In the scripture above, Jesus is talking about something that is vital to you and me walking on stepping stones for victorious Christ Centered Living. Indeed, He is teaching us about how we can truly R.E.S.T. as we journey with Himself … or not. That is, He is talking about how we can experience Rock-solid Eternal Spirituality Today. Take time to go there and read this life changing passage for yourself. When you do, you will discover that Jesus gives you great wisdom and understanding regarding actually being able to hear the Word of God … or not. As you search this scripture, you will learn that their are four groups of people that react to God’s Word. Three out of four miss out on actually being productive listeners. But one experiences the blessing above all blessings of the Word of God coming alive!.
Let’s give this group a name: Let us call it The Devil In The Details People. I really hope you are not one of these. Because, as God reaches out to TDIDP, His Word simply goes in one ear and out the other. God speaks, but they “ain’t listening.” Like the “natural man” of 1 Corinthians 2:14, these things are foolishness to this person because God’s Word is spiritually discerned, and the things of the Spirit are not things that they are concerned about. There is nothing wrong with their tympanic membranes of the ear. Their ear drums, and ear canals, are perfect, but they don’t have ears to hear God. It doesn’t even seem to occur to them that this is important; therefore, the Devil literally snatches the Word from them, and Jesus cannot even save them. I can tell you that such people have quicksand as a foundation for their lives. If you are like this, you definitely will NOT hear God.
This group is not opposed to God. As a matter of fact, they receive the Word with joy! The Word has all kinds of meaning to them in the sense that it makes them feel really good; however, they only hang tightly to feeling good, and they do not allow God to give them the stuff to be enough when hard times come. The big problem for this type person, however, is life is not based on feelings; therefore, the tough times show up. Life gets hot and challenging. It maybe even get painful. I really hope you are not one of these that wilts when the tough times come. For, if you do, hearing God, in a productive way, will elude you, and you will miss out on what truly matters regarding God and His Word. The Word will make little difference in your life.
This group is all tangled up in the world, and they are caught up in the things of the world. Such people seem to be living in a spiritual briar patch, and I am talking about a huge one that really pulls and tears at them! Let me explain. The focus of this person is not on the Word, but on the issues of life that worry them. This person, sadly, is focused on the problems they are facing, and they are not focused on THE Problem Solver whose Word could help them. When this person’s life intersects the Word of God, it has little impact on them. This is true because the challenges facing them get more attention than does the wisdom of God that can help them.
There is another part of this briar patch group. Their worldly wealth, and the glitter of their gold, tangles up their lives. Like the Rich Young Ruler, that Jesus taught about, they are focused on their “toys.” It’s their stuff that keeps them from allowing the Word of God to transform them to be enough to be productive for God in His Kingdom. They have the power, and they have the potential, but wealth is more important to them than the Word. Therefore, such people miss out on the greatest gift of all that comes from the Greatest Giver of gifts. Simplifying life, and giving God first place, is a considerable remedy for these folks. If you are allowing your worries to rule you, and if you are allowing your toys to fool you, and take away your power to hear God productively, you will learn there are so many blessings – that come from the Spirit – that are easily missed.
This group is filled with people who I call the bumper crop listener. This one gets tuned in to what God is saying. This one listens. This one intersects with the Word consistently no matter how they feel. This one really benefits tremendously from the Word of God. This one really does not do a lot of work, but this one, daily, let’s go and lets God’s Word take root. This one abides in the Word, and lets the Word abide in them. This one reads the Word, hears the Word, studies the Word, meditates on the Word and even memorizes the Word. And as they do, the Word of God produces fruit. This one lives the transformed life. This one experiences growing up within them Love, Joy, Peace, Unshakeable Calmness, gentleness, goodness, integrity and self control. This fruit does not come from them but from God’s Word growing up from deep within them by God’s own Holy Spirit!
Your Challenge And Mine
The challenge each of us face as Christ-Followers, is the challenge of being intentional about hearing God’s Word. We need it to be important enough for us to listen. If we do not, our spiritual life will be abysmal. The Word needs to be more than just a feel good thing because life sometimes will come at us hard. And, when this happens, we may let it go just when the Word can help us the most. We have the challenge of getting disentangled from the stuff that hinders our growth. We have the challenge of getting disentangled from what worries us. The Word has a plan for helping us do this. We have the challenge of letting God, and His Word, be the priority, rather than the things we own, which potentially own us or actually own us. Then we have the challenge of surrender: If we daily surrender to God’s Word, and if we let it’s roots go down deep inside, we will experience the greatest wealth, the greatest disentanglement, the most balanced emotional state that will give us the blessed saving grace of God. May we listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Have a great day, and experience rock solid living in this quicksand world. Allow God’s Word to transform your life.