Is It Time to Test the Soil?
Here are some challenging words from the Book of James. “Receive with meekness the engrafted word” (1:21). God desires to have the seed of His word implanted in our hearts, rooted there and growing fruitfully with life changing power, as we are filled with His Holy Spirit. James “the Just,” who was a pillar (an elder of respect) in the church at Jerusalem (Galatians 2:9), gives us all a spiritual incentive for God’s Word to have growing power in our lives. The Lord desires that His Word be planted in “good ground” as mentioned in the parable of the Sower and the Seed (Matthew 13:1-9). A parable is an earthly picture of a heavenly truth, designed with life-changing teachings. In this pictorial presentation, God is revealing to us the different types of soil, but more than that, different types of hearts. When we are reading all about those various types of soil, His Word is reading all about us, telling us all about ourselves, and giving us the soil test of our heart. His analysis of our soil is brought before us, for our spiritual concern, to see whether or not that we pass the test of fertile, grow-able soil possession. The Lord speaks of the soil that is hard with no understanding (I have my own mind made up), then the shallow soil possessing no depth (emotional), also, the crowded soil being encumbered with cares and given over to pleasures (prioritizing self interests above the Sower’s interests). The distinguishing feature of the good soil is new life, new growth, and new fruit - all derived from His Word placement in the soil of a receptive heart. With the power of the seed of the Word growing in the good soil, our individual growth in Him becomes powerful as well. Good soil with the grow-able, powerful, living seed of the Word will take root. When our lives are given over to the Sower’s growing seed, the Lord’s ministry of His church is inclusive with growing power in each individual members. Anything that has life will grow; the Living Christ attends His Word as it is found rooted in our new creation in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17). The ministry of the Spirit enabling growth brings fruitfulness to each member of His body as we abide and “grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:15). Here’s the sure test of the soil: 1) Can the Word of God be planted there, or are we planting our own self-prescribed religious seeds? 2) Will the Word of God be growing there? 3) What type of crop is being produced (does it resemble the seed planted)? 4) Who did the planting, and are we willing for the Sower of the seed to do just that? 5) Are we tending to the Sower of the seed, growing up in Him, the Head of the church (headship deals with life, authority, and direction - are you willing to be led)? 6) Are we concerned about our soil, His precious seed, and the Holy Spirit growth process? 7) Or, are we possessing stubborn, hard soil (impenetrable hearts), shallow listening hearts, crowded with cares and a pleasure seeking heart at the expense of personal growth, and the growth of His ministry. Is it time to test the soil? Let us never water down the seed of the Word, but rather water the seed of the Word in our hearts with the Water of Life: Jesus.