Shallow soil of character – Mark 4:16-17

 16 “And some are like the seed that lands in the gravel. When they first hear the Word, they respond with great enthusiasm.  17 But there is such shallow soil of character that when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it. (The Message)

In the past, while reading the parable of the sower I could not imagine myself being part of the seed eaten by birds or stolen by Satan, seeds withering in the gravel or seeds suffocated by greed and unhealthy desires. I thought that I was the guy receiving the hundred-fold for the effort of sowing in life and because I was so receptive and prepared to surrender my Life to Christ and If God wanted. I would be more than willing to change my life or so I thought. Later, the Holy Spirit would show me the fault in my reasoning and lack of discernment.

What struck me was the phrases: seeds that land in the gravel, shallow soil of character, when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it. What stood out was above all, was: shallow soil of character. Wow, could this be true of me, I wondered.

I than realized that, in my case, a lot of Scripture was head knowledge and lingered only for a while in my mind and thoughts. I read Scripture, sometimes received revelation, but all seemed to no avail. It did not mold my character to become more Christlike. There seemed to be no change in some of my behavior or way of living as result of Scripture. This was a revelation and, at the some time, came as a shock.

There were times when the Word of God was fresh and new to me. There were times when the revelation I received was so exiting and profound.  But, today I realize that a large part of what God wanted to tell me and was meant to mold my character as well, was spilled out in sermons and teachings and were projected on other persons. At times, it did not cross my mind that God intended the specific Scripture for my own growth and transformation of my mind and not to share with others before it became part of me.

But not today. Scripture pierced my heart and mind. I realized that so much “Word-seeds” sprang up and exited me previously and sometimes I shared it with others, but it did not change my way of living. I also realized that an encounter with God has a definite outcome: transformed lives based on Scripture and lives which grows to mirror the image of God through Jesus Christ more and more.

Realizing this, made me more sensitive and taught me to pray that the Holy Spirit will show me the withered and dead little plants in my spiritual life.  My desire is that “Word-seeds” sown by the Holy Spirit may fall on the prepared and fertile soil of my own heart. May I also be obedient in stewarding those “Word-seeds” which God had intended for me. When difficulty arrives, may I have all to show for it.