A Parable Comes Home (Day 2 from Cleansing Thoughts)
A parable is like visual teaching of spiritual truths, told as an allegory, using everyday illustrations to help bring the message to life. In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus is teaching that the kingdom of God is received at various levels within the human heart. While the seed is symbolic of the word of God, and the ground is the condition of the heart. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” is used, if I remember correctly, over 240 times in the Word, so put your spiritual ears on as Jesus tells the Parable of the Sower, “Behold, a sower went out to sow. And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth: immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. And some seed fell amount thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred” (Mark 4::3-8, NKJV). Do you see the meaning of this parable? Well, you’re not alone the disciples didn’t either. In verses 14-15, Jesus tells us,” The sower sows the word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was down in their hearts.”
As I looked around the room I remembered when I would bring home a plant, I want to keep them from getting too large, so I put them in a small pot to bind the roots, then I cut back the water and fertilizer just enough to sustain it. And once the plant grew to the desired size I would pinch back the new growth, allowing it to fill out. To the eye, the plant foliage was lush and green appearing healthy; however, because of the way it was cared for, it remained smaller in size. What was the Lord trying to get me to see? Where was my life seen in this parable; had I fallen by the wayside, was I standing on stony ground or had I fell among the thorns. Lately, I’m ashamed to say, I feel like I’m running in circles, let alone producing. I knew He was using the Parable of the Sower and my plants to get my attention. It was time to take a walk outside.
I started in the backyard, at the rose garden, I remembered the story The Rose, God had given me last year. I walked past an area where I had tried to grow a Calla Lily garden and finally had to take it out. In the side yard was the Caladiums, I loved the colorful foliage. And in the middle was my circle of Cannas. Out front were two handing pots of begonias and another two sitting on the porch filled with mixed colors, Along the drive were lilac bushes that would take your breath away in the spring. The Hosta’s and Impatience growing alongside the house, and the Iris along both sides of the Redbud tree. All the trees and bushes we’d planted now neglected many overtaken by weeds. The flowers needed to be deadheaded, everything needed water. I was about in tears when I heard the inner voice of the Holy Spirit say, “. . . Neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.” (1 Corinthians 3:7, NKJV).
I went back to the swing to reread the parable at first I didn’t recognize it but the second time and the meaning l knew what the Lord said, “Now these are the ones sown among the thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” (Mark 4:18-19, NKJV).
The apostle Paul applied this to our spiritual growth as part of the body of Christ by stating, “ And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babies in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able” (1 Corinthians 3:1-2, NKJV). The terms milk and honey refer to spiritual truths found in the Word of God. The people were not growing in their Christian walk because they were unable to understand the principles laid out in God’s Word, they were living a carnal life. To be carnal is to be immature, living more for others and self more than for Christ. I did not allow my house plants to mature, just like the silk plants I replaced them with I had created an illusion.