Can you recall an experience that has hardened your heart toward God? The event seemed to put an obstacle in your inner being that continually hinders the movement of God in a particular area of your life. Jesus addressed this scenario when He shared the story known as The Parable of the Sower (see Matthew 13:1-23; cf. Mark 4:1-20; Luke 8:4-15). The parable had three points: (1) The Sower sows the seed; (2) three unfruitful soils produce destruction; and (3) one fruitful soil produces life.
The Sower sows the seed: “That same day, Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around Him that He got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then He told them many things in parables, saying, ‘A farmer went out to sow his seed'” (Matthew 13:1-3). The seed is the word of God (see Luke 8:11). This is the expression of God in Christ to each one of us. The soils represent four preparations of the heart, three unfruitful soils which are destructive to the expression of God, one fruitful soil that experiences life. The three destructive soils comprise three differing levels of obstacles.
Two thousand years ago in Palestine, the ground was plowed before seed was sown. In fact, one commonly used tool actually plowed as the seed was sown. Jesus’ point was that the Holy Spirit had plowed and continued to plow every heart that heard His message of the kingdom of God. The hearers were responding with one of four preparations of the heart.
A clue to Jesus’ intended meaning lies in the first three words of Matthew’s account: “That same day” (Matthew 13:1). Jesus had taught in riddle form that the only way to find oneself holding a one-way ticket south was to reject, or blaspheme, the Holy Spirit’s movement in his or her life (see Matthew 12:30-32).
What seed is Christ sowing in your life? Is He prompting you to be, do, or go in a direction that you are resisting? Surrender to the Spirit’s prompting and take the first steps toward His plan for your life.