out.  The weeds in our lives are lies that we have come to believe which may sit alongside the truths in your mind.  Often, they are lies about yourself that say, “You’re not good enough,” or “You can’t do that.”  These lies must be eradicated in our lives.  The truth of the Word of God must be continually allowed to have the ruling place in our thoughts in order in order for the thorns of this world to not choke their life and limit our fruitfulness. 

When we allow God’s cultivating in our lives and keep weeds of lies out of our lives, this Scripture indicates that our fruitfulness can far surpass the initial seed.  In other words, we have the potential to grow far beyond expectation.  Fruitfulness is a place of fulfillment where joy and peace are evident.  It is a place where you know your purpose and are able to fulfill your destiny.  

Take the time today to say, “I am the soil,” and give your heart and focus to God’s cultivation.  The blessing far outweighs what you sow into it.