Ground

This week the leaders at Fervent got together and discussed the future of our group.  Joe brought us an awesome word out of Mark 4 where Jesus is telling the parable of the soils.  Many of you probably know it, but I have been super inspired by it to really check my own heart.  As I read on, I became overwhelmed with thoughts of our generation also.
In this parable, as many of you know, Jesus is talking about a sower who goes and plants seed.  Some fell beside the road and the birds came and ate it up.  Some fell on rocky ground and did spring up, but died shortly thereafter because it had no soil to take root in.  Other seed fell among the thorns and the small shoots were depleted of nutrients and produced no crop.  And then there were the seeds that fell on good soil, able to grow and increase their yield 30, 60 and 100 fold.
We really prayed that the Lord would soften our own hearts to create soil in us that would allow good crop to grow.  Together, we also prayed this for our group.  Because where there is good soil, there will be increase.  We don’t want just numbers, we want souls.
Anyway, I went on to read verses 14-20 where Jesus explains this parable and I was struck with a description of many in our generation.  Some stand on the sidelines and hear the Word.  They are given the truth, but because they are travelers, not grounded in one place, Satan is able to steal the Word from them.  I see this in so many who feel they don’t have to go to church or have fellowship with other believers.  It’s not so much that you’re “going to church” but it has everything to do with building a foundation and grounding yourself in one place, rather than being a spiritual nomad.
Secondly, the ones who receive the word on rocky soil and yet they receive it with joy.  This didn’t make a ton of sense to me.  The verse (17) goes on to say, “they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises, they immediately fall away.”  Many of us meet with people and put on our happy faces.  We bring our best outward appearance and because of this, can only receive the Word at a surface level.  They are broken and desperate inside, but the root has nowhere to stabilize.  We can often take things with joy, but if we don’t put it into practice, there is no point: the revelation dies.
The seed sewn among thorns is tough.  I see much of our generation falling into this trap.  We surround ourselves with idols, with people who only care about wealth, popularity, or notoriety.  Right now, we get so concerned that we forget the value of knowing the Lord.  The things of the world deplete this generation from hard work, from faith, from love, from the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ – because the things of this world have been made to appear more attractive than grace.
However, if we are founded in a body, if we have allowed ourselves to be broken and brutally honest with others and with the Lord, if we turn our eyes from the things of this world, that Word will sink deep and do wonders.  Our generation needs this.  It needs to know that there are safe places to go, that there are safe people to open their heart to, that there is more than money and popularity.  However, we must first realize this in ourselves as believers.  We have to walk it out, to practice it daily.  When we do this, our lives, even in hard times, will begin to look attractive to others.  We have to be prepared to receive these people who come asking, who come wondering, who come searching.  It is here where we find the increase.  Wow…thank you Lord.  Thirty, sixty, even a hundred fold.
Guard your ground.

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