Jesus reserved the best for last. Jesus called the fourth soil representing the condition of the heart good soil that belongs to the receptive heart. Simply defined, this is someone who hears the Word and is willing to accept any changes needed. This person has a listening heart that pursues understanding.
Because of the attitude of this heart, the seed is planted in healthy soil. There is no hardness, no shallowness, no clutter; only hunger and willingness are manifested by a heart yielded to the Spirit of God. King Solomon prayed for an understanding heart (1 Kings 3:9). He later wrote in Proverbs, chapter 2, that an understanding heart was a key to finding the knowledge of God.
When God finds that we have a listening attitude, He will begin to plant the seeds of progress in our hearts. He will move us from spiritual barrenness into a fruit-producing lifestyle.
Because we have a listening heart, we will hear His voice and begin to see ourselves in a new light. And as we walk in that light, more light is given. Jesus said, "To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge" (Matthew 13:12 NLT). We become aware that the seeds of health are growing within us. Seeds of prosperity, progress, and plenty are being nurtured; increase is becoming evident in our lives. All of the benefits of a life truly open to God begin to spring up within us.
Receptiveness is a key ingredient for continued progress in the Lord. Although it will require intense cultivation, the results will be well worth the effort: abounding fruitfulness. It is a sad sight to see scores of Christians wandering aimlessly from one "spiritual fad" to another always wanting to appear mature, yet lacking the common sense to lay the proper foundation for real growth. They are satisfied to forfeit the supernatural for the spectacular.
The Holy Spirit will always emphasize and promote a stable foundation for progress. From this place of stability He can bring us clear direction for our lives. He will teach us to deal with the compromise we have tolerated in the past in a straightforward fashion.
The importance of a deep, personal foundation cannot be overemphasized. The development of depth and character must become our priority. Without deep roots in God, some will bear fruit for a time but when the winds of adversity come they will wilt, lacking the deep root system that sustains and protects others from the scorching heat.
Psalm 1:2-3 tells us what life is like for the person whose roots go deep into God:
"But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do."
During these trying days, it is vitally important that we pull together the loose ends in our lives. Prayer, study, and tithing must all be a fundamental part of our new lifestyles. We must be committed to seeking after the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit with the same intensity.
We cannot become disillusioned; change is always required if we intend to progress. Let the change come!
- Excerpt from the
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