This Post deviates from the usual. For the last few weeks I’ve been convicted of late that you don’t see change in your life unless you actually change the way you’re doing things. Sounds like common sense, but why then do I keep doing the same old things and hoping that one day everything I’ve ever wanted will just start happening?
Various sermons I’ve listened to have impressed on me the need to learn a language different to that of this earth, a heavenly language I suppose, a language that comes from the spirit. After dwelling on this I was sitting in the car and turned a CD on (which I knew was Joyce Meyer)…the first words I hear “The written word of God…”, it turns out my CD player had been on Random so it wasn’t the chapter I was up to, but oh so relevant. Basically, I need to read the bible more – a lot more!
So I sat on this and nodded my head wisely, yes, yes I do need to read that bible more. But I didn’t read it more, for a whole week after this revelation, and by the end I didn’t beat myself over the head with guilt but I asked, “why?” I realised that within me there is a deep desire to create and inspire. I feel like I have such a deep resource within me that is not being used but I don’t know where or how to start…or what to start with. The thought of reading the bible, or pursuing God seemed counterintuitive to me (at a deep what I really thought level…not my rational brain level). I so desperately wanted to pursue my creative interests that pausing to read the bible and spend time praying and meditating was about number 5 on the priority list. Problem is, I wasn’t even beginning with number 1 on my priority list properly.
What I’ve realised, is that, if God isn’t priority 1, those other dreams and interests may never flourish or take off (at least not in a truly satisfying and life-fulfilling way that I’m after). So I turned my mind to God and said okay, if I put my time and resources into you, then I also have to put my trust in you that I’ll be happy and fulfilled. Essentially handing over my destiny to God…he does after all know me better than I know myself.
This morning I opened that bible and read the parable of the sower, Mark 4:1-8. I realised there was something in that for me.
The Parable of the Sower (Mark 4 ESV)
4 Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. 2 And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them:3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. 6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8 And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” 9 And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
For years I’ve read this and thought to myself, clearly I’m the good soil, because I understand what this means and I’m a Christian. I would even say a silent prayer “God, grow the seeds roots deep in my soil”, or something like that. I didn’t want to be the one with rocky soil, or have thorns choking God’s words…or worse… be the path! But I never considered it much further than just hoping I was the good soil and maybe hoping would be enough to be good soil. Today what I realised, my life has had thorns.
18 And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 20 But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
The thorns in my life are definitely cares and worries, and a desire for other things. That is why my life has been unfruitful (not in everything, but certainly not thirty, sixty, a hundredfold). Once again I find myself having to learn how to put my trust and faith in God’s goodness.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33 ESV)
It’s time to do some gardening.