We all have read so many times over the years ... or at least heard the story numerous times ... of the parable of the seed in the Gospel of Mark. Using the Amplified version of the Bible, here is the story for those who have never read or heard it:
Mark 4:3-20 "Give attention to this! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he was sowing, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on ground full of rocks, where it had not much soil; and at once it sprang up, because it had no depth of soil. And when the sun came up, it was scorched, and because it had not taken root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorn plants, and the thistles grew and pressed together and utterly choked and suffocated it, and it yielded no grain. And other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing, and yielded up to thirty times as much, and sixty times as much, and even a hundred times as much as had been sown. And He said, He who has ears to hear, let him be hearing. And as soon as He was alone, those who were around Him, with the Twelve, began to ask Him about the parables.
And He said to them, To you has been entrusted the mystery of the kingdom of God; but for those outside everything becomes a parable. In order that they may look and look but not see and perceive, and may hear and hear but not grasp and comprehend, lest haply they should turn again, and it should be forgiven them. And He said to them, Do you not discern and understand this parable? How then is it possible for you to discern and understand all the parables?
The sower sows the Word. The ones along the path are those who have the Word sown, but when they hear, Satan comes at once and takes away the message which is sown in them. And in the same way the ones sown upon stony ground are those who, when they hear the Word, at once receive and accept and welcome it with joy; and they have no real root in themselves, and so they endure for a little while; then when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word, they immediately are offended and they stumble and fall away.
And the ones sown among the thorns are others who hear the Word; then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.
And those sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the Word and receive and accept and welcome it and bear fruit ... some thirty times as much as was sown, some sixty times as much, and some a hundred times as much."
I got to the verse which read, " ... Other seed fell among thorn plants, and the thistles grew and pressed together and utterly choked and suffocated it, and it yielded no grain ... ", and my heart began to hurt. It brought to mind people I care about who are at this place in life. They know so much of the Word ... in their own way they love the Lord ... but they are in a place where the world is pressing together and choking the life out of them. The pressure is so hard it is causing them to not remember His Word at all. Their faith and walk has been so nonchalant over the years. Now, when Satan uses the things of this world to entice them and give them a false sense of security, they are unable to hear His still small voice through it all. I so hurt for anyone in this position today, and there are many.
Do you have a loved one ... a friend ... or just someone who comes to mind who fits this description? Is this you!? Pray! Ask God to show you how you can help them without enabling them. Sometimes the only resource we have left is prayer. I know this sounds so cliché, but it is true. However, please know that prayer is the most powerful tool you could ever use against this war with Satan. God hears the cries of His children. We may not always sense His presence ... we may not always feel Him working ... BUT HE IS!!! This is where the rubber meets the road and we learn how strong our faith surely is!
I know how much our heart breaks and the pain is so overwhelming because of our concern for others. The pain is so powerful we feel as if our heart will literally break into pieces before our own eyes. I know how much pain we can find ourselves in at times. The world does not have much to offer these days, but it is plentiful when it comes to offering us pain. We cry out for His help, but it appears He does not hear us. We cannot see or feel His presence. We see no change in the circumstances surrounding us. How then can we walk in faith and not be suffocated to the point of not believing at all?
It all comes down to faith and how much we have or how little we have! I know that sounds simplistic but it is the bottom line. You say, "How can I have faith when I do not see anything changing ... I do not see my loved one being saved ... I do not see the circumstances changing?" How can I have faith when I see, feel, or hear nothing ... absolutely nothing?"
I know exactly how you could ask such a question, but I also know how to endure so He can bring us sunshine again. It is all determined by our faith. You say, "Where do I get faith as this? How do I have faith so strong that it endures no matter what is happening around me ... no matter what is occurring in my life ... no matter how I see my children suffer ... no matter if God has called my child or other loved one home? Where is this faith????" I have cried out so many times asking this same question.
God tells us what happens when we try to overcome without faith. In Deuteronomy 32:20 it says, "And He said: 'I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end will be, for they are a perverse generation, children in whom is no faith." Wow, I do not think it could be any clearer. We cannot be powerful without faith. We will always have a prayer life that is pitiful. We have to believe that He is. We have to believe His promises. We have to believe despite what the world throws at us. We have to believe our way through the storms until He brings us sunshine again. And, He will if we will only have faith.
Hebrews 11:6 states, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." Again you ask, "Where can I get this faith? Faith so strong it carries me through the storms no matter how powerful the winds!" The answer is found in Romans 10:17, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." It cannot be any plainer than this!
If you want faith that will move mountains in your life ... if you want faith so strong you know without a doubt God will hear your prayer and work in your life or the life of the one you are praying for ... then grow your faith by studying His Word. It is through His Word that your faith grows. It is through His Word that He gives you discernment and understanding, both of which empowers you to have more faith.
It is up to you how strong or weak your faith is. I just know I have to have strong faith. If I know anything it is that storms are always lurking ahead. They are impossible to bypass. We live in a world today that is so enticing to our young children ... we live in a world where it is easier to rely on drugs for relief from pain than to walk away ... we live in a world where modern technology is stealing the minds of our children ... we live in a world where divorce is much easier than staying planted where we are! Need I say more! If we ever needed to be planted in the right soil, where our faith can grow abundantly, it is today. If not, the world will eat us up and spit us out. Don't you want to be so powerful in your faith that you can share your strength with your loved ones who are not planted where they need to be? By being faith-filled, they see the power of Him working in and through you. They see the true sustenance you are made of! They will want the same, and they will seek ways to find it. Lead by example and they will follow.
We may not always see His hand no matter how faith filled we are, but our faith tells us He is at work and we believe His promises. God is not a liar! He is true to His Word. All we have to do is have faith to sustain us through the storm, knowing sunshine waits ahead. How do I know ... because He told me so!
Sometimes in life we are more than ready for God to move, but we fail to understand that He holds the whole world and everyone in His palm. We may be ready, but the other key players in our life may not be ready. Thus, we have to remain where we are until all the players can come together. He has stood exactly where you are. He already knows the future. Whether you walk in faith or not, He is the pilot of life. The end result is in His hands. Faith helps us to endure and determines how we will weather the storm. It gives us hope for ourselves, our situations, and for our loved ones. I want to give my loved ones the same hope I have. It surely makes all the difference in how we maneuver the storm until it subsides!!!!
God bless and have a great day!