What kind of soil do you have?
I was born in raised in Georgia. Our soil?—What soil??? All I knew was Georgia red clay. Whenever we would plant something, we would have to break up the clay and then place a layer of top soil, that we would purchase at the local home improvement store. All I knew of rich, black soil was that it was purchased in bags that were always on display at the store on a large pallet.
Then, I went to visit my husband’s home town of Willard, Ohio. It is a small city that is adjacent to the small community of Celeryville, where his grandmother’s family has a farm. Let me just say that this girl who grew up knowing nothing more than red clay was shocked that they get rich, black soil for FREE! No wonder they have so many farms there.
But this is not the soil that I am wondering about. I’m wondering about the soil analysis of your heart, the place where the word of God falls.
In this case, there’s 4 types of heart “soil”:
1. adjacent to the road “soil”
2. rocky “soil”
3. thorny “soil”
4. good “soil”
In First Thessalonians 2:13, Paul lets us know that he constantly thanks God that when the people of Thessalonica heard the Gospel of Christ (God’s rescue plan for sinners), they accepted it and allowed it to perform its work in them who believed.
Why would Paul do this? Why would he constantly give thanks to God that God’s Word was accepted there?
Why? Because there is a very real enemy who works against this, which is explained through a parable about seeds and soil.
Seed = Word of God
Different landing spots of the seed = people’s hearts
Let’s check them out to do a soil analysis of ourselves—
(From Matthew 13:18-23)
Soil #1, adjacent to the road:
“Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.”
Soil #2, rocky soil:
“The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.”
Soil #3, thorny soil:
“And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”
Soil #4, good soil:
“And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”
Do you see why Paul would give thanks when the Word of God was heard AND received?
Don’t miss the fact that the enemy, Satan, can snatch the Word of God right out of your heart.
Also, don’t miss the fact that growth can start, a plant shoots up, but then that growth is quickly halted and the plant shrivels and dies.
This is happening all around us. There are people who will sit in churches week in and week out, listening to God’s Word, but then that’s it. Once “life” happens, it’s gone.
Want to do a soil analysis of your church? Check the giving status. There are churches all around us closing their doors because there is not enough good soil receiving the Word of God.
(For further description on this, see a past blog post: Giving French Fries)
Malachi 3:10 is heard, but then it is snatched right out of people’s hearts, which is exactly the way Satan wants it.
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
There are people everywhere that will give personal testimony after personal testimony as to the truth of this verse, but even still, rocky, thorny soil will prevent it from taking root in people. My family absolutely cannot out-give God. We give to Him. He gives more back. So then, we give more, and then He gives EVEN more back. Those floodgate doors will absolutely be flung open, and you will wish you discovered this truth sooner. Believe me, it’s true, and the same will happen with you.
Another soil analysis of your church? Check the need for childcare workers.
At the very end of the book of John, Jesus is asking Peter if he loves Him. Jesus asks 3 times, and each time Peter replies that he does indeed love Jesus, Jesus responds by asking Peter to feed His sheep, tend His lambs.
Churches everywhere are filled with people who claim that they love Jesus with all their heart, yet we have lambs that need tending.
What is our soil looking like?
God has convicted my heart so much about this. Doing a soil analysis of yourself is not fun, yet it is where growth really begins to take shape.
Let’s let God’s Word take DEEP root within us.
Let’s not leave a hearing of God’s Word with a quick shoot of growth, just to have worry choke out that growth (sometimes even before we leave the church building).
Let’s guard those seeds against the evil one.
Let’s pray for our soil, and the soils around us.
‘Cause God’s rich, black soil is not sold in bags at the home improvement store—it’s FREE and it’s there for the taking! Let’s take it!