I have a dear friend that also started writing a blog, and I was reading her newest post https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/159171827/posts/65 and a quote she mentions (that I had never heard before) struck me, and I immediately asked if I could write about it. The quote was… “I asked God to help me grow, it started raining.” This got me to thinking (dangerous I know) about a passage in the New Testament. So I feel the need to expand on it.
In Matthew 13 we read about planting seeds in verses 1-23 we read…
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake.2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’[a]
16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
Now, first of all, I am NOT going to discuss the parable in full, but the concept it brings up… planting seeds and the conditions needed for a good crop. So, let’s take a look at what is required to grow a good crop.
The parable makes it clear that we need good soil. We can not plant in rocks, or overgrown thistles, on sidewalks or roads, we need soil. Now the parable says that we are the soil, but I want to take it a little deeper (you will understand why later). The soil is our HEART. We must have a good heart in order for the seed that is planted to grow. Without the proper soil/heart planting is useless. We have to have a proper heart to hear the word of God, our heart needs to have the right Ph balance and fertilizer to insure proper growth (meaning we need the right frame of mind and conviction of the Holy Spirit in order to receive the seeds being planted.)
We also need good seeds, this is the Word of God being planted in us. Now first I want to look at the next parable real quick verses 24-30
24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
I point this out to show there are different seeds out there, there is what God intends to plant (the truth) and what the enemy has thrown out there (lies). We need to make sure we harvest the good seeds and destroy the weeds. For this I we need to examine the seeds that are being planted. What do I mean by that? Simple, answer this question, where do seeds come from? They come from a good plant, good fruit, a mature vine. For this quick example let’s say we are planting grapes. We do not go to a corn stalk to get our seeds, because they are not what we want. Instead we are going to find the best vine we can in order to grow the best grapes we can. So we will go see John for our seeds in 15:5
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
And once we get our seeds and plant them, looking at this parable… The enemy comes and sows other seeds (weeds that look like our desired plants) so that we will not have a good crop (that is what the enemy is thinking anyway)… But the owner in this parable knows there is another thing that crops need…
Our crop needs time to grow. Nothing is going to happen overnight, but given time our crops will grow. Once it does grow, we will be able to go and sort out the good fruit from the enemies weeds. (now it is easy to weed out some of the enemies lies along the way, and I strongly suggest doing it throughout the gestation period, but you will never get all of the weeds out at first.) Depending on the crops we plant will depend on how long we will need to wait to truly weed out the enemies plants, because I guarantee that he threw in some plants that are almost exactly like the ones we planted. In the parable they talk about wheat, and my pastor once explained that when wheat is mature the “head” starts to bow where as the weed that looks like it stands straight up making it easy to tell them apart.
Now we get to one of the most important things needed for our plants, and the thing that started me thinking about this in the first place, RAIN. We always look at the negative for rain storms, but there is a positive. Rain gives our plants what is needed to grow. What do we get when there is no rain???
This is worse than throwing our seeds in the rocks. There is nothing there to help our seeds, The “soil” will cover our seeds, and the time will still happen, but without the rain… NOTHING, not even a weed.
There is also an issue with to much rain…
Too much rain will kill the plants that are growing. It will destroy the soil and make it so there is no harvest to have.
God knows exactly how much rain to bring, and we know the proper irrigation techniques to drain off the excess. We just need to make sure we regulate the rain we have coming in. (We always can see a storm on the horizon that we can prepare for, but we should always be prepared for a sudden storm and have our emergency plan ready to activate.)
We also need the Son shine in our field. Providing all the warmth and goodness needed for our growth. But remember that the Son shines over all the Earth as we are told in Matthew 5:45
45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
The Son does not discriminate, and neither does the rain. God covers all the same, good and bad seeds get the same rain and sun. They both get the same good times and bad times. The only difference is the fruit they bear.
Add It All Up
So when you put all the pieces together what do you get? You have taken good seeds from a good fruit, sewed them in good soil, given them time, weeded out the bad, they have gotten plenty of rain and sunlight, what is the final result? You get good fruit. YOU become good fruit, and what do we get from good fruit??? Good seeds to be planted in more good soil. Are you maturing into good fruit? Look into your field and see what needs to be done to make sure that you are growing into the best fruit God can harvest.
Lord, thank you for giving me these ideas, thank you for inspiring me with these analogies, and thank you for the friends that share these thoughts with me that grow into such wonderful storylines to share. Help me to grow into the best fruit I can be. Lord, I pray that you help me weed out the lies, help me to grow the best harvest I can, and help the seeds that I share with others to also grow into healthy plants for them to harvest as well.