Mark 4: 2 - 8 (Amplified Bible) And He taught them many things in parables (illustrations or comparisons put beside truths to explain them), and in His teaching He said to them:
"Give attention to this! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he was sowing, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed [of the same kind] fell on ground full of rocks, where it had not much soil; and at once it sprang up, because it had no depth of soil; And when the sun came up, it was scorched, and because it had not taken root, it withered away. Other seed [of the same kind] fell among thorn plants, and the thistles grew and pressed together and utterly choked and suffocated it, and it yielded no grain. And other seed [of the same kind] fell into good (well-adapted) soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing, and yielded up to thirty times as much, and sixty times as much, and even a hundred times as much as had been sown."
The parable starts with the statement (in the Amplified Bible) "Give attention to this! The sower went forth to sow" In our faith walk, there are issues we must pay attention to, because of the impact they will make on our faith walk.
There are certain events that occur in our walk of faith, as we go through the process of developing our faith that impact on the result we achieve. We call them Faith Chokers. Jesus points out three of such events that can choke our faith and keep it from producing result:
1. Seed sown on the byway - these are seed which when sown, the birds of the air come and steal them because we do not understand them.
2. Seeds sown on rock: Those that hear the word and receeive it with Joy, however when persecution arise for the sake of the word, they are quickly offended and let go of the word.
3. Those that fall on thorn, and the thorns grew up along with the seed and choke them - Jesus calls the thorns: The cares of these life, the deceitfulness of riches, and that these things choke the word and keep it from producing.
FAITH CHOKER 1:
1. Those that fell on the road side: If you read the account in matthew, it says that these ones heard the word but becuase they did not understand the word, the devil came and stole the word from them. The first faith choker is this - lack of understanding of the word of God. When people don't understand the word, or when it does not add up in their minds, they dump it and the devil steals the word from them. The first step in getting our faith to work is to understand the word we are hearing.
How does that happen:
a. By paying attention to the word. The more we pay attention to the word, the more it will make sense to us. The story of the Ethiopian Eunuch comes to mind. The book of Acts records that the man was reading a scripture but he had no understanding, but he kept reading, God had to send Phillip who had come by the leading of the Holy Ghost to explain the scriptures to him. Phillip had understanding, and could pass it to the man who was making enquiries. We have an advantage in our days of having several informations and materials to learn from. People have compiled their learnings in books, tapes, CDs, podcast, internet radios etc to build our faith, make use of them.
Mark 4:26 says" The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you--and more [besides] will be given to you who hear
so pay attention.
b. Pray: Paul made a profound prayer for the church in Ephesus in his letter to them. He prayed for the Spirirt of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
Ephesians 1:17- 19[For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him,
18By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones),
19And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength. . .
When God opens the eyes of your heart, you will understand easily. Paul prayed this prayer for the church in Ephesus, you can pray the same: God give me a heart that is able to comprehend and understand the truth of the word of God. A spirit/heart of wisdom and understanding in the knowledge of God and God will give it to you.
Sometimes understanding God's word, to a natural minded man, is very difficult. The natural mind finds it difficult to comprehend spiritual things, because its logic and premise is not the same with those of the natural mind. but when you get born again and the Holy Ghost floods your heart with light, then they will begin to make sense. The logic will begin to makes sense, the premise begin to add up.
The Holy Ghost spoke to me one day and began to teach me about what he called "fundamental truths" - These are the truth upon which every other truth is based. e.g. in the natural, the Alphabets are fundamental truths. A head is a head, why, no reason, it is a fundamental agreement, we accept it and then we can communicate. The same way there are also fundamental spiritual truths which we must agree to and accept by Faith. One of them, "He that comes to God must believe that he is amd that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Hebrew 11 says "by faith we "understand" that the worlds were framed by the word of God". We can understand by faith, that a piece of spiritual truth is it, a fundamental truth, and that will form the basis for our other understanding. The Holy Spirirt will point this things out to you as he guides you into all truth.
Jesus spoke to his disciples, "I have many things to tell, but you can not bear them now, but when the spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. . . ." The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, and when when we ask Him to flood our hearts with light and guideus into all truths, then they will begin to add up.
2. Those that fell on rocks: These ones heard the word, recieved it with Joy, but they had no real root in themselves. but when afflictions and persecutions arose for the word sake, they were offended, displeased, indignant and they stumbled and fell away.
Persecution and troubles sometimes arise becuase of the word, for the purpose of stealing the word from your heart. never take offence, and become displeased. A lot of people come to the Lord thinking that now, God will solve all their problems, and they will never have any issues agains. but that is a misconception. God never said you will never have problems, he promised he will bring you out of the problems. Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him from them all (Psalm 34:19).
One of the reasons for persecutions and afflictions sometimes is to steal the word and cause it not to bear fruit in your life, but hold on, and don't give up. Has God not said "I will never leave you nor forsake you. no I will not, I will not, I will not loose my hold on you nor will I give you up, so that you can say, the Lord is my helper, what can man do unto me?" Heb 13:5-6 Amplified.
Memery Verse: Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him from them all (Psalm 34:19).