Matthew 13 is a chapter that I’ve read, studied and heard taught about many times. In fact there was a season in my life, a few years ago, I kept coming back to these words that Jesus spoke over and over to see if my life and the lives of brothers and sisters around me were good soil. In this chapter of Matthew Jesus teaches about the parable of the sower and the various types of soil the seeds fall on. I’ve recently found my mind wandering back to these verses. I wanted to revisit these words that Jesus spoke because I often feel like my life is the thorny soil. That’s not to say I don’t know Christ at all or that His word never sticks to me like glue. But there are times that I can look on and clearly see that the word God spoke to me was choked out the by the cares of this life.
This is what Jesus says in His parable concerning the thorny soil and good soil:
7 Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. 8 Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!
Here is His explanation the thorny and good soil:
22 The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. 23 The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
God’s word applies to our lives. Period. Everything that God speaks to us applies to our lives both individually and corporately. As believers we all know that God speaks to us in many different ways. Sometimes Christ is revealed to us through reading the Bible or some other Christ-centered writing. He often reveals Himself to us through things like music, teachings and the conversation that takes place in the context of community. Every time that God speaks He is revealing Christ to us in some way, as Christ is the beginning, the end and therefore everything in between. I believe that for as much as the Lord speaks to us there is just as much noise coming at us and demanding our attention from the world. Now keep in mind that not all of these things that are demanding our attention are inherently “bad” things. in fact for most people they are things like family, friends, work and culture. All of these are good, even great things…but yet they still have the ability to choke out the word of God, to blind us from seeing our true love who is seated at the right hand of God, Jesus Christ.
It’s not impossible to both walk in the spirit and live our everyday lives. As a matter of fact they go hand in hand. Our spiritual life isn’t the collection of time spent reading the Bible, listening to music that glorifies Christ or even bible studies and church meetings. Our spiritual life is our life. We should be just as spiritual during “normal” times of the day as we are when we are explicitly thinking about Jesus. We have this tendency to think of certain things as spiritual and certain things as secular, but there is no difference. If we are in Christ then we are in Him regardless of what we’re physically doing. That is, if we are in Him and the life of Christ is our life source.
However, in all things, Christ must have the supremacy. Christ Himself must be the reason we are able to even get up in the morning. The only reason that I can even truly love is because of Christ who is love. So it’s possible to still have Christ at the forefront of our minds and even live by His very life while still doing the things we do. Through the grace that the Lord gives though, we have to rely on Him in order for the Word that He has spoken to us, which is Christ, to not be choked out and covered up by all of these things and tasks around us. This can only be done by the life of Christ. I know very well from experience that apart from Christ I can do nothing. I can’t even please God apart from Christ.
Go check out Matthew 13. Looking back, which of the soils has your life been?