The Sowing Of The Word

Turn to someone beside you and ask if he or she is familiar with the parable of the sower. Chances are quite good that the man or woman will respond in the affirmative. Sure, we have heard the parable of the sower, but have we really understood the message it conveys; maybe not. Resourceful readers will immediately turn to Matthew 13:4, and recite yes she was explanation of this parable; yet they will fail to grasp some of the more significant elements found there.

The Soil

Dirt is not the same dirt wherever you go; soil quality changes from one locale to the next. I think we could profit from a quick look at the different soil types and how they apply to the work we are doing.
Some ground is very hard and requires a considerable amount of work before one may begin to plant anything. Doubtless, we all recognize the need to break up the fallow ground, and sow not among thorns (Jeremiah 4:3). But do we understand that
no sowing is to take place until the hard, sun-baked soil is made soft and workable? Perhaps not; seeing that so many Christians try to sow seed in a field that is as hard as a runway at the LA International Airport. Apparently many people have the notion that breaking up the fallow ground is done by throwing a super abundance of seed all over it. According to Galatians 4:19, the foregoing idea is incorrect.

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.

Here we are given quite a different picture. We see prayer (travail) being the tool God uses to break up fallow ground. We are to pray for the hardhearted until Christ be formed in them (or until God tells us to stop praying). Sowing seed in unprepared soil will produce nothing except wasted seed. The only way to prepare the soil is to pray. If you want to plant seed in a persons life you must pray. Do not sow, do not water; PRAY!

When you have been praying for someone to prepare their heart, your heart is going to be tender toward that person. You are going to be made sensitive to the needs, fears, and desires of that person. Pray that the lost person realizes his need for Yeshua. Pray that the believing brother develops a deep desire for more of the things of God, so you may minister the more mature things of God to him. But you should not arbitrarily start trying to minister things to those whose hearts are unprepared for them. When we broadcast seed over hard ground, it simply remains on top of the ground and is easily eaten by the birds of the air. In this instance, birds are symbolic of demonic spirits. The importance of preparing the soil just cannot be over emphasized. The soil must be workable or nothing will work!

The Seed

Just as soils vary, there are differences in seeds as well. There is a difference between a radish seed and a pumpkin seed. Not all seed does equally well in the same soil. Corn should be planted in very rich soil, the watermelon should be sowed in sandy soil. A farmer should not think of planting beans in the same watery environment in which rice is grown. Yet Christians will toss the seed of God’s word into (or onto) any type of ground they happen upon. It is as if sowing is the be-all, end-all of Christianity.
It always bothers me when I hear a Christian speaking to (or arguing with) a non believer about evolution, life on other planets, or the baptism of the Holy Spirit; as though these things where they quintessential elements of salvation. We do well to remember that God has only one thing to say to the unbeliever: Yeshua. The church (universal, local, and personal) needs to stop wasting time on non essentials in witnessing to the unbeliever. Believers need the seed of salvation, not the seed of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Those who are dead in trespasses and sins need the seed of new life in Messiah. The seed of salvation is for the unbeliever; nothing else will grow there quite as well.

For those who have accepted Yeshua as Lord and Savior, there are new fields to be planted, but the seed is always planted to help meet a need. We should never be found planting seed in order to show what good farmers we are. Neither should we plant seed merely for the sake of planting because it is expected of us. Planting seed is serious business; we need to give much prayer and thought to where, when, and what we plant. In this writer’s opinion, too many people have been allowed to remain ignorant of Yeshua Messiah by being shown something other than the cross of Calvary.

When Yeshua told us to go into all the world and preach the gospel, I believe he meant we were to preach to meet a specific need in a specific individual or group. When Yeshua was visited by Nicodemus, we find the Lord telling Nicodemus that he must be born again. Why, in view of what Yeshua stated in John 3:10, did Yeshua not say,

Study to show thyself approved unto God... —2 Timothy 2:15

The reason is simple. While Nicodemus may have had a problem with ignorance, his greatest problem was his need of salvation.

The seed of salvation grows best in the soil of those who have come to realize their need for salvation. The seed of Holy Spirit baptism can only grow in those who are born again and are seeking more of God than the fire escape of the salvation experience. The reason so many Christians are inept at sharing the gospel is because they are inept at prayer. This leaves them with nothing better to offer than the regurgitation of things they have heard other people say. For instance:

Thomas hears William talking to Robert about the benefits of praying in other tongues, citing Scriptures and experiences from his own life. Thomas sees that Robert is receiving both grace and edification from William’s words. Then Thomas gets the foolish notion that since the ideas presented helped Robert, who was in need, then they will work to help all in need. WRONG!

Dear saints, it is time we stood up, grew up, and started behaving like mature Christians. Even your doctor changes prescriptions and techniques from one patient to the next. A medical doctor would not keep his practice very long if he treated everyone for a broken arm or for staph infection. People have different hurts and needs, yet we find the Christian version of Dudley Do-Right trying to get an unbeliever interested in receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit because they have seen it help so many other “Christians.” How easy it is for the church to forget that the things of God are foolishness to unregenerate man because they are “spiritually discerned.” It is easily forgotten because we
do understand and walk in those things; but not so the unbeliever.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. —1 Corinthians 2:14

The Water

For obvious reasons, the most exciting aspects (though not necessarily the most fun) of getting a crop are preparing the soil, planting the seed, and harvesting the crop. The most boring phase is, necessarily, watering. It is difficult to see any results during the watering phase other than the plants getting wet. You cannot see the planet taking in the life-giving liquid, or how the water sustains the life of the plant. All you see is the plant getting wet. But the plant cannot grow without that water. You may be bored to tears standing there watering, but the plant is getting rejuvenated through your efforts. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 3:6

I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

One person plants, another waters, but growth comes from God. It is interesting to note that, while soil types change and seeds very, water is pretty much water wherever you go. No matter what type of seed was sown, no matter what type of soil it was sown in, and no matter what type of plant you are dealing with; everything gets the same water. Water is a constant in the kingdom of God; therefore, water must be viewed as being basic Christian doctrine. And not all plants require the same amount of water. Some are heartier than others and require less water, while others require much larger portions of the liquid.

I believe this is a vital point to be reckoned with if we are going to be effective in our work for Yeshua Messiah. Once a person has had the seed of salvation sown into his heart and life, what he needs is water, not more seed. You need to repeat the steps of
The Roman Road to him again. Once he understands his need for salvation, and the way he is to receive eternal life, water him with basic Christian doctrine. For those of you who have little or no knowledge of what I am referring to, basic Christian Doctrine 101 may be located in your Bible in Hebrews 6:1-2—

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

Prayer and water! Those are the things a tender young plant (convert) needs. Once an individual acknowledges his understanding of the need and method of salvation, we must still pray for him. Our prayers are the means of hoeing out the weeds so the word of God is not choked out of his life. You will recall from the parable of the sewer how some of the seed fell among thorns. Thorns are part of God’s curse upon the earth and must be removed if more productive plants are ever going to grow. We must pray to keep the ground from becoming overgrown with thistles, nettles, and the like. Unproductive ground is the most susceptible to becoming overgrown with choking thorns. Obviously, an unbeliever is in no position to appropriate any of the promises of God; therefore, he needs help for God’s word to take root in his life.

Along with prayer, we must water. The basics of Christian Doctrine should be commonplace to you by now, so you should have no problem teaching them to those less mature in the things of God (you do know them, right?). It makes no difference whether the person is about to accept Yeshua or has been a faithful, mature follower for many years; water is water. And once the seed has been planted, basic Christian Doctrine is sufficient to germinate that seed, causing it to grow. Still, we must guard against over watering. Many crops have been lost while still in the seed stage. This is owing to the fact that excess water causes the seed to rot. Some Christians have watered the fields until the seed rotted. Over watering is an easy stage to recognize; it is that stage of ministry where the person you are witnessing to is sick to death of you cramming basic Christian Doctrine 101 down his throat, and he tells you to get lost. When this occurs, the best thing to do is let the soil dry out a little. Just scrape the mud off of your feet and go home and pray for a while. However, the best thing is not to over water in the first place. If God is using you to work in someone’s life, then he or she will be making inquiries of you. There is no need for you to break out your high-volume, ultra-anointed, Holy Ghost Water-Blaster just to get your point across.

The Point

Sowing the word of God is one thing, getting a crop out of it is something else again. Even the devil can sow the word. Come on now, stop giving me those looks. You remember quite well the temptation of Yeshua by the devil. If you want to do more than waste your time, you need to follow the instructions in the seed package:
  • Pray to get the person open to hear the word of God.
  • Plant specific seed to get a specific crop; whether it be salvation, healing, Holy Spirit Baptism, repentance, commitment, or whatever.
  • Water the seed; do not drown the seed.
  • Pray to keep the thorns down to a bare minimum.
By following these simple package directions, and not doing things our own way, we are assured of having a healthy crop. If we really want to see the Kingdom of God grow, we will be found doing things the way God wants them done; decently, and in order; not in a slipshod manner. Love to all.

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