Secrets to the Kingdom pt 4
The seed is the Word, the soil is my heart. This is the secret to the Kingdom, according to Jesus, as He taught the crowds as recorded in Matthew 13. If we could live understanding and applying this simple yet profound principle, we would be ‘fruitful’ Christians. The seed of the Word of God, would produce in us a harvest 30, 60 and ‘one hundred fold’. One hundred fold was the biblical way of saying ‘abundantly’, not one hundred times as much numerically as some would believe but a hyperbole to describe the super abundant life the Word can produce if it finds the right kind of heart. We tend the garden of our heart. We can create heart attitudes that make for good planting, and good growing conditions. Jesus makes the invitation, to be a good environment for His word to live in you and grow in you. Continuing from my last post discussing the ‘soils’, the next soil Jesus describes is thorny soil. The weeds and thorns grow up with the good seed and choke it out. When Jesus explains this part to His disciples, He explains the weeds to be the ‘cares and concerns of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches’. In other words, the Word of God might find it’s way into our hearts and begin to produce life in us, but we become distracted by ‘this world’ and the promises of wealth. To really understand what Jesus is talking about here it’s important to know what ‘this world’ meant. He wasn’t just talking about the planet we’re standing on or even the people who live here. Jesus was referring to a system, a spiritual system that had been put into motion at the fall of Adam. ‘The kingdom of darkness’ the Bible calls it and it’s ruler is a fallen angel we call Satan. According to the Bible there are only two kingdoms at play in the world. The Kingdom of God (light) and the kingdom of Satan (darkness). They are not equal opposing forces, not even close! Satan is a created being just like us, God is the creator. The caresand concerns of this ‘world’ includes the rhythms and flow of the kingdom of darkness which we unknowingly grew up in all our lives. It’s what comes natural to us. The world system can be summed up this way: it is ‘life’ without God. Living by our own rulership, pushing God out of our picture.The temptation is to find life outside of God life. To flow along with the world, it’s ideas, it’s motivations and desires. This will choke out the effect of the Word in our lives. God’s life begins to die in us when we grab hold of worldly ideas and affections. And, be forewarned, it is a very subtle encroachment! These weeds seem like good ideas, good things for us, and over time we find our hearts cold towards the Kingdom of God. The key to the riches part of this that Jesus shared is the word ‘deceitfulness’. In this world system, riches can promise the very things that God provides. So we seek riches thinking that we will be blessed to be a blessing! This is the deceitful part. Our seeking riches slowly moves our heart away from God and again, the Word of God becomes choked in our hearts. Riches themselves are not evil, but can be a heart trap that snares us and keeps us captive, separated from God. Jesus said on the other hand to ‘seek first the Kingdom of God’ and not to worry about riches. On a positive note, Jesus has established the Kingdom of God and defeated the kingdom of darkness through the cross! We are now living in the expanding Kingdom of God in the earth, the kingdom of darkness has been defeated and will ultimately be completely eradicated! So this parable is especially powerful for us because not only can we avoid the cares and concerns of this world and the deceitfulness of riches, we can see our fruitfulness establish the Kingdom of God and defeat the darkness around us! So, unplug from the old system, plug into the Word and and the Kingdom of God and begin to see His life produce a Kingdom harvest in you!