How often are we moved by a sermon on Sunday and by Wednesday, can’t remember what it was about? Or having read a passage of Scripture, been able to articulate later what the verses said and how to apply them in life?
Most people I know struggle with this at some time. Jesus speaks of this in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:3-8). “Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: ‘Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.’”
Jesus tells us the meaning of the parable in Matthew 13:18-23. In verse 19, He explains the seed sown by the wayside. “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.”
The enemy of our soul does everything he can to prevent the seed from taking root in our lives. He utilizes distractions to shift our focus away from God’s Word.
So how do we protect the seed, God’s Word, and ensure it falls on good soil? Two areas come to mind.
The first focuses on preparing our hearts before taking in God’s Word. This involves asking the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart about the message or passage studied and how to apply it in our lives. Take notes. List action items. Document questions for further study. By preparing our hearts and taking an active approach to Scripture, we enroll in the study of the Word, instead of just auditing the class. We want to do more than hear the material. We want to understand it at a deeper level so we can apply it in our lives.
Secondly, after we take our notes, list our action items, and document our questions, we use the remainder of our week, day, etc. to go deeper. Reflect on what we learned, study additional scriptures, ask questions of other students of the Word on how to apply what we learn. If we spend even a few minutes each day on this, the enemy has less of an opportunity to distract us and keep us from meditating on the Truth.
Don’t let anyone steal the precious seed of God’s Word from your life.