A Hindered Ground (Part 3)
Responsibility for the ground lies with the hearer
(Matthew 13:3-9 NKJV) Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
Stony Ground: A thin veneer of soil covering a rock
(Luke 8:13 NKJV) But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.
Digging in rocky ground — the shovel always strikes stone
Descriptions of the rocky ground
- Has every indication of producing fruit — immediately sprang up
- Responds inappropriately to growth stimulus (testing) — when the sun was up they were scorched
- Superficial in commitment — because they had no root they withered away
- Ultimately unproductive despite all appearance to the contrary
· The nature of rocky ground is to fall away
(Galatians 5:7 NKJV) You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?
· Growth is prevented by that which remains in the life undetected
(2 Corinthians 4:1-2 NKJV) Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
unstable heart — faints under pressure
(Proverbs 24:10 NKJV) If you faint in the day of adversity, Your strength is small.
· A deficient trust factor produces barrenness
(Jeremiah 17:5-9 NKJV) Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the Lord. 6For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited. 7“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. 8For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not 3fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit. “The heart is deceitful above all things, And 4desperately wicked; Who can know it?
Keys to Cultivating the Stony Ground
· Must address the growth limitations
(1 Peter 1:23-2:3 NIV) For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25 but the word of the Lord stands forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you. 2:1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
1. Address character defects that produce barrenness
2. Get a hunger for God’s Word
· Must respond properly to growth stimulus — change the mind!
(James 1:2-8 NET) My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything. 5 But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith without doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed around by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 since he is a double-minded man, [a man of two minds] unstable in all his ways.
Resist the enemy — endure the trial
Like a boxer — the battle is with the other boxer not with his punches
· Develop endurance — the purpose of the trial
· Ask for wisdom — the ability to stand the trial
· Pass the test — move on and grow!