19When 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. 20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” Matthew 13:19-23
There was a Gospel song in the early 90’s entitled “Speak to My Heart.” The lyrics were
“Speak to my heart, Holy Spirit Give me the words that will bring new life Words on the wings of the morning the dark night will fade away If you speak to my heart.”
I’m sure all of us would proclaim that we want the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts, speak into our lives, our situations and pour life where this deadness and light where there is darkness. Certainly this is my prayer as well. However, first we need to examine what kind of heart we actually have! Are we asking the Holy Spirit to speak into a heart that is open to receive the life we are asking for, or are our hearts in need of triple bypass surgery?
According to Matthew 13 there are 4 types of hearts: 1) the unresponsive heart, 2) the impulsive heart, 3) the pre-occupied heart and 4) the receptive heart.
The unresponsive heart hears God’s Word but doesn’t understand it, nor takes time to invest in knowing it and when the enemy comes through trial, circumstance, etc. he snatches what little Word was sown in the heart because it wasn’t rooted and grounded in the first place. Therefore, the unresponsive heart cannot respond to God’s Word because it has not been cultivated or groomed to act according to God’s Word. There are many churchgoers who grace the doors of the church each Sunday. However, they have no victory in their lives, they seemingly have no testimony of God’s goodness because they limit themselves to merely coming to church and not to having a daily relationship with the Lord that would cause the Word of God to seep into their spirit and cultivate the soil of their heart.
The impulsive heart hears the Word, gets excited about the Word but cannot truly stand on the Word because it’s experience is simply emotional. Have you ever seen someone who comes to church and shouts every Sunday, practically the loudest one in the church, but they have no victory in their lives? They can’t seem to join their excitement and the practicality of the Word together. Why? Because their walk is superficial. Their walk resembles a person addicted to drugs. They search out for the drug, they get the drug, they are excited to get the drug, but after the high wears off, they are still faced with all of the troubles in their lives that they thought the drug would relieve. The impulsive heart experiences temporary joy because it has not invested the time to get at the root of their issues and experience a real relationship with the Lord. Instead, it treats Him as an emotional, temporary high.
The pre-occupied heart receives the Word but is pre-occupied by other factors. The cares of the world: fame, fortune, prestige, jobs, achievement, etc. have distracted the pre-occupied heart and chokes the Word and makes it unfruitful. Are you pre-occupied with what you have, who you are, and what you want? How can you be an effective witness for the Lord if your heart is filled with worldly ambition? Is it wrong to want to be successful? No! But if our hearts are pre-occupied with the enticement of the world, then we cannot effectively execute the Word of God in our lives.
Contrastingly, the receptive heart is the heart that hears the Word, understands it through systematic study, and lives to carry out its mission, and as a result, bears fruit through submission, service and lifestyle.
Do you want the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart? Do you want life where there is deadness, light where there is darkness? Then you first must answer the question, “What kind of heart do you have?” The Spirit can only speak to a heart that is receptive and submissive to the Word of God. If you desire a real relationship with the Lord, then you must be receptive to the cultivation process – the dead roots, thorns and weeds of your heart must be uprooted so that the Word of God can cultivate and strengthen the soil of your heart and produce good, healthy and productive fruit for the Kingdom of God!
c/2008 Candie A. Price