If you plant seeds in good soil, stuff'll grow. Of course there are other variables. If the ground is thorn infested, your crop might get choked out. If the soil is too shallow, there will be no roots and the sun (instead of contributing to the plant's growth) will scorch the crop. If a bird eats the seed before it gets into the ground, there will be no crop. You likely recognize some of these concepts from Jesus' parable of the sower. We need hearts of good soil, plowed up, prepared, ready to receive the seed of God's word whenever it is sown.
It's much easier to have soil that's receptive to other kinds of seed. Maybe you've found that it's hard to profit from hearing the word of God preached, but to soak up the latest gossip is no trouble. It's easy to fill your heart with the mindless drivel from TV, but to sit down and study the scripture is hard. The lies of the devil often find fertile ground in our minds with little difficulty, but we struggle to cling to the promises of God. Why are our hearts too often good soil for the wrong kind of seed?
There's a reason farmers have a job. If the right kind of plants just grew, they wouldn't have to cultivate the soil, pull and kill weeds, irrigate, fertilize, and so on. But "cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread." (Gen. 3:17-19) Interesting; the reason farmers have to work hard to produce a crop is the same reason you have to work hard to profit from the Word - the curse of sin. So to prepare your heart for God's truth, you'll have to do battle with the sin that remains. That's hard work: prayer, meditation, anticipation, ripping out the weeds of anxiety and the love of money, wielding the shield of faith. But it's worth the hard work that we can only do by God's strength. Psalm 126:5-6 "Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him."
When I quote Scripture In this blog, unless otherwise indicated, the quotations are usually from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission.
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