In Mark 4 we can read Jesus’ parable of the Sower. The farmer went out to sow his seed. Some fell by the wayside, some fell on stony ground, some fell among thorns. All these yielded no fruit because they were not sown in the right environment, that is, good ground. The remaining seed fell into good ground and eventually produced a harvest, some thirty, some sixty and some one hundred per cent yield.
Our lives are like the field where God’s word has been sown. The challenge is, if we are yielding a 30%, or 60% harvest, then what causes the deficit in our field? The answer is stones! What are these stones? How can they be removed? As a person responds to the Holy Spirit’s conviction and challenges to daily life, the Spirit will reveal incrementally the blockages and barriers that are causing the reduced yield in our field. We can harbour judgement, wrong opinions, unforgiveness either knowingly, or unknowingly, and these are the stones the Holy Spirit seeks to remove as they form barriers to the life of Jesus flowing freely through us. The stones need removing to be replaced by the seed of God’s word. Like all seed, this precious incorruptible seed will only grow in the right environment. As we respond to the Holy Spirit in our daily walk, He will prepare the good ground to receive the seed. When we refuse to obey, the stones remain. Jesus likened us to trees, Luke 6: 43-46 – “Every tree is known by his own fruit”, whether good or corrupt. Are we producing good fruit? The divine Farmer comes to inspect His field.
A person can deceive themselves believing they are longing, panting, praying for that closer walk with Jesus and yet be unaware that the barrier is on their side. Only the Holy Spirit can reveal the stones we harbour. When we refuse to allow the Lord to remove the stones in our field, we are the ones causing and preventing us accessing all the fullness of God, our birthright. A response in humility and repentance opens the doors that have been so firmly shut by the barriers we have allowed to affect our spiritual growth. When we walk humbly before the Lord, Jesus truly breaks every fetter and makes us free indeed! All praise and credit to Him. As we obey, He does the work and we receive all the benefits. Who the Son makes free, is free indeed!”
Jesus was transparent. The devil came and could find nothing in Him, no ground to access a foothold. The Lord is working with us to bring us to that place of transparency that there will be no hidden places of darkness, fog, shade of deception, but walking epistles of light and truth. Jesus declared, “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another. As I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another”. John 13:34
This is the blueprint Jesus left for us to follow. Sadly, the Body of Christ is riddled with division and schism. We may differ in some areas of belief, but we have allowed the differences to divide us in a way that is unacceptable to the Lord, harbouring stones in our hearts. We have to give others the same freedom that we demand, and that is to hear the voice of God for ourselves in our own walk. If we only accept people with the same expression in the Spirit as ourselves, we are putting up barriers to the flow of Christ’s liberty flowing through us. If you differ from me, do not put me in your trash/rubbish bin, and I must ensure I don’t put you in mine. Remove the lid to inspect and assure yourself it is empty! Sometimes we do it subconsciously until the Holy Spirit directs to show us our fault.
God does not look on what a person is doing. He looks on the motive of the heart for why a person is doing it. Only God knows the motives of all men’s hearts. If we are not doing what we are doing to the glory of God, that work will not stand and the day shall declare it. A tree is known by it’s fruit. It is the Holy Spirit’s work to discern and convict, not mine. Don’t judge another man’s walk of faith. We can be missionaries to our own believing, endeavouring to correct others. We can declare to others the truths we believe, the Holy Spirit is the one who witnesses that truth to another person’s spirit. They make a choice to receive it or not, but our differences should not lead to strife and division. We can agree to differ without contention, (but also to discern what may be heresy). God knows how to deal with people. We don’t have to be His axeman, hacking away at the many membered Body of Christ. Every member matters, even the ones I deem uncomely or dysfunctional.
The apostle, Paul, was sent of God to the Corinthian church. He recognised there were 10,000 instructors in Christ, but not many fathers. He was a true father of the faith who truly loved the people. The church was full of disorder but God enabled him to minister to the people the divine order of God, in Christ. 1 Corinthians 4 records the account of his instruction to the people. Continuing in verse 7 he challenges: “For who makes you to differ from another? What have you that you did not first receive? If you received it, why do you glory as if you had not received it?”. In the previous verse Paul instructs them not to be “puffed up” one against each other in their believing, not to think of themselves more highly than others. If another member is serving God in a way that is not my revelation, it is not my place to condemn or judge. He is God’s property.
In finality, we aim for the fulfilment of the prayer of Jesus in John 17 for the unity of the Body of Christ v.21: “That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that You have sent Me”.
PROPHETIC WORD GIVEN THIS MORNING:
There is coming a time, and even now, is here. The time is come when you will ask Me nothing, but give Me everything. Your life will be turned around, a great change from the last years. You will come into life as a reality that has never been before. It is coming, and you are in it!