The reason behind this message is to help everyone reading to identify where their faith is. What I mean about this is what goes through our hearts and our minds when we face difficult challenges in our lives. Do we hold on dearly to God’s word or do we start to panic? Do you find your peace in the love of Christ or do you become anxious or angry? These are important questions that we should be reflecting on daily to identify exactly where we are in Christ and if His Word is truly in us. Are we superficial Christians, or are we fully committed and transformed believers? These questions may be difficult to answer honestly but Jesus provided us with a guide to honestly gauge where our faith is. It is found in Luke 8:4-15. Jesus explains about four types of people. Jesus used this parable of the sower and the seed to allow us to identify not only which we are but to allow us to do something about it after we identify it.
It is written, “When a large crowd was gathering together, and people from city after city were coming to Him, He spoke [to them] using a parable: 5 “The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road and it was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the sky ate it up. 6 And some seed fell on [shallow soil covering] the rocks, and as soon as it sprouted, it withered away, because it had no moisture. 7 Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. 8 And some fell into good soil, and grew up and produced a crop a hundred times as great.” As He said these things, He called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear and heed My words.”
9 Now His disciples began asking Him what this parable meant. 10 And He said, “To you [who have been chosen] it has been granted to know and recognize the [a]mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that though seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.
11 “Now [the meaning of] the parable is this: The seed is the word of God [concerning eternal salvation]. 12 Those beside the road are the people who have heard; then the devil comes and takes the message [of God] away from their hearts, so that they will not believe [in Me as the Messiah] and be saved. 13 Those on the rocky soil are the people who, when they hear, receive and welcome the word with joy; but these have no firmly grounded root. They believe for a while, and in time of trial and temptation they fall away [from Me and abandon their faith]. 14 The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, but as they go on their way they are suffocated with the anxieties and riches and pleasures of this life, and they bring no fruit to maturity. 15But as for that seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word with a good and noble heart, and hold on to it tightly, and bear fruit with patience, ” (Luke 8:4-15, AMP).
In the first half of the parable of the sower, Jesus identifies a person spreading his seed. Jesus identifies that this “seed” is the Word of God (Luke 8:11). He explains that the seed that was scattered in the road was trampled and eaten by birds (Luke 8:5). This brings about the first group of people. These people have heard the Word of God, however, the devil and his influences carry it out of a person’s heart as soon as they listen to it. This is where the world and our sin nature tells us that we do not have to believe in Christ as our Lord and Savior. The hardness of these people’s heart keeps them from finding salvation through Christ and Christ alone. These are the people that always want to prove others wrong for having faith. These are those atheists and anyone else who denies the Gospel when they hear it.
The second group of people are identified as the seed that fell upon the rocks and sprouted quickly, however, due to the lack of nutrients and moister they withered away (Luke 8:6). This group of people is the people who hear and receive the Word of God with joy but during times of trials or hardships they go back to their old ways (Luke 8:13). Their faith is superficial. Similar to a person who is joyful and excited to get a new gym membership. They tell everyone about it and are excited until they get their first couple of cramps from exercising. Then, they decide to stop working out and go back into the bad habits that lead them to need a gym membership, to begin with.
The third group of people is related to having been planted in a field of thorns (Luke 8:7). This group of people is those who hear the Word of God and as they begin to live out their faith, then they self-destruct (Luke 8:14). What I mean by self destruct is that these people allow the world to affect them instead of allowing the Word of God to completely fill and cover their hearts. They allow their social anxieties and their personal ambitions to keep them from spiritual maturity. These are those people that have accepted Christ into their lives, yet they keep themselves in a state of spiritual infancy. They never truly bear any fruit because they are worldly. They allow others’ opinions, especially, those of unbelievers to shape their views in life. They end up being their own worst enemy because they limit how much Christ can use them.
Lastly, Jesus explains in his parable about a group of people related to a sower dropping seed on good soil (Luke 8:8). These are the people who receive the Word of God in to their lives and hold onto it dearly. They have a worthy and humble heart (Luke 8:15). This allows them to recognize their circumstances and they have fully allowed God’s word to take root in their life. They not only accept Christ into their lives but they actively strive to walk out their faith. They study the Word, they love their neighbor, and they share their faith with others. This group of people allows God to use them as His hands and feet. They allow God to multiply their fruits (their hard work and labor for the Kingdom) because of their faith in Him.
Now, you may be asking me how the parable relates to where a person’s faith is at? The answer is simple and clear. Similar to when Christ’s disciples were scared of a storm when they were out at sea and they woke up our Lord. Jesus rebuked the storm and told His disciples “Where is your faith” (Luke 8:25). We need to realize that how we receive the Word and react to it under hardships will help us identify which of the four types of people we are. Are you someone who doubts the Word of God? Are you a believer that lacks substance? Are you a believer that allows the world to keep you stagnant and in a state of spiritual infancy? Or are you fully committed to Christ and the expansion of His kingdom? It is that simple! This is where you need to ask yourself two simple questions. Where are you currently in your walk with the Lord, and are you happy with it?
If you are not happy with where your faith is currently, then do something about it. There is nothing in this world stating that you need to stay where you are at! Soften your heart and allow the Word to fully take root, not just out of your mouth but in your heart. If you still feel broken, the wonderful thing is that you can do something about it by identity where your faith is and give whatever issues that are keeping you there to Christ. So give it to him and accept His forgiveness and love in your life. Do not make excuses for yourself or the circumstances that brought you to where your faith is today but change it for the better. However, this cannot happen without personal reflection and honesty. So, lower your guard and move towards the Word of God.