Oh, well...I'll trust God that He will make some sense out of what I write.
The second ingredient for the harvest God wants us to have from the seeds He plants in our heart is:
Protect Your Heart
Why do we need to protect our heart? Because there is someone who wants to hurt it and steal from it. And, we all know who he is!
"Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved."
One of the first things Beth explained from this verse is that the word saved is the same Greek word used in verse 36 to describe the man who had been healed from his demon possession. So verse 12 could read:
"Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be healed."
I know I am saved. And I know that my salvation is sealed in Christ. (2 Cor. 1 : 22, Eph. 4: 30)
But, I also know that as long as I am living, there will be parts of my heart that will need healing.
There will be doubts, rejection, misunderstandings and sorrow while I am on this earth. The enemy knows that, too. He knows he can't take away my salvation. But, he also knows that my strength, my joy, my power and any harvest I may see, will come from an intimate relationship with Jesus.
So, he steals.
God plants a word in my heart. A word that tells me about Himself. A word that will allow me to see Him clearer. To know Him better. A word that will allow me to experience His love for me.
But, if I am not protecting my heart and the word He has given me, it can be taken away. Stolen.
I guess there are many ways a thief can steal. Probably the best way is to wait until a person is distracted or just becomes careless with their possessions. I can only think of a couple of times that we've had anything stolen from us. That would be material things. We had a boat motor stolen off a boat. The gate was unlocked. My sister's ring, which she had let me borrow, was stolen from an unlocked suitcase at the airport. Seth's shoes were stolen off of our front porch. A bike was stolen from the garage. Probably an unlocked garage.
The common denominator in each situation was a letting down of one's guard.
And, not realizing I had an enemy that would steal from me.
Who would have ever thought someone would steal Seth's new shoes off the front porch of our house?
I have a tendency to forget about the enemy that wants to steal God's word from my heart. I have been warned. In John 10:10. "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly."
Beth reminded us Jesus always gives.
The enemy always takes away.
I can remember going to Vacation Bible School as a little girl. All the kids would line up by classes and march into the sanctuary. We would say the pledge of allegiance to the American flag. Then we would say the pledge of allegiance to the Christian flag. And last, we would say the pledge to the Bible. "I pledge allegiance to the Bible, God's holy word. I will make it a lamp unto my feet. A light unto my path. And I will hide its word in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee."
The enemy likes the darkness. He likes for us to be in it with him. And the last thing he wants is for us is to be victorious. To know the way God has laid down for us. This thief likes for us to live in confusion and despair. Kind of interesting that those things we learned and memorized as a child take on a new meaning when we realize that we have been stolen from!
I think there is one other way we allow something to be stolen from us. Not realizing what something is worth. Taking something for granted. We will guard what we treasure. What is important to us.
I read Psalm 119. I thought I could share with you some of the treasures the psalmist found from God's word. There's way too many. You will have to read Psalm 119 for yourself!
Saturday afternoon after the simulcast, Jim and I took Ethan out on his bike. It felt like 100 degrees and the humidity felt like it was 90%. We were having problems with the bike. I knew Jim was tired and well, it was just one of those moments. A moment I knew had been designed to knock me off my feet.
Then I remembered to protect my heart. To protect all the words God had spoken into it over the last two days. I put my hand over my heart clutching it like someone might do if they were having a heart attack. Have I mentioned I can be a bit dramatic? Jim asked me if my chest was hurting. I just laughed and said no, and said to myself:
"I pledge allegiance to the Bible. God's holy word. I will make it a lamp unto my feet. A light unto my path. And I will hide its words in my heart. That I might not sin against Thee."