And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing.
It breaks my heart when I read these four verses. For the first couple of years after surrendering my life to Jesus, this passage summed me up perfectly. I would go to church and be so moved by a sermon that I was willing to change anything or go anywhere Jesus wanted to lead me. On a typical week, this feeling was gone by Monday morning, sometimes as early as Sunday afternoon.
While no one wants to admit they are one of these two types of soil, it easily shows in the way a Christian lives their life. Some of us are in the front row on Sunday morning with our hands stretched as far as they can during the warm up music, just to act like we’ve never even heard of Jesus within a few short days. This continues week after week and eventually, Satan beats us down bad enough that something has to change.
I’m not writing this to judge any Christian. While yes, we are called to judge the actions of others, we are not to judge their heart. The condition of our soil is definitely a heart issue. What I have to say about this is not only what I see in others, it’s the experience I lived for way too long.
When I read these verses, I think of the Christians who love church and they want to follow Jesus. However, they haven’t been able to discover a personal relationship with Him. They never miss a Sunday service. Their weekly schedule includes a serious Bible study group, maybe even two. They read through Scripture every day and have at least started the routine of praying on a regular basis. These Christians are learning more and more about Jesus. But, they have yet to meet Him.
This can be difficult to accept. Some would even be offended if they thought I was directly talking to them. I know this because that is exactly how I felt. I learned the only way I was able to start working my soil was by getting to know Jesus personally. This definitely didn’t happen overnight. However, the more important a relationship with Jesus became in my life, the more my heart was opened to experiencing Jesus on a daily basis.
I’m not expecting anyone to comment and share this is something they have been struggling with. However, if something I have written today was caused your insides to stir, I invite you to follow my blog. I will be spending the next few weeks on the topic of discovering and developing a relationship with Jesus Christ. I choose to call it turning soil.