Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, it happened that indeed some fell by the wayside, and the fowls of the air came and ate it up. (Mark 4:2-4)
A hard heart is one that cannot hear the word of God. This does not mean that my ears are not functioning properly. It means that my heart is not functioning properly.
Have you ever gone to a church meeting where the music was exhilarating, and the teaching seemed inspired, but by the time you got to your car you couldn’t remember anything that was said? I have. When that happens I have not prepared my heart to receive God’s word. It is just like that hard packed soil by the wayside.
Now you may have thought that this section referred to those who will not hear the word of God because they are not born again, or saved or something like that. You’re probably correct but the word of God does me little good if I am always looking for ways to apply it to others. And this can surely be applied to my life when I approach any situation where God’s word will be active without preparing the soil of my heart.
If I read God’s word or a devotional or listen to a speaker without taking at least a moment to recognize that I am approaching something that is truly holy and God may be here to speak something very important to my heart, my heart may be rock solid hard to what He has for me.
All day long people and circumstances are trampling across our hearts packing that soil down. If I do not stir it up continually, soon, oh too soon, it will be too hard for God’s word to penetrate and Satan will steal it away before it can even begin to sprout.
Father in Heaven, I thank you that I can hear and understand that my heart is often inclined to become hardened by contradictions and unpleasant circumstances and people. Please help me find the grace to stir my heart to receive your words of life so that I might be a light in this dark world. In the wonderful name of Jesus. Amen.