Mark 4:26-29 (NKJV) 26 And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, 27 and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. 28 For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
In our last few posts we have been talking about the need for us to renew our minds if we are going to walk in the spirit. The soul, which includes our intellect, emotions and will, is the part of us that links the spirit and the body. The spirit is the deepest part of us. The body is the part that interacts with the world in which we live. Anything which comes from the spirit that is going to affect our outward life, must go through the soul. Romans 12:2 says we are transformed by the renewing of our mind, our soul. This creates a clear path between the spirit and the body.
The way this is accomplished is by changing how we think. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the Word of God is alive. It is not just a book. It has the power to change our soul. Our job is to get the Word into our minds and yield to it. The actual change is a supernatural process that is produced by the word itself, not by our efforts.
How does the Word work in us? What is the nature of its power? One of the most significant teachings Jesus gave us is in Mark chapter 4. He tells us that the nature of the power of the Word of God is that of a seed. In today’s verse he makes a very important statement. The King James Version says it this way.
Mark 4:26 (KJV) 26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
He is telling how the Kingdom of God works in the earth. We all have heard of miraculous transformations in the lives of people. We know that there have been times when drug addicts were instantly delivered, never to want drugs again. The same can be said for alcohol and many other sinful things. It is also true for physical or emotional healing. God simply touched the person and they were forever free.
I have a friend who has such a testimony. What we find is that after God does such a miracle, there is still the matter of living life. Most often the lasting changes we need do not come by the spectacular miraculous. They may come that way, but they will always come if we allow the miracle of seed life to work in us. In all areas of life, the power of the seed in God’s Word will change us.
Think of what a seed is. Most of the time they seem devoid of any life at all. They are small in comparison to the plant they will produce. Yet when they are planted in the right kind of ground with the right cultivation, they will produce what God encoded them to produce. Every seed contains life. The kind of life it contains is potential life.
Jesus often spoke of mustard seeds. This is one of the smallest seeds in the world. Yet when it is planted and allowed to grow it produces a large tree. How can this be? Every branch, every flower and every bit of fruit that the tree will ever produce is already in the seed. It is the potential for the whole life of the plant.
Seeds cannot produce life alone. That is not the way they were designed. They must interact with soil. In this scripture, Jesus says that the earth yields crops by itself. We do not know how it really works. However, we know that when a good seed interacts with good ground, life is released. The plant will grow if it is cultivated and if it is not negatively interfered with. Nothing can stop the process from working under those conditions.
In the 14th verse of this chapter Jesus says, “The sower sows the Word.” In the scripture we are looking at, the Word is the seed Jesus is referring to. What is the ground? As we read the parable, we understand that the human heart is the ground he is talking about. I believe the heart is the deepest part of the soul. Science might call it the subconscious. When the seed of God’s word works its way into our heart, it has the power to change how we think. As that process works, there is a plant that is produced which affects us both inwardly and outwardly.
Jesus tells us here that the farmer who plants must go to bed by night and get up by day. The picture is that the process cannot be rushed nor helped. We must let the seed and the ground work. This is very similar to Isaiah 55 when the prophet likens the Word of God to rain and snow. There is a process that must work. However, when we let it work, it will produce the results God desires. In the case of the seed, it will produce the plant encoded within.
What is the first think changed by the seed? It germinates under the surface of the ground. We cannot see it. It starts by producing roots. The roots are not visible, but they are working. They are pushing there way through the “dirt” until they find nourishment, especially water. The first thing that is affected is the ground.
When we plant the Word of God, we often see no change for a period of time. We may not feel it working. The last thing we want to do is dig it up and see if it is doing anything. We must trust the process. God put it in motion. It will work.
Once the roots have pushed away the soil and found life they begin to grow upward. They are still working in places we cannot see. Nevertheless, they are doing what needs to be done to bring forth the outward change. What is happening under the surface is so powerful that it can push through almost anything. We have all seen plants that have grown through cracks in a sidewalk. If left alone they will break the concrete.
Eventually we see a small blade. This does not seem like much but once the plant reaches the light it is energized. It will continue to grow. It is important to remember that just because we see a plant does not mean we are ready to produce fruit. We must allow the process to continue. However, a farmer knows that once the plant breaks through the ground, all he has to do is keep it watered and weeded. Fruit is inevitable.
What will a seed produce? It will produce whatever is encoded in the miracle of DNA If it has Apple encoding, you will have apples. If it is encoded with pear life you will have pears. Those seeds look similar, but the life in them is very different. The Bible is a catalog full of seeds. There are healing seeds, holiness seeds, prosperity seeds and much, much more. Whatever we plant we will see produced in our lives. Just remember, trust the process. It takes time, but nothing can stop the seed from producing.
Jesus said that the whole Kingdom of God is like this. When seeds are planted in the hearts of people, they produce the life that is in the seed. This parable is talking about the Word and the heart of man, so that is where we are focused, but the principle extends to all things.
In the natural, it is relatively easy to stop a seed. If it does not get enough water, it will not grow. Storms can cause problems. People can ruin the crop. Many things can happen to keep a harvest from manifesting. That is true of natural seeds but not of the seed of the Word of God. That seed contains the power of God in potential form. Once that power is released, nothing can stop it. The only way the seed of God’s word will not produce God’s results in our lives is if the ground is not good.
I have come to understand that my heart, my soul is the ground. This parable gives us insight into what keeps our ground from being good ground. It also tells us what makes us good ground. That is what we are going to look at for the next few posts.