In the Bible, Jesus tells a simple story that gives powerful insight into why some Christians can hear God's word and not bear any fruit from it while others do bear fruit but at different levels. You see, God has no favorites. He gives you and me the same opportunity to have the very best. So, if we want to reap God's best in our lives and not just settle for something less, we need to study what Jesus talked about.
Lets take a look at the parable of the sower in Mark 4:3-8 (Amplified Version)
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 seeds [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 another seed [of the same kind] fell into good (well adapted) soil
and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing, and yielding up to
thirty times as much, and sixty times as much, and even a hundred times
as much as had been sown.
Notice how Jesus first says "Give attention to this!" Obviously, this parable is important. Next we need to understand that the sower is the Holy Spirit, the seed is His word, and everyone receives 'the same kind' of seed. God is no respecter of persons and each of us hears the same word of God, no matter what our circumstances.
The ground is the key in this parable. Lets look at the four types of ground or soil Jesus describes and think about which one fits you.
- The first ground is a weak, unprepared ground that allows the enemy to easily snatch up, or steal, the seed that's been sown. An example of this is a believer who gets angry at someone right after a powerful message in church, so they lose what they received.
- The second type of ground has no depth. This represents a shallow Christian who may love God, but they live controlled by their will and emotions instead of the Holy Spirit.
- Then there is the ground that cannot focus. This is a big problem today because we have so many frequent distractions like cell phones, that keep people from spending time with God, causing them to miss out on things He wants to tell them.
- Lastly, Jesus described a good soil that takes the seed and produces a harvest. This is where we want to be if we want God's best.
If you aren't experiencing God's best, it could be that you need to become better soil for the seed of His word. If so, there is something you need to know...
Compromise limits God's best! Compromise relates to a lack of commitment. If you are not truly committed, you will not reap the hundred-fold that God says you can receive. A commitment level to Christ that is not 100% is the reason some people bear only thirty-fold or sixty-fold like the parable describes. If we want to reap a harvest of a hundred-fold, then we must get the compromise out of our lives, which is anything contrary to scripture.
For example, if you're bitter with someone- your heart is not right with that person or God, and you are compromising your godly character.
Someone may have treated you badly, and you may feel justifiably upset- but according to God's word, you have no right to stay angry with them.