Matthew 13:1-9 – You can only get somewhere when you know where you currently are. As a farmer sows seed, we as the ground fall into 4 different categories.
1. Those who receive the word, but it does not stay with them. It is snatched away due to lack of understanding.
2. Those that lack depth in Christ. They are shallow and easily discouraged by troubles and hardships.
3. Those that lack focus. They are consumed by the worries of life and give priority to chasing the world. This chokes their faith.
4. Those that have an active relationship with God. They know their Father and understand Him and His expectations of them.
Today’ s word is about understanding where you are as an individual and take responsibility. Self-reflection and introspect allow you to understand where you are so that you know where to go.
Matthew 13:18-33- Have you ever wondered why you hear the word of God, but no change in your life, you hear it and still remain in the same situation with no progression? How many times have you felt compelled to leave your church, alter your contribution to a church project, or just simply be discouraged because of other peoples opinions or words. How many times have you been inspired to take your ministry to greater heights but peoples responses have hindered your progress. The thing is, in life there are many hurdles. You cannot change what adversity you face, but you can take responsibility of your own actions and spiritual maturity and development.
Joshua 1:7-8. There is an intriguing lesson in these verses. The fact that God had chosen Joshua did not nullify Joshua’s responsibility to be determined and focused. Joshua had to be intentional. As soon as a person gives their life to Christ and embarks on their personal walk with Him, they are automatically engaged in spiritual warfare thus the need to be intentional, determined and focused. Lack of these aspects causes you to miss opportunities as you become distracted by the devil. You have to make a firm decision that when in church you will intentionally sing and dance , engage in the word and purposefully seek God and worship Him, otherwise that time spent in church will be fruitless. The more value you put into something, the greater the reward. Therefore you must be intentional in your walk with Christ. If you consciously decide to hear and understand the word of God, you retain it, but if you have no intent or focus you lose it.
Analogy- there was once a group of 10 merchants faced with adverse weather conditions on a particular day. 9 of them decided to forego their daily tasks and chose to remain at home, warm and comfortable. However 1 decided to brave the weather and set up his stall as usual. That merchant sold more on that one day than ever before as there was no competition. The merchant chose to ignore the barrier presented to him. He used a negative situation to his advantage. He flourished in persecution and stood in adversity.
God’s intent was to use Joshua, but it was Joshua’s responsibility to be determined regardless of whatever came his way. So be empowered today. Overcoming persecution leads to stronger character and depth in Christ. Always remain focused. Apostle Paul (2 Timothy 2:4) taught about how soldiers do not mingle with civilian affairs so as to please their superiors and remain focused on their task at hand. Likewise, as a Christian, be like a true soldier. Do not concern, dabble and mingle in affairs that do not concern you, but rather be focused and determined to be deep rooted in your relationship with God. Let go of perceptions and things that affect your ability to be effective. So today, take time to analyse where you are in Christ now and start to make the necessary changes and steps to get closer to where you want to go.